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Exciting quarterfinals set for Women’s World Cup

After grueling group stages, the quarterfinals are set in the two biggest soccer competitions this summer; one knockout stage more promising than the other.

Alex+Morgan+of+the+United+States+is+tackled+by+Catalina+Perez+of+Colombia+during+the+Round+of+16+match+at+the+2015+FIFA+Women%26apos%3Bs+World+Cup+on+Monday%2C+June+22%2C+2015%2C+in+Edmonton%2C+Canada.
Alex Morgan of the United States is tackled by Catalina Perez of Colombia during the Round of 16 match at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup on Monday, June 22, 2015, in Edmonton, Canada.

Alex Morgan of the United States is tackled by Catalina Perez of Colombia during the Round of 16 match at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup on Monday, June 22, 2015, in Edmonton, Canada.

Qin Lang | Xinhua | Sipa USA | TNS

Qin Lang | Xinhua | Sipa USA | TNS

Alex Morgan of the United States is tackled by Catalina Perez of Colombia during the Round of 16 match at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup on Monday, June 22, 2015, in Edmonton, Canada.

Josh Barajas, Sports Editor

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Only eight teams remain in the Women’s World Cup in Canada and seven in the Copa America in Chile, but the women’s game has grabbed a stronger hold of soccer fans in the United States.

According to Forbes, 4.7 million Americans checked in to USA’s match against Colombia on Fox Sports 1, while ABC reports that only 1.4 million checked into the most viewed Copa America match, Mexico vs. Chile, on BeIN Sports.

Of course, one could say that the reason for this is the United States actually has someone to root for in the women’s world cup and no one to cheer for in South America.

According to Goal.com, 4.7 viewers watched the Mexican league final on May 18, 2014. The Mexican soccer fan base is as big as the U.S. soccer fan base in America, if not bigger, yet the American women’s national team more than tripled the Mexican men’s national team in viewership.

There is a reason why this summer people care more about women playing soccer more than men playing; they put more effort into their matches.

For example, there are some teams in Canada that won their first ever knockout stage game and are looking for their first ever semifinal berth. While in Chile, men are walking around as if they deserve a fast track to the winner’s podium.

In the women’s world cup, hosts Canada, Germany, France, England, Japan, China and the United States secured their place in the quarterfinals while Brazil was kangaroo kicked out of the tournament in the round of 16 by a surprising Australian team.

The United States earned their pass to the final eight after defeating Colombia in a gritty, 2-0 win. In that game we saw brave Colombian women, who scored their first ever world cup goal just days prior against Mexico, give the Americans a hell of a fight.

The first set of quarterfinal matches will be played on Friday. USA takes on China, but more importantly, powerhouses No. 1 Germany and No. 3 France will face off in the best game of the knockout stage so far.

The second set of quarterfinal games will be played on Saturday. Defending Champions Japan play dangerous Australia, who are looking for another giant to slay, and hosts Canada play against England, a nation starved of soccer glory since 1966.

Everything is set for an exciting home stretch in Canada, as opposed to the men’s category in Chile.

The Copa America has showcased teams that sort of just showed up to aimlessly kick a ball around a field. Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay and hosts Chile all qualified to the South American quarterfinals – where a ridiculous eight out of 12 teams make it.

The players and teams that were supposed to amaze the world with their elite skill have decided to take their summer vacation now. Lionel Messi and Argentina, Neymar and Brazil and James Rodriguez and Colombia have underwhelmed so far.

Argentina and Brazil squeezed past their group stage and still finished on top of their respective groups. Colombia netted only one goal, and defender Jelson Murillo had to score it, but that was enough to put them through to a quarterfinal matchup against Argentina.

Chile, the only team to put some effort in the cup competition, won its group convincingly by demolishing Bolivia 5-0. The hosts also became the first semi-finalist after defeating Uruguay 1-0 on Wednesday.

Bolivia, following that 5-0 romp by the hand of Chile, gets to play Peru on Friday in the “elite eight” of South America. Peru celebrated a 0-0 draw with Colombia as if it had already won the tournament.

Finally, Brazil will try and avenge their 2011 elimination by Paraguay on Saturday. They’ll have to do so without star player Neymar, who received a four game match suspension after he kicked a ball at a Colombian player after the final whistle had blown, head-butted a different Colombian and then insulted the referee.

The men of the Copa America are showing that they don’t want to be there, while the women of the world cup are fighting against history to remain if only one more game. This is why the women’s world cup matters more.

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