USMNT drawn into World Cup Group G with Germany, Ghana, Portugal

Clint Dempsey (8), Miroslav Klose (11)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The draw for the 2014 World Cup was not kind to the United States.

The U.S. Men’s National Team was handed one of the most difficult groups in World Cup history as they were placed in Group G with Germany, Ghana, and Portugal, with matches in the north (Manaus) and northeast (Natal and Recife) of Brazil. In addition, the distances between the venues they’ll play in and their home base in Sao Paulo are vast. The U.S. will likely end up traveling nearly 9,000 miles in the group stage alone.

Group G is filled with plenty of story lines, from USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann facing his native Germany to the never-ending rivalry between the USA and Ghana.

Here’s a closer look at the outcome of the rest of the draw:

2014 FIFA WORLD CUP DRAW

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico Cameroon

Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia

Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan

Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy

Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras

Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria

Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA

Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea

——

What did you think of the draw? Worried about the USMNT’s chances? Think they can make it into the knockout stages? What other groups do you think are the toughest?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, FIFA, FIFA World Cup, U.S. Men's National Team, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

415 Responses to USMNT drawn into World Cup Group G with Germany, Ghana, Portugal

  1. Ron says:

    Dear Ives,

    Never, ever, ever say you have a “good feeling that the US is going to get a favorable draw” ever again.

    Sincerely,

    Ron and the Rest of USMNT fans.

    • John says:

      I wanted Group E so bad

    • Steve says:

      Honestly, this draw is tough. But I am going to love watching every one of these matches. Maximum drama!

      • Lorenzo says:

        Hey, we almost didn’t advance from a group with England, Slovenia, and Algeria. (Although it was fair we won the group). But if we are going to not advance, at least it be to powerful teams and not weaker teams.

        • beachbum says:

          and hopefully when we score honest goals they will be counted :)
          twice last WC they weren’t, and still we won the group. that’s pretty cool no matter who was in that group with us

      • USMNT Fan says:

        Chances Germany does us Klinsmann a favor in game three?

        • John says:

          It is interesting that Germany could very well have 6 points already. With this group having more travel then any other I could see Germany resting a few starters.

      • Umlaut says:

        That was my second reaction this morning after seeing the draws (the first of course being “HOLY HELL WE MIGHT AS WELL NOT EVEN GO WHAT THE F%CK). I’m so excited right now, more than I can ever remember being after WC draws. I put our chances of advancing somewhere along with my chances of marrying Kate Upton, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love trying to woo her.

        • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

          Either you’ve got some mad game Umlaut, or our chances are much better than that. I have us at 1/4, and double that if we beat Ghana first game.

    • Joamiq says:

      Ives is a walking talking soccer curse

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      We should look to Tinsletown for preparation. There has been a recent disturbing spate of Hollywood torture films about people brutalized in front of their families (eg, The Strangers, The Purge), with minimal social remeeding value in the plot. You watch people get beaten for 2 hours and then the film ends with some survivors. This seems somehow relevant.

      I am a Houston sports fan (Texans, Astros), so I deserved a respite on that basis alone.

      Soccer has an any given Sunday possibility about it and we’ll try our best. But there is no wiggle room in this draw, so all the problem spots where we have had questions will need to be resolved before game 1. No room for Bornstein or Clark type personnel glitches. Klinsi was supposed to be a gamechanger and this draw will demand actualization of that sales pitch. If it’s any consolation we don’t have to win the group, just finish second. I think the quality vesus quality draw will create some space for passage with the right results, ie, every team in the group has a tough draw and could lose any fixture.

    • AlexH says:

      It’s all Ives’s fault. Off with his head!!!!

    • Dennis says:

      I like this draw. No one will be able to say the US advanced only because of a lucky draw. No de minimis statements saying the opponents really are not that good anyway.

      The story line behind each of the 3 games almost writes the publicity blurbs for TV in the US itself. It might be that the majority of TVs in the US will be tuned into the 3 games (assuming the US stays in contention all through).

    • V-8 says:

      It’s just not the same without Ibra!

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      Pro Soccer, FIFA, and all governing bodies, are corrupt from top to bottom.

      Everything match we play has a major story line you can sell to the non-fan with the sole purpose of popularizing the sport in the US

      Everything you see is a lie

  2. Benjamin C. says:

    The draw is brutal, the draw is unfair, but it is the World Cup and you simply have to man up and give it everything you’ve got. Stars have to be stars, so I would look to Howard, Altidore, and Bradley to continue being our best players, Johansson and Cameron to introduce themselves on the world stage, and for Dempsey and Donovan to have one last Cup hoorah. Grit and determination have always been the USMNT trademarks, and that is what it will take to get out of this group where we are frankly overmatched on paper.

    • DR7_Liverpool_ says:

      Very exciting times in these next few months, guys will have to step it up on their club level and translate it back to the USMNT this summer, cannot wait til June!!!!!

    • Mark says:

      Well put.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      The issue is not so much the stars as whether the XI/23 resolves all potential Lewis/Reyna/Bornstein/Clark type problems in the lineup. This draw seems the sort, like 2006, to expose any weaknesses left in a lineup card. Defense needs to get fixed yesterday. This level of draw will not let us pull a Panama/Russia/Bosnia.

      It will also be interesting to see if Klinsi in the face of this draw retracts back into 3 DMs a la Early Ineffective Klinsi or is willing to still try attacking soccer.

      • Umlaut says:

        Good point about the style. Will be interesting to watch, and to see who we schedule for friendlies.

    • Laszlo says:

      We just don’t have the defenders (aside from Howard) to stay with the offensive talent that Germany and Portugal have in their teams. JK needs to move Fabian to left back, pick a RB and settle on a CB pairing. I just don’t see how the U.S. keeps the Germany and Portugal games close, without bunkering and countering.

      • USMNT Fan says:

        Chandler is primed for a return. He starts in the Bundesliga and understands how our German opponents attack. Free Chandler… he’s miles ahead of Evans, an injured Cherundolo or anyone from the Championship. Move Cameron to CB.

        Chandler-Cameron-Besler-Johnson

        • Chris says:

          But Chandler is afraid of airplanes, and this article suggests the USMNT will have to travel 9,000 miles DURING the Group Stage alone…so…maybe a problem there.

        • Umlaut says:

          I remember one game against Slovenia with Chandler at LB and F. Johnson at LM, they worked extremely well together and were constantly a threat in the attack, and they were basically interchangeable. If Chandler ever gets a return to the lineup, I would love to see that again. As for RB, I’m still praying for Dolo to come roaring back. Other than that I say go with Cameron or possibly Lichaj? Please no Evans.

      • Increase says:

        Portugal has faults don’t worry about them.

        Pepe will get a red card in the 8 minute. Then bam easy win.

        Positive thinking!

        • Clevelandfc says:

          I agree that we need Chandler to get his head straight. The best back defenders would be chandler beasler cameron johnson. Or put eric in the back and move johnson up.

    • BK says:

      Since when has Altidore EVER been one of “our best players”?

  3. Soccerhorn says:

    Group of Death. Oh well. If we advance from this group, then maybe – just MAYBE – we’ll finally get some worldwide respect. But I doubt it.

    • Cavan says:

      The U.S. could win the World Cup five times in a row and the pinheads who make up the international sporting press would still pretend that Americans don’t know how to play.

      • Mr_A says:

        Unfortunately, the same pinheads still haven’t installed any goal-detecting technology, and also rely on phantom fouls and the occasional red card to bend results their way. We’ll still show ‘em anyway! Go Yanks!

      • Andy says:

        what’s with the victim-hood mentality?

        If the US won the WC five times in a row the international sporting press would pretend USA doesn’t know how to play? lol wut?

    • James says:

      It’s a tough draw for sure, but I have to say I don’t think it is THE group of death. Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia? That’s equally, if not more hellacious.

      • Bill Brasky says:

        Australia is terrible. Probably one of the worst sides in the tournament.

