BOSTON (CBS) – Fox Soccer contributor and Revs beat writer Kyle McCarthy called in to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show Tuesday night to talk about Team USA’s dramatic win over Ghana in their opening match, as well as a Portugal preview.
When the World Cup groups were drawn back in December it was clear the US Men’s National Team were placed in the group of death, the informal term used to describe the toughest group in the FIFA tournament.
Only two teams per group move on, so the USMNT was faced with the vaunted task of defeating a Ghana team responsible for their previous two World Cup exits, as well as matches against Portugal and Germany, two of the top five teams on the planet.
Advancing to the knockout rounds was unlikely, and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann even said as much.
But the Red Sea appears to be parting for the good guys after a string of fortunate events recently took place: Portugal got blown out 4-0 by Germany in their opening match, which bodes well for the USA in terms of goal differential.
Not only that, but Portugal defender Pepe was charged with a red card for a pointless headbutt in the 38th minute on Germany’s Thomas Muller. Pepe will miss Sunday’s game against the US.
The US may be without Jozy Altidore (hamstring), but a draw against the Portuguese (and avoiding a blowout against Germany) might just be enough.
“A draw should be enough because Portugal took that heavy defeat against Germany. Goal differential is always important, and if the US can keep it tight in the back and get a point against Portugal then they’re looking good to advance to the round of 16,” said McCarthy.
Listen below for the full discussion, including possible lineup changes and the second guess of not having Landon Donovan: