The United States had their hearts broken with a crushing last-minute 2-2 draw against Portugal on Sunday, but hopes are still alive for the U.S. to advance to the Round of 16.
Below are the scenarios for the U.S. to advance.
1) The U.S. advance with a win or a draw against Germany
2) The U.S. advance with a loss to Germany and a draw between Portugal and Ghana.
3) The U.S. advance with a loss to Germany and by winning a tiebreaker against the winner of Portugal and Ghana.
Should the U.S. fall to Germany, Ghana would qualify in their place if they win by two goals or more. If the U.S. loses by one goal, the Black Stars need two goals or a high-scoring one goal victory. Meanwhile, Portugal must erase a goal-difference of five to bypass the Americans.
Omar Gonzalez made his World Cup debut, but he could not help the U.S. preserve the victory needed to put themselves through to the Round of 16 after two matches as the U.S. drew Portugal 2-2.
Gonzalez entered the match for Graham Zusi in the first minute of second half stoppage time with the U.S. ahead 2-1, but the Portuguese leveled four minutes later. The decisive goal came in the fifth minute of stoppage when Cristiano Ronaldo found Silvestre Varela who beat U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard for the game-tying strike.
The fact that Gonzalez came into the match could bode well for his prospects heading into the decisive group stage match against Germany as center back Geoff Cameron was beat on both Portuguese goals. With Germany expected to press the Americans early and often, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann may opt for a change of pace heading into the final group stage match.
Think Omar Gonzalez starts against Germany?
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Jermaine Jones' equalizer to pull the U.S. level a 1-1 against Portugal.
The day is finally here.
The U.S. will take on Portugal in a match that will decide if they advance to the knockout round with a victory. Check out the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com "By the Numbers" below.
CARSON, Calif. – The U.S. National Team will need to make do without target striker Jozy Altidore for their “win and you’re in” group stage match against Portugal on Sunday.
Just how head coach Jurgen Klinsmann replaces the physical forward who is out with a hamstring injury remains to be seen and Galaxy forward Landon Donovan is among those wondering just how he’ll go about it against the Portuguese in Manaus.
“I don’t know. I wish I knew the answer to [how to replace Jozy]. It’s going to be interesting to see how the coaches adjust," Donovan said. "Whether you leave[Clint Dempsey] up there by himself or you play another forward with him. I’m sure they’ve watched the Portugal tape over and over and they’ll have an idea how to beat them. At the end of the day, it’s still 11 v. 11 but there’s no question that the team will miss Jozy.”
But no matter who fills in for Altidore, Donovan is confident that the U.S. can earn the win needed to get through to the knockout round for the second consecutive tournament.
“It’s amazing how results change things and even one goal changes things,” said Donovan. “That goal by John Anthony Brooks coupled with Portugal losing, now you look at a scenario where you win the game then you’re through against a somewhat beaten up Portuguese team. It’s amazing how it is coming together, but it can go the other way too. You have to be prepared and it’s going to be a fascinating match.”
CARSON, Calif. – England and Spain eliminated while Italy and other global powers find themselves on the ropes? Not many foresaw that heading into the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan gave his explanation for the failings of the European giants in Brazil.
Speaking to reporters on Friday after LA Galaxy training, Donovan said that the poor showing of the European powers may be due to the rigors of the club season.
“I have a theory on that and it doesn't always hold true, but I think that it’s very difficult for teams with players playing in England or Spain that are playing 50 or 60 high-level games a year,” said Donovan. “They just get worn down throughout the year and then they travel to South America where it’s hot and difficult. I think that players are just getting worn out. There’s a lot of thought that more is better as far as training, but I think the opposite. I think that less is more and the teams that got the training right before the World Cup are the ones that are excelling right now.”
Even though several notable European sides are struggling, Donovan believes that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is showcasing the newfound parity of global soccer.
“The soccer world is smaller than ever. There’s more players playing everywhere around the world. They understand how to get results and they're not intimidated anymore. It used to be different in the past,” said Donovan. “There is no more of that anymore. You see that with a lot of little teams doing well. You're seeing teams that are organized and the teams that are fit are succeeding.”
If the LA Galaxy are going to get past the Carolina RailHawks, they’ll need to beat the NASL side in a different venue than past years.
The RailHawks will be unable to host the U.S. Open Cup fifth round match between the two clubs scheduled for June 26 at their home ground of WakeMed Soccer Park due to scheduled field resurfacing. With WakeMed unavailable, the match will be held at Koka Booth Stadium, which is known locally as Field 2, a practice pitch that is adjacent to main stadium. The surface will not be unfamiliar to the Galaxy as the club trained on the pitch during both of their previous trips to Carolina.
The timing of the resurfacing process made by both the RailHawks' and the Town of Cary,which manages and maintains the facilities at WakeMed Soccer Park. According to Indy Week reporter Neil Morris, the club weighed the option of hosting the match at nearby universities like Duke and North Carolina before ultimately settling on the Koka Booth Stadium.
"It'll be a very good field, I'm sure," said Arena during Friday's training session. "Our objective is to go there and play well. We have to worry about ourselves because if we play well then we'll be able to win."
To accommodate the demand that the Galaxy game will bring, the RailHawks are attempting to install temporary stands that should raise capacity to near 3,000 while also expanding press box facilities.
Thoughts on the RailHawks hosting the game on a practice field?