The USMNT was dealt an incredibly favorable situation following a nail-biting 2-1 thriller against Ghana in their opening match. Being drawn into the “Group of Death” was an incredibly unfavorable turn of fate, but since then it’s been all good news.
First off, the game.
After Clint Dempsey sent the entire nation into a frenzy by scoring just 34 seconds in to the game, the USMNT was playing on the back foot for the entirety of the game. But they continued to hold and hold until the worst imaginable happened and Ghana pushed past the equalizer on a beautifully orchestrated goal, finished by Andre Ayew in the 82nd minute.
All signs pointed to a draw if not worse, but against all odds, in typical American fashion, the “American Outlaws” gritted their teeth, drew a corner and in the 86th minute, John Brooks Jr. drilled a header into the ground that bounced up to find the back of the net.
Just like that, the USMNT and Germany find themselves a solid three points up in the dreaded Group G.
But it’s not just the present that is favoring the USMNT; it’s the future. Their next match-up is against Portugal, who were absolutely stomped by Germany. But not only that, they lost several key players in the process. Hugo Almeida and Fabio Coentrao were both injured and Pepe was handed a red card on an ill-advised head thrust into a downed Thomas Muller.
Couple that with the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo is still not 100 percent, and it’s looking more and more likely that the USMNT can pull off a smashing run through the Group of Death to advance.
It has to be assumed that Germany is going to win all their matches, so essentially the U.S. is playing for second place. They already got a tough Ghanaian squad out of the way, and with Portugal missing three main players, a win or a draw against them could lock up an advance.
That being said, the USMNT still has a lot of work to do. Ghana could easily sneak up on them, so they have to take care of business against Portugal. But now, the situation is far less of a whimsical fantasy and far more of distinct possibility.