World Cupdate: Predictions for the final match and how to get your next soccer fix

Germany plays Argentina
Germany will face Argentina in the 2014 World Cup finals. — photo by Ashiful Haque

Finally, after a month of soccer, the thrills, chills, agony and ecstasy will reach its climax with the final match this Sunday, July 13 at 2 p.m. on ABC between Germany and Argentina. How did we get to these last two teams? Brazil, who had been living on borrowed time throughout this tournament, finally ran out of luck in their semifinal against Germany where they folded like a cheap suit to the tune of a 7-1 humiliation.

In the other semi-final, 120 tense minutes of action between Argentina and the Netherlands came down to penalty kicks and Argentina proved too much for the Dutch (the best footballing nation never to win a World Cup in my opinion), winning 4-2 on penalties and advancing to the final for the first time since 1990.

So, it’s Germany versus Argentina: They’ve met in the final twice before in 1986 and 1990 and split both games. With Germany stacked with talent and coming off of that ridiculous demolition of Brazil, this game is a potential classic in the making: Messi vs The Machine. Call me crazy, but I’m betting on The Machine. My Prediction: Germany 3, Argentina 2. Germany becomes the first European team to win a World Cup in Latin America.

But what happens when, after the dust settles, you find yourself jonesing for soccer? The good news is that there are more soccer options than ever before here in the United States. So, whether you want to watch some soccer, play some soccer or even just wonder about the future of soccer in the United States, there’s good news to be had all around:

I want to watch some soccer. Where do I start?

Pick an Major League Soccer (MLS) team to root for! Want Team USA to continue to improve in future World Cups? A large factor in the success of any national team on that level is the success of a country’s domestic league, and the MLS has spent the past decade growing, building soccer-specific venues and putting a premium on fan experience. Along with these investments in soccer, the quality of play has also been improving. Don’t know where to start? Check out this handy-dandy Newcomer’s Guide to MLS courtesy of the MLS-Reddit Community.

And if MLS isn’t your cup of tea, well, find yourself a television with access to the NBC Sports Network, because they are broadcasting every single English Premier League game live. Every. Single. One. It’s amazing and their season starts in August.

I want to play some soccer. Where do I start?

Well, obviously you can always get some friends, a ball and go to town in any open field, but if you want a little more organization, Iowa Citians who were in Iowa City Kickers way back in their childhood will be excited to learn that there’s an adult Kickers league as well.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »