BOSTON (CBS) – The US Men’s National Team’s bid to advance out of the Group Of Death was put on hold after Sunday night’s last minute, dramatic draw in the waning seconds against Portugal.
Now all the attention shifts to Thursday at noon when the US takes on head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s former team in Germany.
In order to advance the United States simply needs a win or a draw against the German team, and even with a loss it’s possible to advance. Meanwhile Germany, who have amassed a tremendous amount of leeway in goal differential for blowing out Portugal 4-0 in their opening match, needs just one point to keep their World Cup hopes alive.
The chatter leading up to USA-Germany is that both teams will somehow collude, end up with a 0-0 result or some form of a tie and both teams move on. Factor in Jurgen Klinsmann (one of the best Germans in tournament history) coaching the United States, and his former assistant Joachim Low managing Die Mannschaft and you’ve got yourself one juicy storyline.
[insert conspiracy theory here]
Jurgen Klinsmann has dismissed all of it, but how realistic is this scenario?
“It’s happened before,” says John Powers of the Boston Globe.
Powers is down in Brazil covering the World Cup and he joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Tuesday morning to discuss Thursday’s pivotal group play match.
“Absolutely [it’s possible]. In fact it was the Germans that did it previously. In 1982 the Germans were shocked by Algeria in their first match. They were playing Austria in their final match and the deal was if the Germans won by a goal, or no more than two, Germany would go through, Austria would go through and Algeria would be odd-man out and that’s exactly what happened. Everyone hated it. Because of that you may notice the final group matches are always played at the same time, so when the Americans play at noon on Thursday so will Ghana and Portugal.”
But just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s plausible. Powers said a feat of that magnitude would be very hard to pull off.
“It’s pretty hard to orchestrate a tie. You’d really have to trust the other team would do it. It is a bouncing ball and weird stuff happens. You may be wanting to play for a draw and it doesn’t happen for you,” said Powers.
Listen below for the full discussion about the World Cup: