Hup Holland! 2014 World Cup Day 17 Open Thread

Jamie Squire

It's win-or-go-home time in the World Cup as we tune in for the second day of Round of 16 action in the knockout stages of the World Cup, with the Netherlands taking on hated Mexico and Costa Rica taking on Greece.

We still have two days to go until our own boys in Red, White, and Blue return to the field to take on the Red Devils of Belgium.  Today, though, the Belgians neighbors to the north, the Netherlands, will take on our neighbors to the south, Mexico, in a game widely expected to be a comfortable Dutch victory.  Most Americans will be cheering on the Oranje of Holland to spank our hated Mexican rivals, because there's never a good day when Mexico wins.

Led by Manchester United's Robin van Persie, Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben, and former-Bayern-and-soon-to-be-United manager Louis van Gaal, the Dutch have played some beautiful football, winning all three group stage games, including that famous drubbing of Spain that woke the world to the Oranje threat.  Mexico doesn't feature the big star names that the Dutch have, with Javier Hernandez at United being on the only player at a true big club - and Chicharito is nothing more than an impact sub off the bench for United, while his Dutch opponent van Persie is the club's top striker.  Of course, there's scumbag Rafa Marquez, a washed-up has-been who used to ply his trade at Barcelona but now finds himself at Mexican club Leon FC.  It all will kick off at 9 a.m. PST on ESPN, with the Dutch heavily favored.

Once the Oranje revolution finishes rolling over a limp Mexico team that would not even be in the World Cup if not for Graham Zusi, we'll see our CONCACAF rivals Costa Rica take on European minnows Greece at 1 p.m. PST on ESPN.  The Greeks are most famous for their improbable, swashbuckling run to the title in Euro 2004, but they are definitely not a European power to be feared and given that Los Ticos have already beaten Uruguay and Italy, and tied England, they'll have no fear of the Greeks.  But since Costa Rica has utilized an efficient counter-attack to score and Greece prefers to sit back and absorb pressure, this game has all the makings of a snooze-fest, which will be a shame following the open, attacking football we'll get from Holland in the morning match.

We're two days away from taking on Belgium, a land that many Americans are all too familiar with, a friendly land of chocolate, beer, waffles, and french fries (hey, a lot of our favorite things!), so to keep you hyped up:

Alright folks, it's time to tune in to see the Dutch hopefully slaughter our hated Mexican rivals.  Fire away with your thoughts, analysis, and opinions as you tune in and cheer on Oranje.  Hup Holland!




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