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After today, how does the USMNT advance to the knockout stage...

chicagobuckeye's picture
June 16, 2014 at 9:35pm

I feel as though there are 5 groupings of World Cup viewers. 1. The hardcore soccer fans who watch every game, or go to all their local team MLS games. 2. Those who watch many MLS and European games. 3. Those who know the big names and watch the occasional soccer game if nothing else is on. 4. Those who watch the World Cup because it is world class soccer at its finest. 5. Those who watch USMNT because 'Merica and who doesn't hate commies.

This is more aimed at the final two groups who may like watching the team play, but aren't as well versed in how the tournament will work.

For group play, all teams are garuanteed 3 games, against, you guessed it, those in their group. After those 3 games are done within their group, the top two teams (we'll get to how they are seeded in a minute) move forward to the knockout stage.

Teams that win a game, no matter the margin, are given 3 points. Teams that tie a game are given 1, and teams that lose are given 0. So, in the group stage if a team wins all three games they would get a total of 9 points. If they won two and tied another they would be given 7, and so on. If two teams are tied in points either between 1st and 2nd, and 2nd and 3rd, it goes to goal differential, or a teams net number of goals (goals for less goals against). If there is still a tie, then it will be on total goals, or total for. Then it will be the head to head result, followed by a random draw.

As Group G sits:

Germany - 3 pts +4 goals

United States - 3 pts +1 goal

Ghana - 0 pts -1 goal

Portugal -  0 pts -4 goals

In order for the United States to advance there are a few scenarios in which they would for sure be granted a spot in the next round and then a few with which they would need some help/ win by a big margin to move on.

If the United States wins their next two games, then they move on as the top of group and play the 2nd place team from Group H (Russia, Belgium, Algeria, South Korea).

If the United States tie the next two games giving them 5 points, then they would at least move on as the 2nd place team. In the other two games in the Group, Germany vs. Ghana, and Portugal vs. Ghana, if Germany were to either win, or tie they would go in as the first spot with either 7 points, or 5 as well winning on goal differential. If Germany were to lose, then Ghana could take the top spot if they also beat Portugal, with a total of 6 points. If Germany were to lose, and Portugal were to tie, then it would come to goal differential between Germany and Ghana. If Germany were to lose, and Portugal were to beat Ghana, then it would come down to goal differential between Portugal and Germany.

If Portugal were to beat the U.S. next game, then the U.S. would need to win against Germany, and depending on the results from Portugal v. Ghana, and Germany v. Ghana would either be sitting atop by themselves, or in a tie at the top and it would come down to goal differential. 

If the U.S. were to beat Portugal, and lose to Germany, then either the U.S. would be in second behind Germany if they won, or tied in 1st with Ghana and Germany and would come down to goal differential again.

In essence, if the U.S. has a combination of wins or ties will move on to the next round. Any losses, and it does come down much closer. In the end, the win today sets the U.S. up well and controlling their own destiny.

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jamesrbrown322's picture

Bottom line, a win Sunday clinches advancement, and a draw makes it extremely likely, unless they get absolutely destroyed by Germany and/or Portugal dominates Ghana.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+3 HS
Bolt's picture

What worries me is that Ghana look very open to the counter (we couldn't execute anything in the midfield to take advantage for most of yesterday) and Ronaldo & co. thrive on that and could have a field day against them if the Ghanaians play so agressively and press forward so much like they did against us. I could see Portugal going off and beating them by a few goals and making ground on their current goal differential pit...not super likely but I could easily see it. At that point we have to hope that Germany takes their foot off the pedal with the top spot in the group clinched. Then again, I could see Ghana notching a few goals on Portugal with how shaky they looked defensively even before Pepe was sent off. Exciting stuff. Just happy to have 3. The day looks much brighter today!

jamesrbrown322's picture

I am hoping that they pull of another win over Portugal, and make the Germany game anticlimactic.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

Wilkins78's picture

It's also likely Ghana will have nothing to play for, if Germany takes care of business, so that could be another advantage for Portugal.

brunstar's picture
+1 HS
Groveport Heisman's picture

Tie and we are in for sure. Im more interested in who our opponent will be in the first KO match. Lets just assume we finish second to Germany but make it out of group.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

Deadly Nuts's picture

If we get out of the group I would say we have a good shot at beating whoever we would play from group H.