        • Helium-3 says:

          That is spot on. Gone are world beaters like Kewell and Viduka. Only Cahill is left but he’s not at the same level as Kewell and Viduka.

        • Chris says:

          Australia is the lowest-ranked team in the entire tournament (59, against Spain #1, Netherlands #9, and Chile #15).

          Group G is indisputably THE Group of Death in this WC: two of the Top 5 ranked teams (Germany #2 and Portugal #5) and all four teams in Top 25 (USA #14 and Ghana #24).

      • broadsthooligans says:

        Spain and Germany are about on par with each other. Chile and the Netherlands are both better than any of Portugal, the USA and Ghana. The difference to me is that Australia had no real hope of moving on past the group stages anyway whereas all three of the remaining teams were expecting to move on. They still think that they can move on, but likely only one of three teams who consider themselves knock-out round quality teams will move on. One very good team will miss out because of Spain’s group. Two pretty good teams will miss out because of Germany’s group. Australia is the difference.

        • James says:

          I think you’re spot on with this. In my opinion, if we were in a group with Spain and Netherlands, I would see zero chance of advancing, even if we swapped places with Chile. Perhaps I’m naive, but I am actually somewhat optimistic about our chances in this group.

          So yes, top to bottom, Group G might be better. But overall, I think group B is harder to advance form.

        • dylan says:

          Portugal does not compare to Holland?Did you watch Portugal Demolish Holland in Euro 2012?

          • Louis Z says:

            thanks for keeping me current, I thought we were in 2013 and Portugal needed a playoff game win to make it to the WC.

  4. Daveydoo says:

    The only silver lining as far as I am concerned is that the US will have no pressure, no expectation to win from anyone. Maybe this will release them to play their best, and on any given day, any one of these teams can lose. Maybe we will get some good fortune, but tough tough tough.

    • iggy says:

      makes me feel a little better about this. also we play Germany last, so they may already be thru

    • AlexH says:

      The other silver lining is that we get Germany last so there is a chance that the Germans will have already qualified (although this group is no cakewalk even for them) and will not be playing with maximum ferocity.

      • ann says:

        As I rate the Germans they will give their all in every match to top the group if they advanced and try to avoid the secret favorite Belgium in the next round.

        • Shawn says:

          Not so sure about that. The Germans have a history of gentleman’s agreements in final group matches. If Germany sat at 6 points and the US @ 4, and both could go through on a draw, I think we’d find them most accommodating.

    • THomas says:

      I agree. And the US can reasonably win against Ghana, win or draw Portugal, and draw Germany. A win over Ghana, then draw with Portugal will leave little drama for the Germany game as that’s likely enough to go through if Germany takes care of business.

      • Umlaut says:

        Yeah I’m thinking about it this way:

        Germany 3 3 –
        USA 3 1 –
        Portugal 0 1 3
        Ghana 0 0 0

        I left the result of USA-Germany. In this scenario if we get a tie against an already through Germany, we’re through. If we get a lose, let’s hope it’s respectable, ’cause it’s coming down to goal differential.

        Now I know the USA should never assume Ghana is a win, but I’m just thinking best case scenario here and Ghana is probably the weakest of our opponents.

        • Shawn says:

          I think in that scenario, the Germans would be more than happy to play a handshake game. ;) 0-0, and we both go through.

  5. Chupacabra says:

    FIFA hates the USA.

    I have two F’s of my own for FIFA, and they don’t stand for “federation” or “football.”

    • slowleftarm says:

      FIFA is terrible but how do you explain the easy draw in 2010? US is probably the top potential growth area for soccer in the world too so FIFA should want us to succeed.

  6. JSmiley says:

    Would you rather have Germany, Portugal and Ghana,
    or Spain, Netherlands and Chile in Group B?

    • Dave says:

      I would rather have Group E.

    • Tiny says:

      spain, netherlands and chile. We can beat chile, have the confidence to beat spain since they have already, and holland is a toss up

    • Steve says:

      This. Our draw will be so entertaining.

    • George Friday says:

      To me, Germany/Portugal is about = to Spain/Netherlands. Tie breaker is Chile. I’d take Chile over Ghana 9 times out of 10.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Even assuming Germany is equal to Spain (which I don’t agree with), how is Portugal as good as Holland? Not even close. Chile is better than Ghana and Portugal. Group B is way harder.

        • George Friday says:

          It is about the match up. I don’t think we have the same chance of getting a point from Germany/Portugal as we do with Spain/Netherlands. I like our chances of getting 3 points from Chile a lot better than I do from Ghana. Maybe we make it out with 4 points.

        • THomas says:

          Group B is harder with us inserted, but group G is the group of death because the USA is in there. Brutal for every team.

          • Tim S. says:

            Also, our results against Ghana the last two World Cups is changing our perspective. If we switched with Australia and this was Germany-Portugal-Ghana-Australia, nobody would consider it one of the harder groups because Portugal and Germany would be be clear favorites to go through. Ghana may have had our number, but I do not think they rate as a team most would look at as Group of Death material, especially when Italy ended up in their Pot as a huge threat.

            • THomas says:

              They were a handball and missed PK away from making it to the semi finals last time. They’re good.

      • bb says:

        I’d take Chile over Ghana 10 times out of 10

        • Jw says:

          Ghana tied Congo, and lost to Burkina Faso and Mali in the African cup this year. They’re not that scary.

          • George Friday says:

            Ghana also destroyed Egypt 6-1. Chile lost to Peru earlier in the year. It is all relative. I think US can more easily beat Chile than Ghana.

            • Mason says:

              Ghana then lost 2-1 to Egypt.

              • Rob Jones says:

                “Ghana then lost 2-1 to Egypt.”

                So what? Ghana was already qualified.

              • Mason says:

                No they weren’t. They qualified because they didn’t lose as badly as they Egypt did in the first leg.

                It’s still a loss.

            • Josh says:

              Egypt without an active domestic league lost one game very badly, but even then, Ghana benefited greatly from a decision to not send off a Ghanaian player in that game.

              Also, Ghana hasn’t beaten a team outside of Africa since 2010.

      • Eurosnob says:

        Chile is a better team than Ghana, but Ghana is a terrible match up for us. We have an edge in physicality and athleticism against Chile (and can hurt them on a counter and set pieces), but Ghana is more physical and athletic than the USMNT.

        • slowleftarm says:

          I think a lot of this is just based on the last two world cups. We are better now than back then. And although Ghana deserved to win last time, the game went to extra time and we certainly had a chance to win.

      • Umlaut says:

        Regarding your Chile/Ghana comment:

        While Chile may beat Ghana more often than not, I think since we’re judging this from an American perspective, I would rather have Chile. I mean you’ve seen how we got knocked out of the last two World Cups, right?

        • bryan says:

          i disagree entirely. i wanted to avoid Chile. they will have tons of fans given it’s in South America. i also think they are a better team than Ghana. plus we have extra incentive against Ghana. it may seem crazy given the history, but i think the 3rd time is the charm.

    • ABC123 says:

      Spain, Netherlands and Chile for sure.

      • D says:

        Your all nuts if you’d rather have Spain, Holland, and Chile. We’ll need at least 5 points to make it out of these groups. Spain and Hollan would probably be a tie at best and I don’t want to bank a must win on a good South American team in a WC in Brazil.
        Portugal is overrated and if we can’t beat Ghana, then we don’t deserve the make it out anyway.
        —-
        It’s still not a great draw.

    • Mason says:

      Anyone who says they want a group with the two finalists from last time round is nuts. ESP and NED take six points each in that group, and win it going away. The rest of the group doesn’t even matter.

      • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

        I actually think Spain is ripe to bomb a game they’re supposed to win, but I still wouldn’t want them in my Group.

