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2014 FIFA World Cup June 15 Open Thread

Lionel Messi plays for the first time in the 2014 World Cup today, and there are two other intriguing games to wet the palate as well.

Jamie McDonald

Every day of the World Cup, we'll have a preview of the day's events. Feel free to chat about the day's matches in here as they unfold.

Every day, this World Cup keeps on adding even more awesomeness to the pile it has already accumulated. Yesterday, we had our first major upset of the Cup when Costa Rica took down Uruguay, a crucial win for the Ivory Coast, and a performance by Colombia that showed that perhaps they weren't a team to overlook without Falcao after all. There are only three matches today as compared with yesterday's four, but they all have some big intrigue to them, including the first appearance of the tournament by one Lionel Messi.

Past performance storylines have been big in this World Cup so far -- Ivory Coast's win over Japan was notable largely because this is the swan song of a lot of Ivorian talent, and they had failed to make it out of the group stage in both tournaments previous -- and I've got Argentina winning it all as Messi finally shows the world that he can, indeed, be the superstar for country that he always has been for club.

Should be fun to watch.

Switzerland vs. Ecuador - 10 am

Here's a match-up between two teams we're not quite sure what to expect from. Switzerland managed to snag a seed in the tournament pot, and are generally regarded as a team with a huge stash of young talent, somewhat similar to how Germany looked in 2010. There's a chance that they'll manage to get it all together and make a deep run, and there's a chance they become the rare seeded team to crash out in the first round if something goes wrong. Meanwhile, Ecuador lost star player Christian Benítez to an unexpected death right before the World Cup and will be motivated to do big things in South America, especially in a group that doesn't look particularly death-worthy.

France vs. Honduras - 1 pm

France are, to many people, a dark horse to win the whole shebang. They've got lots of talent, and are in a group that doesn't inspire fear in that many people. They'll start the tournament against Honduras, the weakest CONCACAF team in the bunch. I'd say that they should watch out, but we saw how Costa Rica was able to shock the world. Who knows?

Argentina vs. Bosnia - 4 pm

How can you not root for Bosnia? They're in their first ever World Cup, have a likable and talented roster including the likes of Edin Dzeko, and would be a fantastic feel-good story for this World Cup if they can make a run. Unfortunately, they start off against the team I have winning the whole thing. I mentioned that Lionel Messi is gonna want that Cup win above. If Bosnia win, it will be absolutely superb. I'm just not seeing it happen.