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2014 World Cup, United States vs. Germany: Open thread

Yeah, I'm not even gonna try to publish anything but this until about 2:30 p.m., don't worry.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. men's national team is on the precipice of advancing to the knockout stage of its second straight World Cup — something that would be a first in American history.

Unfortunately, the thing standing between the Yanks and that feat is Germany, maybe the finest team in the world.

Miroslav Klose's goal against Ghana in Germany's 2-2 draw with the Black Stars tied him with Ronaldo as the all-time leading scorer in World Cup history, and Germany's six goals through two games was third behind only the eight-goal blitzes Netherlands and France put on overmatched foes — and Germany did its damage to Portgual and Ghana, two very good teams. Had Germany ended up in a slightly easier group, or had this World Cup been contested anywhere but Brazil, Die Mannschaft would likely have been favored to win the whole thing.

Fortunately, the U.S. doesn't need a win to advance: A draw will get the Americans automatic passage, and even a loss by a respectable margin, one that doesn't allow Ghana or Portugal to leap the U.S. on goal differential, could vault the U.S. to the round of 16. (It's much easier for the Ghanaians, just -1 on the tournament, to make up their deficit on the USMNT's +1 differential than it is for -4 Portugal to do the same, so cheer for the Iberians.)

But where would the fun in "I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN" be if we didn't, you know, believe that we will win? U-S-A. U-S-A.