    • AlexH says:

      On paper I think Group B is stronger but remember that our games are being played damn near on the equator which will play to the benefit of Ghana and Portugal (Potugal has players from places like Sao Tome and other parts of Africa). I would rather play NED and Chile in Manaus / Natal /Recife than Portugal and Ghana. On the bright side the Germans are going to be hating life.

    • Chad says:

      Neither, would prefer either Mexico (A) or Honduras (E) group.

    • Adam M. says:

      Group B is problematic because the second place team probably faces Brasil in the next round. That means one of Brasil, Spain or the Netherlands won’t make it past the Round of 16. Brutal.

  7. Jason B says:

    The first game against Ghana should be exciting with a lot of attacking soccer. Both sides will know that without 3 points from that game it will be extremely difficult to move on. Hopefully Germany and Portugal play a nice boring 0-0 draw because they both play not to lose the first game. Then, if we beat Ghana, we’ll have a chance.

    • BFBS says:

      Or maybe, our best shot lies in Germany beating the other two handily, and our advancing on in a tie-breaker against Portugal (so we beat Ghana, and get a point against Portugal). The heat might take the edge off the Germans, though.

      • Gary Page says:

        This is undoubtedly in my mind, the best, most realistic way for the US to advance. The good news, if there is any, is that if we do advance, we would probably play Belgium who looks good on paper but hasn’t played in a top flight tournament in some time.

      • DanO says:

        Don’t we get Portugal in Manaus? That helps the US. You think pretty boy can hack the heat? The US does that multiple times every qualifying cycle.

    • Mr_A says:

      Germany won’t play for a tie. They mean business, and will work to put it away as soon as they can. 3-1 against Portugal and 2-0 against Ghana by the time we see them.

    • Umlaut says:

      It seems to me we want Germany to win all their games, not draw Portugal. Well, win all but against us, I’m hoping for a tie there.

      • Dennis says:

        If Germany has already won 2 games they may elect to rest players with yellow cards, players who have minor injuries and players who seem to be struggling in the heat and need a bit of rest. That could make it a bit easier for the US, but those subs are still very good players and they will be fresh and motivated. All this fun speculation!

  8. Landon Klinsman says:

    This will be our finest hour. We vanquish our demons against Ghana, outscore Portugal in a goal fest, and Klinsmann’s boys rise up to snatch a point against Germany at the death, silencing the German media’s attribution of past success to Lowe.

    • Michael says:

      Landon Donovan scores a goal from 75 yards out in the last seconds of stoppage time v Germany, then ascends out of the stadium to the sound of heavenly trumpets.

      • TomA says:

        wow. masterful. That made my day.

      • Mason says:

        While a sector of American fans quibble, “Yeah…. But Dempsey trumpets would play more creatively.”

      • Crazy world says:

        Imagine we advance because guys like Jermaine Jones and Fabian Johnson score goals against germany.

      • Landon Klinsman says:

        Ha, cute, but I am guessing Landon won’t be on the field by then. The midfield is getting too crowded and Klinsmann is going to pull a Herb Brooks and take youth over experience. The only other option is that we are coasting so comfortably that Landon’s tired legs need some rest by game 3. Either way, Landon sits the bench versus Germany. I know that Lando plays all over the place so Zusi, Bedoya, or (dare I say) Shea, will get the nod against Germany. Demsey comes on as a sub for Johannson (sp?).

      • Chad says:

        Then we all die since it’s the Apocalypse

    • SilverRey says:

      +1
      I’m fine with having Ghana in our group. We can finally get that off our backs when we win our first game!

    • AndyL says:

      “We do not do things because they are easy, but because they are hard.” – JFK

    • Landon Klinsman says:

      I like some of the optimism. Also consider that the more good teams we leave behind us in the group stage the less strong opponents there are in the quarter finals.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Win over Ghana, draw Portugal, lose to Germany should get us through.

    HOWEVER, my concern is that Portugal absolutely trounce Ghana in their last game, and advance instead of us via goal differential. I think that’s VERY likely.

    • Umlaut says:

      My hope is that Germany is already through in their last game. Then they may not be playing all out which means even if we lose, it’s a more respectable score, maybe just one goal difference rather than multiple goals if we played them in one of the first two games. Then if the game is close, who knows what happens, maybe we pull an Algeria 2010 and grab a goal at the whistle to get a draw and assure our advance.

    • crosebud says:

      Not if Jermaine Joes breaks Ronaldo’s leg in the rain forest!

  10. ABC123 says:

    Average world ranking of our group is 11.25.

    There are two top 5 ranked teams. Neither is us.

    If you add together the rankings of the the top 3 teams you still won’t get to the ranking of the 4th team–which won its entire continent.

    • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

      Ghana won it’s continent? in what competition? They ain’t won nuthin! Point taken though. We have a hard group.

  11. dude says:

    They also gave us the worst travel schedule. Something that won’t matter when history is written, they’ll just look at the results. But that’s maybe the silent killer here. We need to be at the top of our game, exhaustion is something we can’t afford.

    • iggy says:

      our boys can travel really well, might strangely work to our advantage.

    • Hincha Tim says:

      The travel distance could be greatly fixed. Scrap the Sao Paulo training location (it’s a very desirable location so another national team would surely take over the lease) and move it north inches region of Natal/Recipe. Would cut down 1000s of miles of travel and get employers acclimated to the conditions.

      • Hincha Tim says:

        I hate autocorrect!

      • Eurosnob says:

        Even if they do everything you suggested, the USMT will still have the longest travel times in the WC and the games (with the exception of our game against Germany) will be in hot and humid rainforest conditions.

        • Crazy world says:

          weather and travel advantage goes to USA.

          I dont think the weater would be a big issues since it will be Winter time in Brazil.

          However, USA players have experienced long travel and humid conditions in MLS.

          • Mason says:

            Manaus doesn’t really have a winter/summer. It’s in the Amazonian tropical rainforest. Hot and sticky all the time. Average high of 88 F.

            Temperature in Recife and Natal don’t change much, but June and July are on the wetter side. Average high of 82 F.

      • ChrisD says:

        Right. We play Ghana in Natal, Portugal in Manaus, then Germany in Recife. Natal and Recife are 150 mi. apart. Each of them is ~1750 mi. from Manaus. So it would be akin to playing in New York, Santa Fe, and then Baltimore. Btw, average highs in June are 89 in Manaus and 85 in Natal and Recife (both on the Atlantic coast).

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      FWIW does the travel schedule rule out a player like Chandler who beefs about plane rides.

      • Noodles says:

        Not necessarily. If he has that much trouble with long flights, he plays in games 1 and 3 and skips game 2. Games 1 and 3 are a short bus ride away. Now getting him to Brazil in the first place may be hard. Maybe by boat?

      • slowleftarm says:

        No but the fact he isn’t fully committed and isn’t that great anyway should rule him out.

        • Umlaut says:

          I mean he’s undoubtedly an upgrade over Brad Evans. I’m pulling for a roaring return from Dolo, but I could settle for Chandler.

  12. Have just been reading “The Numbers Game – Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong” – sorta the ‘moneyball’ look at soccer. So, any soccer game is determined by 50% talent and 50% luck, which applies to all teams in the group. So we definately have a chance to advance. Real bummer about the travel, though. Sure broadcasters are happy, losts of story lines to hipe.

    • ABC123 says:

      If that were true, Spain and Germany would lose more matches. Spain has lost like 3 matches in FIVE FREAKING YEARS.

    • Mr_A says:

      The same math doesn’t work for soccer, since the refs can add anything from 10-50% of influence, whereas in baseball it’s more like 5-10%. If you call that luck (which it is sometimes, but sometimes it isn’t), then “luck” would have to go to about 70%.

  13. Dimidri says:

    One thing about Portugal-at second glance, they seem more beatable than you initially think (tied Northern Ireland, Israel in qualifying, have some so-so players, etc.) but they, despite that, have been a great tournament team recently-2006 WC semis, 2010 WC barely lost to Spain in R16, lost to Spain in semis of Euro 2012 on penalties.

