In America, soccer is a sport that has always struggled to succeed to the populous. Even the men's national team does not get respect thanks to the team not being a powerhouse on an international level. In every major sport that is played around the world, soccer is the only one that we aren't the best or competing for the best at. Maybe that's why it's treated so lowly in this country.
All that said, I've never see more buzz about a national team in my young life. The country was behind this team. All across America, in every city, there were viewing parties with hundreds, even thousands, or people watching this team. And in a truly American fashion, we can't do things the easy way.
Portugal tied the US in the last minute of stoppage time to crush the dreams of US advancement. Hope is not lost by even a shred, but the dreams of winning two World Cup games in the group stage for the first time since the very first edition of the tournament were crushed. Now, as said earlier, the US will attempt to do things the hard way by advancing in a match against Germany.
The question is can they get a result against the European powerhouse?
Let's find out what my colleagues said.
Matt Ralph - A draw is possible if they play their best; a win would take a miracle.
Frank Cobbina - It depends on the lineup Jogi Low decides to put out. I think Germany's chances of qualifying are 99% plus thanks to their +4 goal difference, but on the other hand there's a big difference between playing likely Group H winners Belgium and potential runners-up Algeria/Russia. The United States might also have to feature some new starters; four days after playing in the jungle of Manaus has to take its toll on some of the players. The USA should do all it can to salvage a draw; like Matt says a win might be asking for too much.
Nicholas Youngstein - A draw is possible, but not likely. I think the US will need Ghana to not win.
Eugene Rupinski - Absolutely. The US has evolved from being a team that struggled to make the World Cup to a regular fixture, and now we're seeing that evolve into a team that is now a legitimate threat to beat any team in the world on any given day. We dominated the fourth ranked team in the world and were 30 seconds away from beating them and advancing in one of the toughest groups in the tournament. We absolutely can advance.
Heather Reppert - I think the Unites States matches much better against Germany than some think. I very much believe that a win is possible. They may not look as good on paper as Germany does, but the will to win and prove people wrong is definitely there.
Barry Evans - Yes they can. Will they? That's the real question. I don't think the US should think "we nearly beat the 4th best team in the world", because Portugal are nowhere near the 4th best team in the world. The US are good enough, however, to hang with Germany and a draw wouldn't be a shocking result. In this world cup, a win is definitely possible. They need to stay organized more defensively however, or Germany will rip them apart like they did to Portugal.
Jared Young - I think that extra day off for Germany will really hurt the United States, who again left everything on the pitch in a ridiculous climate. Even fully rested this is a tough draw for the U.S. but it wouldn't be surprising if there are a few tired lapses that cost them. I'm hoping Ronaldo is ticked and gets a few World Cup goals on Thursday.
Summoning the very best Hollywood has to offer, this modern day Men's national team is drawn to drama. In 2010, they gave me heart palpitations and they are far exceeding those in this year's tournament. This time though they left it to the end to break my heart. As I said earlier the United States will never do things easy, having a chance to advance to the Round of 16 only to lose it in the dying embers of the game. The day was not lost as the much improved US dominated a team that has seen better play, but is nothing to be scoffed at.
Portugal is the fourth ranked team in the World currently and where I don't agree with FIFA's rankings, Portugal is still really good. Let's not forget who their captain is and let's not forget he had almost no impact on the game until the last play. That is a testament to how good the US is right now.
All the doom and gloom about blowing the game against Portugal is preposterous. In December, many of us were saying 4 points heading into the Germany match was all we needed. Isn't that where we are now? I know perspectives change and the way the US have played in this World Cup certainly dictates our opinions of them as a team.
Then shouldn't our opinions be sky high?
In a World Cup filled with upsets, shouldn't we be hopeful the US can get a result from the best team in the group? After the performances against Ghana and Portugal, shouldn't we be expecting this team to fight tooth and nail for the right to advance? I certainly am. This is the best US team we've ever seen play and I'm convinced that they will give the Germans just about everything they have. If we get out of this group of death with even a shred of life this tournament was a success.
Leave it all out on the table boys, because for the first time in a long time the entire country is absolutely paying attention.
Please tell us what you think in the poll and the comments below!