Today’s the day.
Of course, Ghana and Portugal have something to say about it, but the U.S. national soccer team gets one chance to make up for their epic collapse in the final minute of last Sunday’s game.
That chance comes today at 12 noon when they take on Germany.
A win or tie and the Americans are through to the knockout stage of the World Cup.
A loss, though, could end their visit to Brazil and open up the wound from last Sunday’s final minute meltdown once again.
Everyone’s talking about the German team as if they’re the 1927 Yankees, mainly because they gashed Portugal in the opener 4-0. Those same folks seem to conveniently forget that same German team was tied by Ghana in their next game, 2-2. Yes, that same Ghana team the U.S. defeated in their opener.
So, this one today isn’t quite the laugher that some folks proclaim it might be — particularly if the Germans actually try and win. Just like Germany has “everything to play for”, so, too, does the United States.
Speculation abounds that a convenient tie will be the end result of this one since both squads know in advance a tie gets them through to the next round. They say that because U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann is a German World Cup hero himself and has relationships with players and coaches on the current German squad.
I don’t see a “pre-planned” tie happening, mainly because both teams would like to win the Group, first and foremost. I can see a conceded tie, if you will, once the 60 or 70 minute mark rolls around and the game is deadlocked. At that point, I think both teams would pull back and just play keep-away for the remaining half-hour, not wanting to risk injury, yellow cards, etc.
From the start, though, this is going to be a “real” game.
Ironically, though, I think the game WILL end in a tie. I’m going to call this one a 1-1 draw, with each team scoring in the first half and then playing it safe throughout most of the second half.
Prior to this World Cup, lots of experts said the U.S. wouldn’t make it out of group play. I said they would.
One of us will be right around 2:30 pm today.
I hope it’s me.