With the 2014 World Cup Draw coming Friday morning, the United States Men’s National Team received horrible news on the teams that would join them in group play: Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Despite this ridiculously tough group, US fans don’t need to start freaking out and planning for 2018; USA could still get out of this deadly Group G.
I know I sound a bit crazy considering all of the humongous hurdles that stand before USA. Yes, Germany is ranked #2 in the world and Portugal follows shortly at the #5 spot. With the US landing at #14, according to FIFA’s rankings, and Ghana rounding the group out at #24, Group G is certainly the most deadly of them all. No other group in the World Cup Draw had more than one team in the top five and only two other groups had two teams in the Top 10. Nevertheless, don’t count USA as down and out just yet.
Although there are no cupcake games in this group, the USA still stands a strong chance to get some vengeance in their first match of the World Cup against Ghana. You may well remember the exciting 2010 World Cup Round of 16 match in which Ghana bested the US in an exciting 2-1 match and I can most certainly guarantee that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad has not forgotten. USA will be out for redemption and could very well win that initial match and earn three vital points.
From there, all it takes is a win against either Germany or Portugal to almost guarantee passage into the Round of 16 for USA. That is an extremely tall order, I know, but it could happen. This is one of the best US squads we have seen in a long while and they seem to be firing on all cylinders. Let us not forget that the USMNT has had some recent success against some of the world’s best teams including the very Germany team which will meet them in the World Cup group play. The US scraped out an exciting 4-3 win against the German squad just this last June. Even if they can only get a draw or two out of those tough matches, the US could still get some help from the other teams in their group in order to reach the Round of 16.
When June 2014 comes around, the US will still have a chance to move on from the group stage in the World Cup and show the world that they mean business. Do not count them out yet because, if you do, you might be eating your words.