Four games today spread across Groups G and H is highlighted by the game that matters so much, but could be the most boring of the four: USA vs Germany. First, here's your schedule:
Now here are all the scenarios for Group G advancement, provided by the mothership and Center Line Soccer:
If you're looking for a way to get out of work, Jurgen Klinsmann has you covered. Now on to the actual matches.
United States vs Germany: No doubt you've followed all of the scenarios for a US advancement, but they are pretty simple. Win or draw and they're in. A draw in the Portugal-Ghana game will also put both the US and Germans through based on points already accumulated.
If you want a more detailed breakdown check that out here, but suffice to say this game will probably start slow and remain that way unless one team lucks into a goal and forces the hand of the other. In a track meet type of situation you can't like the US chances, but Germany isn't likely to push the pace too much in fear of the counterattack from the US.
Portugal vs Ghana: The big news when we went to bed last night was that the Ghana players were finally getting paid. Then shortly after waking up this morning even bigger news came out: Ghana has suspended Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari. Muntari drew his suspension for a physical altercation with the Ghana national team's management (this is what happens when you screw with player payments), and Boateng was suspended for criticizing Ghana's team manager. This is huge, and good, news for the US and good news for Portugal as well.
Portugal has a massive goal differential hole to dig out of and having two of Ghana's best attackers not with the team will no doubt keep the heat off Portugal's backline. This could mean a full out Portugal attack to turn their slim odds of advancing into something similar to an average chance. In the end though, as long as the US doesn't lose to Germany they are in absolutely no danger of being eliminated by Portugal. On the other hand, if Germany lays the whipping on the US they are capable of then things might get very interesting.
Belgium vs South Korea: Belgium has already clinched a way through to the knockout stage and will likely take it easy against South Korea. The Koreans are fighting for a chance to go through themselves but will need Russia to eek by Algeria and then dominate a likely bemused Belgium squad to make up their goal differential.
Russia vs Algeria: The winner of this game should go through to the knockout stage and would take on the winner of US vs Germany. A potential rematch for the 2010 World Cup game vs Algeria would be enticing to US fans, but at this point I think anyone in the country will just take a guaranteed spot in the Round of 16 regardless of opponent.
There you have it guys. Enjoy the most unproductive day you'll have in years. And in case you had any doubts about the dedication some fans have, there's this:
Flooding in Recife. Teddy Goalsevelt guiding our car through the tough waters. Onwards to the stadium! #LetsDoThis pic.twitter.com/lUEi5Rcxlf— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 26, 2014