Wednesday, June 25, 2014

USA - Germany Round 3

In 1998 the U.S. was in the same group as Germany and lost 2-0 on their road to the 3-6-1 disaster that was 1998,  In 2002 they faced Germany and lost 1-0 on a Torsten Frings handball (see above).  Tomorrow they face Germany with advancement and first place in the Group of Death on the line.  The good news is that we're getting closer with each game and if the trend continues we should be in line for a 0-0 draw.  :D

In reality this game could go two different ways.  The way we all hope it goes is that both teams come out conservative, test each other, decide its not worth injury, exhaustion, or suspension, and settle for the draw that lets Germany win the group and the U.S. advance.  The other way is that Germany feels like it needs to reestablish its dominance in the group after the draw with Ghana and comes out attacking in order to get the win and the 3 points leaving the U.S. hoping the result of the Portugal-Ghana game goes their way.

I'm not worried about the travel or heat, and I'm not really worried about the U.S. being broken after the late equalizer from Portugal.  Under a different coach maybe but one thing JK seems to be able to do is get the team focused when its necessary.  I am worried that we aren't as good as a determined German team.  If Loew wants to prove a point to Jurgen, or Germany fees like it needs the win, or if they're just feeling particularly good tomorrow we're in trouble.  We can get a draw in that scenario but we wouldn't be favored to.  If Germany is happy with a draw though it will be all smooth sailing tomorrow.

I think we better hope Germany is satisfied with the draw.  Unless their last-second equalizer that kept them alive wakes up Portugal I think Ghana beats them.  So far they've been the better team and their style is one that could tear Portugal apart.  With luck Portugal keeps it to a 1 goal game in a low-scoring affair and Ghana loses the tiebreakers but that's a lot of ifs.

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