Monday, 16 June 2014

Germany's obliteration of Portugal is good for the U.S.


Natacha Pisarenko/AP 
Are you cheering for Germany, U.S. fans? If not, you should be. Germany’s 4-0 drubbing of Portugal has set the U.S. up nicely heading into Monday night’s game with Ghana and beyond. Should Germany win out, the U.S. could potentially need just four points to escape the Group of Death. Follow me along this hypothetical path, friends.

Best scenario

1. Germany – 9 points

Germany beats everyone in its path: Portugal, Ghana, and then finally the U.S.

2. United States – 6 points
The U.S. beats Ghana and Portugal, rendering the result against Germany meaningless, except for seeding in the second round.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports 
Likely scenario

1. Germany – 9 points

Listen, Germany could very well win the World Cup and will likely win out in this group. The quicker everyone accepts this, the better.

2. United States – 4 points
This is where things get dicey. Assume the U.S. beats Ghana, ties Portugal, and loses to Germany. If Portugal then beats Ghana, it will come down to which team has superior goal differential. This is favorable for the U.S. because Portugal is sitting at -4.

If the U.S. only ties Ghana, the Americans lose control of their own destiny. Should Ghana then tie or beat Germany, the United States would need help from Portugal in Ghana’s final match. The group would likely come down to goal difference, which is a heartbreaking way for any country to make an exit.

Did that make your ears bleed?

The bottom line is any positive result for Germany moving forward is a good thing for the U.S., as long as the U.S. continues winning (or more accurately, not losing). This result also only intensifies the need for a U.S. win over Ghana. No one wants to start the tournament with a loss and as you can see, the scenarios get exponentially more favorable with an opening U.S. win.

USA Today

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