Jurgen Klinsmann’s fearless USA know they can get upset Germany
The stakes couldn’t be higher in World Cup’s Group of Death as all members of Group G can still qualify in the final round of matches tonight.
Germany and USA both know a point will be good enough to see off Ghana and Portugal, but how will they view the match knowing a draw is all they need?
It’s hard not to look at Jurgen Klinsmann’s link with Germany and consider the possibility of the two ‘seeing out’ a draw and packing their bags for the last 16, but in reality the USA team don’t need any pre-match agreements because they have one of the most united squads in the World Cup and a confidence and fearlessness that can beat any team.
Sunday night’s 2-2 draw with Portugal was crushing for the United States. They were only 30 seconds away from qualification and a more or less dead rubber last round game with Germany.
Instead, a small lapse in defensive structure saw Cristiano Ronaldo deliver a pinpoint cross for Silvestre Varela to header in an equaliser – simultaneously keeping Portugal in the competition and scratching the USA’s name out of the last 16.
In that game the USA substantially improved compared to their opening game winner against Ghana. They fought hard, played great football and ultimately deserved all three points.
The crush of the last-second equaliser would’ve been quickly evened out by the strong hope that they can do this against Germany.
They may have had to watch the highlights of Germany’s 2-2 draw with Ghana first, but if those two draws told us anything is that Joachim Low’s side are not bulletproof and that the USA are capable of knocking off a bigger opponent.
Doing so against Germany – who may see this as an opportunity for backlash to put their gears back into fifth ahead of the knockouts – would require each player to have, in some cases, their third monumental performance in a row.
The likes of Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman have been sensational for the USA, needing them to go again for the third consecutive time against the Germans is a tough task for any player.
Graham Zusi, who came in for the injured Jozy Altidore against Portugal – was brilliant and will likely be called upon again to perhaps mark the marauding Mario Gotze or Thomas Muller.
They have the unity and the confidence to get a result. Germany were less than impressive against Ghana but have a fairly comfortable goal difference.
But they’ll know that a loss would pit them against Belgium in the last sixteen which may make them hold back slightly and, in turn, let USA relax slightly as well.
America have shown that they are fearless and they most certainly won’t worry about Germany. There are a lot of possibilities with each team still mathematically in the World Cup but Klinsmann will have one message for his side that’ll put all ramifications to one side: just go out and win.