Tonight's match against Portugal is already being trumpeted as the biggest game in U.S. soccer history. Here's what you need to know.
If the U.S. Wins:
It's as simple as this: If the United States wins today, they advance to the knockout round with the final 16 teams. This would be the first time the Americans have ever advanced to this point in consecutive World Cups.
Since the American squad already beat Ghana in a thriller last week, if it beats Portugal today, it will ensure itself, at worst, a second-place finish in Group G (known as the Group of Death) with two victories. The top two teams advance.
If the U.S. Ties Portugal or Loses:
Be prepared to talk knowingly about the consequences should things go sour (or simply middle) for the U.S. side today. Since Germany and Ghana tied 2-2 yesterday in probably the best match of the tournament, the picture has gotten a little muddied.
Here's how the Americans can still advance even without winning today:
- The Americans draw with Portugal and then beat or tie Germany later this week
- The Americans lose to Portugal, but still beat Germany
- Most ridiculously, the squad loses to Portugal by fewer than three goals and both contests between the U.S.-Germany and Portugal-Ghana end in draws.