USA gets gut-punched by Portugal in a draw that feels like very much like a Philly-style loss

USA gets gut-punched by Portugal in a draw that feels like very much like a Philly-style loss
June 22, 2014, 9:00 pm
Share This Post
 Portugal's Silvestre Varela heads the ball past United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard to score his side's second goal and tie the game 2-2 during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday. (AP Photo)

 

First: Let's get the anger out. Look at this photo below.

With a 2-1 lead and less than 60 seconds to go, Michael Bradley -- who is supposed to be the smartest, most veteran American player -- had the ball in MILES of space near midfield. All he's trying to do at this point is kill some clock. Instead, what does he do? He turns BACK TOWARD HIS OWN GOAL and tries a pass. He gives it away, and it leads to the only moment of Cristiano Ronaldo brilliance in the entire match.

[nbcsports_video src=http://player.espn.com/player.js?pcode=B4a3E63GKeEtO92XK7NI067ak980&widt... width=620]

OK, now that I got that out of my system. Let's get positive.

The United States is still in really good shape going into Thursday's finale against Germany (noon, ESPN).

We'll start with the elephant in the room. Germany and the U.S. would both advance if they draw.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann is German. He used to coach the German team. He and the Germany coach are friends.

Now, I'm not suggesting that the teams will agree to play for a draw before kickoff (it's happened before). But if the game is tied in the final minutes, neither team will push for a winner.

The United States would win the group with a win over Germany, and there is still a very good chance they advance even with a loss.

If the U.S. loses to Germany, you need to hope Portugal and Ghana draw ... or Portugal wins a close game ... or Ghana wins by as many goals as we lose to Germany by (got that?).

The group winner will likely play Algeria or Russia, while the second-place team would probably face Belgium.

The two games will kick off at the same time on two different channels. So get your trigger finger ready for the remote, or get to a bar with multiple TVs.

We'll have a few days to break that down. For now, calm down, get some sleep, and make up a good excuse to skip work on Thursday.

Just watch this Jermaine Jones goal and feel better about life.

[nbcsports_video src=http://player.espn.com/player.js?pcode=B4a3E63GKeEtO92XK7NI067ak980&widt... width=620]

 

Latest News