+1 HS
KeithMC33's picture

Whoever finishes 2nd in our group most likely gets Belgium, and they are stacked! That will get a difficult game for any team in our group.  

Seattle Linga's picture

Someone mentioned this before but if Germany beats Ghana they may actually rest some players which may give us a chance. I doubt that will happen but you never know.

Scarlet_Buckeye's picture

I'd upvote chicagobuckeye if I could

chicagobuckeye's picture

Thanks just bored after work figured id help. 

+3 HS
chitown buckeye's picture

Thank you for this! I fall into your 5th Category ( Merica!, Freedom!) I did enjoy watching the game yesterday but had no idea what had to happen next for advancement. 

"I'm having a heart attack!"

+1 HS
KBonay's picture

Start Braxton, Eze E and Wilson?

+1 HS
OSU069's picture

They can be the midfielders and just outrun everyone. 

FROMTHE18's picture

It was simple from the start: the US had to beat Ghana, there had to be a winner in the Germany/Portugal game, and then the US would have to play very well against Portugal and get a draw, and then hope they get through on goal differential. I don't see the US beating Germany, especially with the loose defending and the lack of a strong midfield. With Pepe out, although he isn't Ronaldo, it helps the US' chances against Portugal. Also, Portugal has some quality players but it really does look like Ronaldo is the only threat to score for them. I think the US will have to play for the draw and play a very, very defensive match against Portugal in order to provide the opportunity to advance out of the groups. There was a constant issue with defenders getting caught out of position and midfielders not marking anyone, Ghana just refused to trust their wings to play effective balls into the box. If the US gives Ronaldo, or even Nani, space, then I'd expect Portugal to score. If the US give up more than one, I'd find it extremely difficult to think they can bring it back for a draw as I don't believe they score two. Stranger things have happened, but the best chance is to play super defensive and get a draw against Portugal and get through on goal differential. 

+2 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

One thing is certain - if the midfield plays Portugal the way it played against Ghana, they'll lose. Hopefully they learned some lessons that they'll apply going forward. Also, the loss of Altidore, and his importance to the U.S. strategy and overall attack cannot be overstated.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

logamaniac's picture

germany is going to win the WC

Groveport Heisman's picture

After the first week and watching every game I would say Germany vs. Netherlands for the final.France and a couple others are close. Of course nothing is as it seems so I'm holding on to hope that we have as good a shot as anyone.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

jamesrbrown322's picture

I've thought that for a while. Although Brazil is Brazil, and it is their home turf. Germany is by far the best all around team, but Brazil's individual players are excellent, so it will be interesting. And you never, know, Spain may get pissed and just go crazy now. They are still really, really good, but the Netherlands certainly looks formidable as well.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

Mortc15's picture

Don't know much about soccer strategy or anything like that, but I've watched a fair number of games and Germany, to me, was easily the most impressive. Flawless passing, defense, really no weak links anywhere. I thought to myself that Germany has to be a favorite to win it all after being up 3-0 at half. 


logamaniac's picture

Germany is just a machine. They've been at the top for so long it's just insane. Is it technique?  Is it athleticism?  Is it both?


ignoring the fact that Germany merely won their first game, they destroyed PORTUGAL. That's not like beating a Mexico or Australia or the united states. 


Id love it if there was a 30 for 30 or something about the benefits of genetic conditioning with things like the nazis pairing Germans to create superior traits. Or even compounding with the advances the Germans had in sports sciences with their programs dating back to the time before the wall tear down when they were at the forefront of steroids etc.  but that's the nerd in me geeking on history. 

-1 HS
jrich612's picture

This is the German MO though. They dominate the group stage and a game or two in the knockout rounds and then they just...lose.