So it really comes down to this.
This is the scenario that everybody joked about on that fateful day in late-July 2011 when Klinsmann was named head coach of the US Men's National Team. And then we all chuckled about it nervously after December's draw. Now it's here. The third and final group-stage game in the World Cup - a game that can make us or break us - against Klinsmann's old team and protégé-turned-master Joachim Löw.
The caveats, intangibles and second-guesses are too numerous for even the most seasoned of experts to predict how either coach is going to play the game, or what the final result is likely to hold. Quality vs. motivation. Survival instinct vs. wounded pride. Hot dogs vs. bratwursts. Who can even try to say where the four teams of Group G will stand in less than 24 hours?
Our YA panel of seasoned experts, that's who.
Well, at least we've given it the old college try.
Well folks I hate to say it but I'm going negative here. I see the US being gassed from the rumble in the jungle. Germany is also the better team with more depth. The United States center of the midfield just can't keep it up for three straight games and the US loses 3-1 to the Germans. That coupled with a 2-1 Ghana win over Portugal and the Yanks head home with a third place finish in the group.
I will go with a 2-1 loss for the USMNT and a third place finish as Ghana wipes the floor with Portugal.
Germany 6 - USA 0 Ghana 3 - Portugal 0 See ya in Russia.
I do not think the US can keep up with Germany. They need to repeat what they did against Portugal and the lack of recovery time may affect how well they can contain the Germans. US loses 2-0. Finishes in third place.
The United States is coming into this game with less recovery time compared with the Germans. They will certainly need to use whatever they have left in the tank - and then some - to keep up with die Nationalmannschaft. Germany will not hold back and try to win as they want to show the Ghana game was a fluke. Despite a bad result, Ghana will not get what they need against Portugal in Brasilia. Germany 2, USA 1 and both come out of the group.
Despite a heretofore excellent performance by our boys in blue, we blew our chance to advance last time out. Although a mathematical possibility, it is simply unrealistic to think that the US can get a result versus Germany-no matter what the situation is. We can hope against hope, and scream ourselves hoarse, but we're nowhere near Germany in pretty much every category, except for being American - we rule that one. Look for a sound 2-0 beat down. That leaves us hoping for Portugal to stop being Portuguese, and start playing like they gots a pair. I think the US has a better shot of beating Germany. 4-1 Ghana over Portugal.
I'm torn when it comes to this match and not because I have connections to Germany myself. My head screams it will be a 3-1 Germany win, considering the strength in attack and midfield the Germans have. Yet, the lack of quickness from the German back four (assuming Jogi Löw continues to employ four center backs) gives my heart that bleeds red, white and blue hope of the United States pulling off a shocker. It's a tough decision. Screw it. The heart wins: The Yanks somehow win a thriller, 3-2.
It's a disaster. The Germans are already leading 4-0 at the half. Both seeing their chance to advance, Ghana and Portugal turn an otherwise bland 1-0 Portuguese halftime lead into an astounding 6-6 90th-minute draw. With both teams becoming desperate and reckless to not blow the opportunity, Michael Essien draws - and converts - what looks to be the winning penalty for the Black Stars in the 92nd. But in a twisted moment of irony, "San Ronaldo", as he is forever called by USMNT fans following the game, scores his first goal of the 2014 tournament with the last kick of the game to assure mutually destructive draw for both teams, sending the Yanks through despite their own 7-0 loss to ze Germans.
I think the US and Germany draw...I'm not saying there will be anything dubious about it but I think the US will give up a first half goal (natch) and then claw back for a draw. Germany will be satisfied with the draw and winning the group. 1-1 final. I do wonder, however, if it's tied in the 75th minute and Low brings out Klose...will Klinsmann just walk over and punch his former assistant?