Team USA is hoping to make some noise in knockout round

These might sound like “Jeopardy!” questions, but here goes.

In the popular quiz show, contestants are required to phrase their answers in question form.

Under the category “Chile,” as an exchange student, he played soccer for Marietta High last fall.

Answer: Who is Max Suckel?

Here’s another one.

She’s a Chilean-born American actress, who starred on the TV show NCIS.

Answer: Who is Cote de Pablo?

Unrelated to Alex Trebek and the television competition, Suckel and de Pablo were probably disappointed in Chile’s penalty-kick shootout setback to host Brazil in the World Cup men’s soccer knockout stage on Saturday.

Brazil advances, while Chile is eliminated.

So now, which nation do you like to win it all? How ’bout Team USA?

“The men’s team has came a long way but is not quite there yet to really challenge the Brazils and Hollands of the world yet,” said Warren boys soccer coach Andrew Johnson. “As a whole this World Cup has been great and I really enjoy seeing the different playing styles and looking how they can influence my team and what I can learn from the tactics these world class coaches use.”

Jurgen Klinsmann-coached Team USA is scheduled to play Belgium in the round of 16 Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Cinderella American booters were runners-up to Germany in the Group of Death last week.

The Germans looked awfully impressive in their 1-0 triumph over America in group play.

“Keeping Germany out of the goal was hard, because they’re such a good passing team,” said Marietta High girls coach Jeff Price. “I think this World Cup is more open than in past ones. A lot of it comes down to matchups and which teams come out of the groups.”

MHS boys coach Todd Morris agreed and added, “As for my pick to win the cup, I have liked the way the Dutch have looked at times, and Germany as well. Belgium has played an attractive style as well, and of course you cannot discount the host nation and the advantage that gives to Brazil.

“On this stage at this level, you could make a case for 5-6 countries who have a legitimate chance to win this tournament.”

Before the World Cup kicked off in Brazil, Marietta College men’s soccer standout Wes Riley picked top-ranked Spain to repeat as WC champion.

“Well, that’s not going to work out,” he said, “because they’ve been eliminated.

“At this point, I really don’t know who’s going to win it. Germany has looked good, and France’s attacking play has been pretty phenomenal. Brazil of course has the fan support, and Argentina’s (Lionel) Messi has been pretty special.”

Shane Hartshorn likes the Dutch, who knocked out Mexico 1-0 Sunday.

“The Netherlands will probably be the team to beat,” said the third-year Parkersburg Catholic soccer coach. “Their defense has been solid, and I really like the way (Arjen) Robben plays.

“As for the United States, I think they’re a sleeper. Their defense has looked awfully good.”

Caldwell soccer coach Troy Nething agreed, and added, “I think the USA is going to fare well (in the knockout round).”

Of course, the American faithful will know more about Team USA’s status after its match against Belgium.

As for final “Jeopardy!”…..

The 2014 World Cup champion.

Answer: Who is the United States of America?

Hey, folks, you never know. In our great nation, anything’s possible.

Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441 or at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com