Last night was truly an amazing statement about the evolving expectations surrounding the US National Team in this year’s World Cup. Three weeks ago, even people who kind of understood why Landon Donovan wasn’t included in the side would have said that there was really a good chance that the US would go 0-3 in this group.
In fact, yours truly believed that anything more than a repeat of 1998 when the US went 0-3 and had the worst goal differential of the teams not to get a single point, thus finishing 32nd, would have been a pretty positive result.
Two games in, and we’re devastated by a late header that got us a tie against Portugal and one of the world’s best players in Cristiano Ronaldo, temporarily preventing us from advancing out of the group. Now, with any kind of points against Germany, or a tie between Ghana and Portugal, or even just both games being close enough to not change the current goal differential, and the US will still go through, but it is in question. Germany will not be an easy opponent, and both Portugal and Ghana know what they need to do in their game on Thursday.
But really, a couple of weeks ago, very few people thought we’d be here. So yeah, last night was disappointing, being so, so close to clinching advancement without needing to worry about the game against Germany, but let’s not forget where we are.
Enjoy Thursday’s game for what it is, a chance to beat one of the world’s best and top the Group of Death. #IBelieve.