    • Gary Page says:

      Our best hope is if Ronaldo is injured. Otherwise, whenever he crosses the midfield, someone should pick him up, follow him wherever he goes and then double team him when he has the ball.

      • Chicago Josh says:

        …or if he is frustrated with his teammates and berates them while flailing his arms: inspiring and always a good look

      • Patrick says:

        *Shrug* I can’t Remember in which friendly against Brazil Jermaine Jones leveled Neymar…he wasn’t quite in the game after that. Ditto a game in which Michael Bradley ran Chicarito into the ground. Not that CR7 is easily pushed around….but expect the big US midfielders to introduce themselves early in an “energetic” fashion.

      • Increase says:

        Pepe Red card!

        • bryan says:

          it’s bound to happen. and Bruno isn’t that much more level headed. and as a Madrid fan, i continue to hope that Coentrão sits on the bench.

          • ThatKidNandez says:

            Quick someome get Gatt back on the field! Landon, Davies, Beasley and Gatt are the only players that could catch up to Cr7

      • brian says:

        or he simply melts in the amazon. Its a good venue to play primadonna in.

  14. Maykol says:

    Hmm ok against Portugal, well they have one of the finest starting 11 in the world, minus the striker who is good but I would not rate prostiga in the top 15 strikers today. Also Portugal has practically no bench. Except for bruma, and nelson olievera, who should probably start, nothing the USA can’t handle. That bring said I hope USA and Portugal advance. I love Portugal just as much as if I were born and living there

  15. Dimidri says:

    Feel terrible for Chile. Genuine dark horse who play exciting soccer (unlike Belgium and Colombia who are not actually dark horses once you talk about them that much) have it brutal.

    • Gary Page says:

      Worst for Australia who will be lucky to even get a point. Chile is good enough that they might be able to squeak through, but that is unlikely.

    • Umlaut says:

      I’m publicly predicting here and now that Chile and Spain advance, leaving Australia to rub Netherlands’ back through their existential crisis.

      No European team has ever won the WC in S. America. Using that same knowledge I’m giving dark horse Chile the advantage over Netherlands.

  16. dave says:

    Unlike most others complaining and lamenting, I’m still excited to see the US play in the World Cup. Let’s have some faith and enjoy it!

  17. AC says:

    Let the conspiracy theories begin. Really hope the USA takes it to Ghana.

    • Mason says:

      Yeah. I’ll be content if they can just do that. Get 3 points against Ghana and then you’re playing with house money.

    • Sean says:

      Okay. Well how’s this for coincidental drama? You have Klinsmann’s going up against his native country where he played and coached. You have a US team that has, recently, been taking potential German National pool players. You have the US facing the team that knocked them out twice in the previous two World Cups. You have the same team which obliterated Bob Bradley’s Egypt side and US youth sides in recent times. And then you have the player with probably the biggest star power from a marketing perspective coming to the homes of one of the wealthiest, up-and-coming soccer nations of 300 million people whose homes could be tuned in. The country that had the most financially successful World Cup in history, if I’m not mistaken.

      Boy I couldn’t have scripted that better. But I sure could have scripted it if I were trying to create drama and take in dollars.

    • John Cocktosen says:

      This time, it will be impossible for Ghana to kick us out of the tournament.

      Take that Ghana!

  18. dude says:

    our boys are used to the weather and the travel but yeah our training base situation sucks

    Gonna be great for Traveling Fans Manaus in the Amazon the Recife and Natal are resort towns

    warm weather suits us and the ghanians fine not so much the europeans

    • Mason says:

      Yeah, but the flight situation sucks. No flights from NA or CA to Natal means home-basing out of Recife and/or connecting back from Rio or Sao Paulo. Ick.

  19. ABC123 says:

    Also…

    France into Group E.
    Brazil with whatever the heck they call that draw.
    Argentina with whatever the heck they call that draw.
    USA v. Germany
    USA v. Ghana
    Spain v. Netherlands
    Uruguay v. England

    Just please, please stop the charade of pretending this is legitimate. I will respect this so much more if you just match up teams OPENLY by whatever dominant storyline in the press you want to play with.

    • John says:

      FIFA giving its favorite son Messi pretty much a free pass to the Quarterfinals.

      • ABC123 says:

        No surprise there.

        Messi and Brazil draw eyeballs. They both get shockingly easy groups.

        • John says:

          Brazil is going to have a pretty rough one after the group against either Spain or Netherlands most likely, while Argentina should have no problem with anyone coming out of E.

          • Adam M. says:

            That’s right. One of Brasil, Spain or the Netherlands will be out at 16 and would be considered a massive failure by any. Makes some of these group of death arguments seem a little narrow.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I’m not saying it’s a totally honest draw because I doubt that it is but why wouldnt’ they give Ronaldo an easier draw too? I think there’s some fudging here and there but I don’t think everything is planned out in advance.

      • ABC123 says:

        I think it’s about the TV market.

        Ronaldo versus USA? Largest TV market in the world. Huge portuguese populations here.

        He’s a huge draw of course, but not on the levels of Messi and Neymar in South America–who they know will lead to just wild tv ratings and merchandising.

        • Sean says:

          From a commercial standpoint, Ronaldo has more appeal than Messi and Neymar and others. They’d want him hitting the biggest market.

          • QuakerOtis says:

            Right. The average American has no idea what a Messi is, but they know what Ronaldo looks like in his underwear.

  20. John says:

    Nothing changes, not getting out of the group is still a failure.

    • ABC123 says:

      What a stupid comment.

      If we got out of this group it would be the ultimate triumph in the history of our team. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.

      • John says:

        …and what is it if we don’t make it out of the group?

      • ABC123 says:

        Sorry, angry.

      • Maykol says:

        Yeah it seems funny to celebrate getting out of the group, but advancing from this group would be one of the greatest us achievements ever, but I hope that would mean us seeing at least quarterfinals

      • dantheblue says:

        -1

        Your comment is the stupid comment. ALL games that teams compete in are winnable… Period…

        • ABC123 says:

          That’s like saying Chattanooga should expect to beat Alabama. It’s a dumb comment. It really is.

          “All games are winnable” get this nonsense platitude out of here.

          • bb says:

            I call it “coachspeak”. Just locker room talk, something you’d put on a poster to pyche up the players.

            Bottom line is, anyone who EXPECTS to get out of a “Group of Death” is unrealistic.

            So anyone who would label the US a failure if we get out of the group is completely nuts!

          • John says:

            So what would be a success for Klinsmann at the World Cup? A point? A goal? He goes on and on about how far he has brought this program but has he really done anything coaches before him haven’t? Should we all say he’s done a great job as long as we don’t loose any by more then 3?

        • away goals says:

          Of course all games are winnable but it’s okay to want the best results for your team while still having a working understanding of probabilities.

      • Louis Z says:

        I expect us to beat Ghana, anything less is a failure. A tie to Portugal and Germany would be the cherry on top

  21. Cairo says:

    I know I’m in the minority, but I love this group. Honestly, getting out of the group is no longer the ultimate goal, is it? For me, the goal is the quarterfinals, and we’re going to have to beat a couple of good teams to get that far anyway-why not in the group stage? I’m happy because I am guaranteed to see the US play against a bunch of great players (CR7, Ozil, Schweinsteiger, etc…), and the plot lines are even better than 2010–Klinsmann’s Germany coached by his former assistant, our nemesis Ghana, and a Portugal whose “golden generation” was exposed by the US, including youngsters Donovan and Beasley. Tons of fun. I’d rather have this than Switzerland, et al… (no one would give us credit for winning the weakest group–let’s try to get out of a strong one). I’m pretty sure that Germany and Portugal were unhappy to see our name in their group as well, so there’s a chance we can do this

    • dantheblue says:

      +1

      Well said Cairo

    • slowleftarm says:

      I’d rather have an easy draw but I did notice in trawling some foreign websites that when fans of other countries speculated on their potential best and worst draws, the US was usually the team they picked out of pot 3 for their worst scenarios.

