World Cup recap: Germany finally breaks through, USA exhibits potential

It was only a matter of time for the Germans.

After thrashing Brazil in its fourth straight World Cup semifinal appearance, Germany scored in extra time to defeat Argentina, 1-0, and be crowned tournament champions. The first country to reach four consecutive semifinals could finally reside on its proper throne.

While this title is certainly a culmination of many years of superb German soccer, the world champions might just be getting started. Eight of the 14 men who played for Germany in Sunday’s final are 25 or younger.

Mario Gotze, the substitute turned hero for Germany, celebrated his 22nd birthday just a month ago.

Another country that appears to have a promising future is the United States. A team with many connections to Germany, the Americans reached their second straight knockout round before losing, 2-1, to Belgium. Clint Dempsey, DeAndre Yedlin and company exceeded expectations and alerted the world that they are a force to be reckoned with.

The 2016 Centennial Cup America will be held in the USA, a prime chance for the popularity and quality of American soccer to continue growing. Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez will be among those representing their respective countries at stadiums across the USA.

The 2014 World Cup saw Germany become the first European team to win the tournament in the Americas. In four years, the USA will look to become just the second North or South American country to be victorious in Europe.