      • bb says:

        No doubt the US is one of the reasons this group is so difficult. That said, I’d still rather be in an easy group.

    • drew says:

      Agreed. We are going to get some great games to watch. We have no South American team, which can be seen as a positive and the travel is going to effect everyone in the group. If we are a fantastically conditioned team – as we usually are – the travel could be to our advantage. The German and Portuguese players will be coming off grueling club schedules and deep runs in the Champions League….Yes, there is a lot of looking on the bright side here, but bottom line – it’s going to be some great soccer to watch.

      • Sharkbait says:

        “and the travel is going to effect everyone in the group”

        Unfortunately that isn’t entirely true. The US-Portugal match is the only one in Manaus for our group so Ghana and Germany get to avoid the long haul to the Amazon.

  22. Nate Dollars says:

    nice thing for klinsmann (not that he’s happy about this) is that the expectations will be so low, we could get 0 points next summer, and people would still want to keep him.

  23. dantheblue says:

    Germany and old glory at 8 am on my birthday… Here’s to hoping we are sitting on 6 points and the Germans come in complacent… I think I’ll wake up early, have a hearty breakfast, take my wife to a viewing bar and get rip roaring drunk to celebrate 54 years on the planet and a USA victory.

    Oh, and all you whiners about “rigged” and “fixed” … Shut up. It is what it is and let’s move forward. Its a tired and immature argument… Life was never promised to be fair so get over it.

    • Michael says:

      Happy birthday, in advance; the Portugal game will be on my 37th.

      Not trying to quibble, I actually am not sure about this and would love for anyone to clarify: I think the Germany game will be at 9 am, since Pacific Time Zone will be Daylight Savings in June.

      Standard time for Los Angeles is GMT -8, Recife is GMT -3, so during our DST it’s a four-hour difference – unless my math or understanding of the time zones is wrong, which is possible, if not likely.

      PS Okay, I’m probably a mix of Biggest Nerd & Worst Math Student at this point, but further investigation made me realize you may live in Alaska, in which case I think we’re both right. I assumed you were in PST because I thought, incorrectly, that Alaska was 2 hours behind California instead of 1.

    • Gary Page says:

      I share your birthday and was hoping for a better present. I’m 68 and have been following soccer for at least 40 years. Whatever happens, I know the US is fielding its best team ever. I think there are more really good teams this time than I can ever remember.

  24. CO'D says:

    The every other WC cycle (brutal & manageable) strikes again. Gotta suck it up & get to work but you gotta love FIFA & their inability to even groups out a bit. Its like “Yeah hey, lets make some super top heavy groups and then some jokingly light groups.”
    Awesome.

  25. AH says:

    Damn. Can’t believe we got the game in Manaus. That’s OK, though, I think our guys might be able to better handle it that the Portuguese. Hopefully CR7 will be weighed down by the extra hair product that the jungle humidity requires.

    Anyway, looking across all the groups, this is going to be an awesome world cup. There are great matchups throughout.

    • AH says:

      Also, I know Brazilians think that the Portuguese speak an ugly version of the language. Maybe the neutrals in Brazil will root against hate the old colonizers?

      • dantheblue says:

        AH, that’s an interesting contribution. As an amateur linquist, I’m curious why you say that? Do you know because you are Brazilian and speak Portuguese or do you know of someone and they’ve made that comment?

        • AH says:

          About the language, it’s just something I’ve heard from Brazilians I’ve met over the years. And something echoed by journalist Tim Vickery, who has been based in Brazil for many years. Just that the version from Portugal is more gutteral. Personally I don’t speak the language so couldn’t speak to it.

          • dantheblue says:

            thanks for the clarification. Sounds a lot like the difference (subtle) between Spanish/Argentinan spanish from the rest of the spanish speaking world…

  26. A.S. says:

    One silver lining.

    IF we get past the group stage, we will likely meet Belgium or Russia in the Round of 16. That’s a winnable match.

  27. Chris says:

    Portugal, who we shocked in the World Cup once before. Portugal, who now has Ronaldo.
    Ghana, who has knocked us out of two consecutive World Cups.
    Germany, who we lost two in controversial fashion in the World Cup. Germany, who Klinsy has strong ties to (duh).

    What a wild, exciting, draw.

    • Mason says:

      That 2002 POR team had Luis Figo, who was, at the time, in the discussion for best player in the world. Don’t forget that.

  28. roysterer says:

    The way they did the seeding is just stupid. Groups C, E, and H are really weak and there are at least two groups of death. This is clearly not the way to go.

    • Chupacabra says:

      And all of the other CONCACAF teams have easier groups. What’s the sense in winning our qualifying group? Maybe we should just fail our way into next time like Mexico and be rewarded for our mediocrity instead of punished for our excellence.

      • Gassman says:

        ^ this

        So basically there is no incentive to top the hex when this happens. They should perform a full seeding like the NCAAs

        • JCC says:

          There was never any real incentive to top the Hex. The idea of “winning” the Hex is an entirely American concept, since it really doesn’t matter what place you qualify as long as you qualify. I’m not saying the US shouldn’t have tried to win games, but the whole notion of “winning” the Hex as an important feat is quite a silly one that is only shared by the US players and fans.

  29. Sean C says:

    Break a leg, Christiano. In the theatrical sense, of course……………………

    • Sean C says:

      I kid. I would never root for a player to get injured (well, except for Michael Vick — but that’s a different story). Ronaldo really scares me; he played so very well against Spain. And we’re gonna have to not only exorcise our demons against Ghana but find a way to at least draw another game….time will tell but I’ll enjoy every second! There’s nothing better than the World Cup, IMO.

  30. robby says:

    Wouldn’t hurt to schedule some friendlies to prepare for this. A Cameroon-USA game is a win-win for both teams.Maybe a Sweden game too since they’ve had the experience with portugal.

    • Benjamin C. says:

      Klinsmann has commented he wants to set up a match in Brazil just prior to the tournament’s start. If it can be arranged, a match against a qualified African side, other than Algeria, would make sense.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Wow, great idea to schedule some friendlies. See if you can get in contact with JK to tell him about your idea.

      • Francois says:

        haha you must be a miserable person to be around. You’re always so negative and cynical, you must not be getting any…tough break, man.

        • slowleftarm says:

          Not at all, if you read my comments on the draw for example, you’d see that I’m optimistic about our chances. Cool story though.

          • Francois says:

            I actually just did, you’re right, you are cynical and negative. You’re just sarcastic and rude for no reason, my bad, I misjudged you completely.

  31. alocksley says:

    The comments here are hilariouly uninformed. Ghana is a fantastic side (just ask Bob Bradley), in some ways perhaps tougher than Portugal. I love that we have WC history with each of these teams. Makes it fun.

    • gacm32 says:

      Really? Ghana a fantastic side? Beating Egypt in the first leg is not very difficult, and look at their results against teams in the top 50 in the fifa rankings. Getting abused by Japan, tying Turkey? Yep, sounds like a fantastic side. You seem to be the one who is uninformed.

      • JCC says:

        Well you could say the same thing about the US losing to Jamaica or coming within seconds of drawing with Antigua & Barbuda of all teams. I personally don’t think qualifying form really matters. It’s a long process with strange ebbs and flows, so it’s not really an accurate indicator of how a team will perform at the World Cup. Argentina basically owned every team for the 2002 World Cup qualifiers and crashed out in the group stage of that tournament.

  32. Eric says:

    The bookies have us as the worst side in the group. 18:1 odds on one site. We are huge longshots to get through..

    link to oddschecker.com

    • ABC123 says:

      Always trust Vegas. Good words to live by.

    • Gary Page says:

      I trust Nate Silver. He has us as just 1 % point behind Portugal in chances of getting out of the group and he puts us ahead of Ghana. Of course the games are decided on the field, not on paper. Also, who knows what injuries will affect the different squads.

  33. Maykol says:

    I always root for African teams but naw not this time screw Ghana

    • crosebud says:

      Why? Just a thing? It’s a huge continent with lots of dif playing styles. Do you like Algeria as much as Nigeria? Cameroon as much as South Africa? Sort of random and maybe a little political?

      • Maykol says:

        Idk i just like them dosent matter whether its algeria, cameroon, or ghana, as long as they arent playing the u.s.

  34. Benjamin C. says:

    How much worry is there among FIFA and tournament organizers that travel and climate will create a plethora of dour matches?

  35. Karbaz says:

    Bring it on, we make it out of this group we look amazing, we don’t but we give a good account for ourselves we will get respect (for whatever that’s worth). All we can do, as USMNT supporters is do just that, support our boys and believe in them, we can get out of this group.

  36. Dc says:

    I kinda like how much emphasis this puts on the first game, if we don’t get 3 points, we are toast, same with Ghana. Should be a very exciting match. And oohhhhhh would I love to finally beat that team.

    Curious to see how Klinsy will play against Ronaldo. Judging by their last few WCQ games, he is basically their whole attack.

    And Germany, well, it’s scary to think about that game. When they destroy teams, they really destroy them. Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to goal differential!

  37. Christian says:

    Although a tough draw, I do agree with Ives in that there is a storyline for each game and we all know how us Americans love our storylines/underdog stories. Excited to get some revenge against Ghana, proving to the world (again) that we belong by beating Portugal and then upsetting a world power like Germany in a World Cup.

    Silver lining maybe that we get to play Germany last. Hopefully by that game, Germany has wrapped it up and rest a few of their top stars as we fight for the 2nd seed out of the group. What do you guys think?

    • Dc says:

      I didn’t actually think about this, but it seems possible that Germany dominates their first 2 games and perhaps rests some players or at least take their foot off the gas in the final game cause they have it all locked up. Interesting. Very interesting.

      • Christian says:

        That would be my best case scenario. We beat Ghana, hopefully draw/win against Portugal and then when it’s time to play Germany, they take their foot off the pedal and we come out inspired and energetic to secure the 2nd seed.

  38. Travis says:

    The only silver lining in this for the US is that the order of games in the group is about as good as it could get. Hopefully by the third game Germany will have clinched advancing and will not be fielding their strongest side. Opening with Ghana is also ideal

  39. Jack says:

    A lot of fans aren’t noticing we have become quite a good team. I guarantee all of you that Germany Portugal and Ghana are all nervous over us too. We can do this as long as we find a solid right back or Beasley or Cameron step up. They’re both quality players just not true right backs. Other than that, we can do this.

  40. David says:

    Well, US Soccer can still get a big pay day from a US v. England friendly in Miami before they head to the tropics. Maybe they can lure and African country like Nigeria, the Ivory Coast or Cameroon here for a second match and Italy for a 3rd? Then, we all hope that every US player has the 3 games of his life to get out of this group and Portugal once again flops on the big stage.

    Interesting how the 2 managers (Klinsmann and Hodgson) who said they don’t want to play in Manaus will be playing in Manaus.

  41. Gassman says:

    There is only one thing for sure. Australia is well and truly f#%*. They are done. Hope they go to have a good time because they aren’t getting out of that group.

  42. chatnoir says:

    I like the draw. I think that last world cup didn’t prove much (We played well against England but got a lucky goal, did well enough against Slovenia and Algeria). It will be nice to have 3 challenging games.

  43. Nihal says:

    …Let’s do it.

  44. RBNY says:

    GROUP OF DEATH :(

  45. USMNT Fan says:

    Need to call in the Germans!

    Howard Guzan Rimando

    CHANDLER/CHERUNDOLO/EVANS
    Cameron Gonzalez
    Besler Brooks
    Johnson Beasley

    Bedoya Zusi
    Jones WILLIAMS/BECKERMAN
    Bradley Diskerud
    Donovan GREEN/SHEA

    Dempsey
    Altidore Johannsson JOHNSON/BOYD/AGUDELO

    • Del Griffin says:

      Yes let’s fill the team with players that couldnt make the german nat’l team.

      • USMNT Fan says:

        Yes, the B team of the likes of Spain, Germany, Italy, Brazil are much better than several teams in the world cup and train against the very best in the world on a regular basis. Del Griffin, you need to watch more football.

      • ABC123 says:

        Spain’s B team is a top 10 team in the world. Maybe top 5.

        This is their midfield pool that has recent call ups.

        Silva
        Isco
        Mata
        Iniesta
        Xavi
        Fabregas
        Cazorla
        Javi Martinez
        Busquets
        Alonso
        Navas
        Koke
        Alcantara
        Garcia

        They could start that lineup as a team in itself with anybody you want in goal and still beat most teams in the world.

  46. Withdrawn Striker says:

    I’ve got three measures of groups. One is gut feeling. Two is total up the FIFA rankings of the teams. Three is total up the FIFA rankings of the three best-ranked teams.

    By all three measures, we are the group of death.

    Maybe we eke out of this group with 5 points.

  47. Ted in MN says:

    1 semifinalist, 1 quarterfinalist, 2 round of 16.

  48. Ali Dia says:

    What’s the big deal? If we just get the same result against each of these teams as we did the last time we played them (W vs Germany, W vs. Portugal, draw after regular time with Ghana) we’ll stroll right into the knockout rounds as group winners. Easy, no?

  49. Scott e Dio93 says:

    We have to win period!

  50. Pause The Game Real Quick says:

    How did the Mexicans wind up with a better draw than us again? USA and England got f*cked.

  51. Christian says:

    Question for everyone! Against Portugal would you mark Ronaldo out of the game with Jermaine Jones or Bradley? See if Portugal’s other 10 can beat us? I’m not afraid of Nani! He has a terrible end product for all his dancing.

  52. Bump Bailey says:

    The draw defintitley could have been worse. For a seeded team would you rather Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Belgium? For the non-ranked Euro would you rather Italy, Holland, France, England(well maybe England)? I sure wouldn’t want to be in Australia’s boots.

    This is going to be the cup where we get to to exercise some demons past. A chance to right two wrongs. First Ghana for past heartbreaks, then Germany for the hand ball in Korea. Opening with Ghana is perfect. The boys will be ready and chomping at the bit! It will be tough for Ghana to beat us three times in a row. A win here and confidence will be soaring for the game against Portugal. A win is possible against them too! However, finishing off with a couple of draws would see us through.

    This is the best American team we’ve ever had and the boys should relish this opportunity. This is a statement group and I am taking the optimistic path and saying that this is going to be our coming out party!

    C’mon you YANKS!

    • Withdrawn Striker says:

      Please let’s exorcize them, not let them exercise.

    • Ulysses says:

      The key game is beating Ghana first. Maybe Germany would have qualified by the time we play them, so we get the extra points. Low will gift Klinsmann the win, so we get second place.

    • Del Griffin says:

      Its champing at the bit. Its a dumb word, so you are better off just finding another cliche to use there. Used right=dumb word. Used wrong=dumb person.

      • Mason says:

        Yeah… But “chomp” is just a variant spelling of “champ” and has been used since the late 16th century. As that was the middle of the great vowel shift, no one knew how to spell anything properly. The spelling and accompanying pronunciation, “Chomp” has since mostly superseded “champ” for describing someone or something that is biting nosily and enthusiastically.

    • Jay says:

      Great post. We will find out if they can but thank you for embracing the challenge instead of complaining about it.

  53. Ulysses says:

    Ronaldo, Ozil, and Boateng are probably saying, “Great, we get to play USA.”

    • gacm32 says:

      I doubt any of them are saying that, unless it’s sarcastically. They would have much rather had anyone else in our pot.

  54. LarryTheCableGuy says:

    “Git ‘er dun!” . Round of 16 here we come.

  55. Brain Guy says:

    It’s possible that by the third game both Germany and the US will be exhausted. Does that increase the unpredictability, i.e., reduce the importance of true quality as a factor? I’m grasping for straws here . . .

  56. Brad says:

    We beat Portugals golden generation. We owe Ghana, and I am not as scared of this years team as much as past teams. Germany is Germany. If we get a result against Ghana, we have all to play for, and lets hope Germany can demoralize Portugal with 3 or 4 goals in the first game.

  57. Jay says:

    This whole thread just shows how far not the soccer team but soccer fans have to go. We are complaining about our draw instead of thinking about how we can advance. Instead of embracing a challenge we are wishing for the easy way out. England, Uruguay, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Mexico, Croatia, Mexico, Portugal, Germany, and Australia don’t have it easy either. Every nation knows it won’t be easy to win so play and hope for the best and stop bitching about who you play. Sound like a punch of pussies. Man up there are plenty of teams who didn’t make it. The team will bust their ass for the full 90 and see where they stand. And that’s all I can ask for.

    • beachbum says:

      I’m not complaining. I want our honest goals to count this time! I complain about crap like that ;)

    • Bumby Hemmingway says:

      Most soccer fans across the globe complain about World Cup draws. I have some wonderful friends from Argentina: they have always complained about draws and decry the favor that FIFA shows Brazil.

  58. dave says:

    Dumb question maybe, but why not relocate training and ‘home base’ to the Northeast? Overall travel would be reduced and training in the heat/humidity of the north would be better prep for game conditions?

  59. Kevin_H says:

    Hey, I have a stupid question, but it’s been bugging me.

    What happens if every game in a particular group ends in a 1-1 draw? With no points/differentials separating any team?

  60. Ulysses says:

    We better solve our fullback problems. Beasley and Evans just don’t cut it. Nani, Muller, Ronaldo and Gyan will have a field day against Evans and Beasley. Outright Scary. All the more important for Fabian Johnson and Cherundolo if he’s back, to play well. Maybe Cameron, Lichaj or Parkhurst can cover.

  61. InkedAG says:

    This is pretty ugly. I’ll be happy if we beat Ghana. The US will need to attack each and every game because if the other team scores first, we’ll be done for.

  62. Chris says:

    Beating Ghana in game 1 and getting over that demon will be huge momentum wise.

    Losing to them again screws us so hard. It’s a HUGE game.

  63. What If... says:

    I will enjoy this if we don’t give up cheap goals on bonehead mistakes AND we create some quality scoring chances in every game. It’s the World Cup. You play the best teams in the world. It’s fun.

  64. Kevin_H says:

    It will be tough to beat us three times in a row, if the ticker starts now. All else equal, these games are independent. You might argue that the US wants revenge, but I’m sure Ghanians want to win the Cup equally as bad.

  65. USAmr says:

    This might be THE highest profile storyline group possible for the USA out of all possible combinations.
    Klinsmann vs Germany. Another chance against Ghana. Germaricans. The most glamorous player in the world (and quite possibly the best right now,) in Ronaldo. Group of Death. So many storylines.
    This is made for TV viewing between now and June and should help boost the national awareness of soccer in the US.
    I’m excited for this group and I’d love to see us advance.
    Let’s go USA!

  66. 2tone says:

    Ghana beat the US on a flaky PK call in 2006, and beat the US with a long ball over the top that was not properly dealt with by either Boca or Demeritt. Gonzo clears that ball 9 times out of 10 in the air.

    You can call me crazy but the 2014 USMNT defenders are better than the 2010 defenders.

    Ghana doesn’t scare me at all.

  67. bryan says:

    have to win that first game against Ghana. and you have to hope that the USA will finally beat them the 3rd time around. first thing is first, move the training ground from Sao Paulo.

    • alocksley says:

      Here is the lineup of the 2010 WC side that lost to Ghana:

      USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 15-Jay DeMerit, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 10-Landon Donovan, 4-Michael Bradley, 13 -Ricardo Clark (19-Maurice Edu, 31), 8-Clint Dempsey; 20-Robbie Findley (22-Benny Feilhaber, 46) 17-Jozy Altidore (9-Herculez Gomez, 91)

      Methinks we are miles better and deeper this time around.

    • Acebojangles says:

      Moving from Sao Paolo sounds like the right move to me. In such a big country there must be other spots with good facilities and such closer to the games, right?

      • bryan says:

        for sure. our entire group will be played in the north/northeast, so a base in the northeast makes the most sense. especially considering that IF we get out of the group in 2nd, the Round of 16 game will be in Salvador (also in the northeast). that is very close Recife and Natal. Sao Paulo was a good call given it’s pretty central to most stadiums. but with our draw, it makes no sense to be in Sao Paulo.

  68. Kevin says:

    So this is what winning the Hex gets us, next time we should just barely make it in like Honduras and Mexico to get a better draw.

  69. AC says:

    What the heck- USA wins the group with 3 wins, becomes the darlings of the tournament, and finally loses in the semifinals.

    • Ali Dia says:

      Love the attitude. Put me down for $20 on this. And I’ll have another 20 on a Stu Holden hat trick against Germany. This thing only comes around every 4 years… eff the nonbelievers!

    • fan of football says:

      I love you guys

  70. B says:

    As other folks have said, it could have been worse. We could have been drawn with Spain/Netherlands/Chile or Uruguay/Italy/England. Both of those groups would be tougher. This is by no means an easy group, but we CAN get out of it. Worst case scenario is that there will be three very entertaining, hard-fought games.

  71. Acebojangles says:

    How would people rate our chances against Ghana if we didn’t have our history with them?

  72. Chris says:

    Was there any crowd reaction when the US was drawn? I wasn’t watching on TV.

  73. Birgit Calhoun says:

    I am truly looking forward to watching all of the games.

  74. Pause The Game Real Quick says:

    There is a way that the Kings of CONCACAF should be treated… AND THIS IS NOT IT!! :(

  75. Ah says:

    This is going to be the greatest World Cup of all time. Great matchups everywhere. Decent start times for viewing from u.s. Can’t wait.

  76. YO says:

    Cool! One and half German teams in the same group.

  77. Tom_in_So_IL says:

    Love this draw. We can finally get some respect with a good group stage.
    Also it seems like the rest ofConcacafa had a pretty good draw.

  78. Birgit Calhoun says:

    They can win if Klinsmann picks the right players. He should pick players who travel well. He might have an inkling from the last few European games. One of the reasons they didn’t score against Scotland or Austria is that they were probably tired. So they have to be in Brazil really early. And people who have been injured recently may get reinjured. So if I were Klinsmann I would only take players who are 100% healthy. There are some players on the USMNT who may claim they are well, but you never know what they are hiding. And then it is hoped that no one gets found out about eating performance enhancing materials such as Clenbuterol in meet (or whatever substances get “inadvertently” mixed in).

  79. BCC says:

    To be the best, we have to beat the best. I am tired of pundits hoping for “weak groups” and “easy roads.” This is a phenomenal opportunity for the US to demonstrate whether it is a legitimate soccer nation.

    We will know we are a quality side when we quit caring so much about the draw. I doubt Brazil or Germany sit there hoping and praying for easy groups.

    • Acebojangles says:

      I don’t think anyone is going to question Argentina’s legitimacy after they breeze through their group.

      • BCC says:

        Argentina is the fool’s gold of world soccer. Always loaded with talent, but they somehow fail to come together and play as a team in the big tournaments. They’re in Brazil, too, which is a huge mental disadvantage.

    • Chad says:

      I agree with the concept, it just sucks though. The fact that Mexico & Honduras have easier groups is random as the damn draw.

      The benefit is that the USMNT will have to show up & play on day one and win or be done…rather than slipping by the group stage & losing in the 16.

      • brian says:

        I don’t think Mexico has an easier draw. Brazil is an absolute lock, so Mexico is only competing for one available spot. Germany is no absolute sure thing, so at least we are competing for two spots.

        • Chad says:

          It’s the top 2 teams…Croatia & Cameroon as good as Portugal & Ghana?

          • brian says:

            no of course not. but there is less room for error. The Tri is competing with those two for one spot.

        • JCC says:

          Are kidding me, Germany is a lock. I think people are overstating the weather conditions here. Germany is Germany, no way they are not getting out of this group. You really have to hope that Portugal has a bad tournament, though I actually think Ghana has the most potential to upset things for the group. A lot of people seem to be counting them out, but they seem to play well when under pressure.

        • BCC says:

          I am picking Germany to win the Cup. Incredible talent, top to bottom.

  80. run says:

    USA vs Nemesis
    USA vs Ronaldo
    Klinsmann, Germericans and Cherundolo? vs Germany

    The TV has spoken. All hail the TV!

    • chuck says:

      Man this summer it’s gonna boost soccer awareness to 11. Even if we get eliminated, it’s already a big win for the sport in the US

  81. John says:

    Bedoya just scored

  82. JSmiley says:

    One of the three teams – Spain, Netherlands or Chile – will play the other two teams among those three and then Brazil in their first four games.
    Argentina will play Bosnia, Iran, Nigeria and someone who can’t even win Group E in their first four games.
    Can anyone look at the disparities in this draw and honestly say this is a good way of doing things?

    • Chad says:

      The randomness just sucks…at least they could form the groups by ranking (high vs low, etc). Even though the FIFA ranking is problematic…it’s superior to random.

  83. brian says:

    Any chance, there is some trading done with regards to training bases. Is it ever done? I remember reading an article that USSF was getting offers for their Sao Paulo facility months ago.

  84. joel says:

    Its time to beat Ghana, need to get a result against them, once and for all.
    Portugal will be tough but I dont see a reason why we cant
    get a result against them. Its a very tough group but
    I sincerely believe we can get out of it but we are going to have to bring our A game.

    • ThatKidNandez says:

      A game meaning (Leave Evans, Parkhurst, Zusi, Beckerman, Orozco, and Wondolowski). Bedoya has shown hes miles above Zusi due to current form and the fact hes a big chunk of why nantes is doing so well. (Chandler, Magee/Corona,Lichaj, Gil (Dark horse) and Agudelo) should replace the ones i stated above. Magee can adapt easily we saw that in his Fire/La transfer and the fact he can play rm/lm/forward make him quite versatile. He links really well with landon. Gil well must I say? Agudelo he just needs to find a club that can use him. He has to make a move this summer. The ones l listed that should stay home are great players but to me they don’t cut it outside Concacaf. They are great within and the MLS but O just don’t think they’ll line up well against the Portugals and Germanys of the world

      • John says:

        Where are you going to play Magee? Is he a striker or a winger? Zusi is far better in possession and gives better service. I just don’t see where Magee fits in. Also you say these players don’t cut it out of Concacaf but when has Magee done so?

  85. Kevin_H says:

    ESPN gives the USA a 39% chance of advancing, which I think is based off their ELO rankings (Portugal is 1 place ahead and has a 40% chance). I hope they’re right… Those actually aren’t too bad odds.

  86. ThatKidNandez says:

    We did work against Portugal in 2002 against Portugal feat. Figo. Paulo Bento remembers that match very well don’t you Paulo. Also the US played a way better Germany in 2002 and should deserved the win, if it wasnt for bad ref calls and recently beat them in a friendly. Everyone here knows we can take ghana. Also they arent the same team they were in 2010. Be happy Agoos and Clark won’t he on this team. Contain Ozil and Ronaldo and the US can win!

  87. Ali Dia says:

    If our starting XI continues to look like what generally has (injuries aside), I think nobody is going to need to perform more than Jermaine Jones. As maddening and inconsistent as he can be, a draw like this is exactly why Jones gets picked.

    • John says:

      I agree, I think he is actually better against teams where we aren’t going to have much possession like this. When he builds a rhythm of breaking up attacks he preforms better. It’s when he is asked to break a team down he just can’t seem to get out of his own way constantly loosing possession. Also he should be familiar with Boateng.

  88. Brett says:

    American soccer fans are a bunch of whiney babies. How can we expect to be respected if we can’t get out of a difficult group? BRING IT ON.

    • dantheblue says:

      A lot of them are, Brett, but I TOTALLY agree… Bring on the world… Bigger babies are Mexican soccer fans… (Married to one, I know first hand)

    • Rob Jones says:

      Absolutely, the USMNT fanbase is embarrassing at times.

  89. Eric says:

    Bookies have us at 7:2 odds (22% chance) of advancing.

    link to oddschecker.com

  90. Steve-0 says:

    Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! Soccer gods, why have you forsaken us?!?!?!

  91. Steve-0 says:

    France – those lucky bstrds!!!! They barely qualified.

  92. Fabio says:

    Even the TIFO of the Brazilians will be mostly for Ghana, Portugal ( of course ) and Germany…..

  93. The Other Jeff says:

    Past storylines going into the World Cup: “Can US squeak through our group with a lucky draw?”

    Storyline in 2014: “Have the US finally reached the world stage?”

    That in itself is progress I’d say.

    Remember: In the past 12 years in World Cups,
    – US beat Portugal, scoring 3 goals before Portugal knew what hit them
    – But for an uncalled handball, would have beaten Germany
    – But for a ridiculous PK against Gooch would have beaten Ghana

    Yes, we lost two of those games, but with the dice landing a little differently US easily could have won both.

    Since then, we have become a much deeper and better side.

    This is doable. Tough, but doable.

  94. So I was literally about to start drinking bleach but then I remembered something: no one does the underdog role better than the US. As a soccer fan, I take alot of pride in the fact that our national team plays with a huge chip on its shoulder when we play big teams. Maybe we don’t make it out of the group stages (yes, that will SUCK), but I think at the very least we will play spoiler to one of the other teams. Hopefully Ghana.

  95. Beto says:

    Ghana in the first game is very winable. I can see Jurgen delivering a draw vs Germany who hopefully are already qualified. Portugal in Manaus sounds like the hardest game, especially if they lose their first game vs the Germans. Ronaldo and Nani are going to all over the defense.

    Hope to see some friendlies vs really good African and European teams this Spring/Summer. A team that plays with a lot of wing attack. England, Ivory Coast, Holland, France, Ecuador, Spain or even Mexico could be good test matches.

    This team has surprised me many times on how well they can gear up for a big game.

  96. Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

    So. Many. Story lines.

  97. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    I can’t believe what I’m reading here. (I haven’t read all 300+ comments, but I get the gist.) I’m okay with this draw! Tough, sure. Aside from Brazil, Germany is the last team I wanted us to be drawn against. That being said, we beat them this year (I know, it was their C team, but also not our strongest squad), and we outplayed them the last time we met in the WC (twelve years ago, but still). Throw in European teams’ traditionally poor performance in South America, and, with a little luck, we can get a point here.

    Portugal doesn’t intimidate me – they’re a one-man team that had to win a playoff to qualify. That one man is Ronaldo, who I personally think is the best player in the world, and the best I’ve ever seen. But remind me of what he, or Portugal, has done on the international stage that should give us trepidation. This is technically his third WC, but he didn’t really show up to the first two. It’s a winnable game.

    Bring on Ghana. I am salivating at the thought of revenge, and can’t believe there are any US fans out there that don’t feel the same way. It could be a third consecutive heartbreaker, it one of the sweetest, most satisfying sporting moments we ever experience. I can’t wait to find out which it will be!

    Tough group, maybe the toughest. But I believe we have a solid shot of advancing.

  98. beachbum says:

    great challenge. who knows what might happen. hope we’re healthy come June

  99. gigi says:

    being portuguese american I have never been so torn in my life…….damn

  100. Coco 10 says:

    Group G is brutal… At first I was like “Damn…this is over”. Now that i think about it more… this is probably our greatest opportunity to finally be respected as a soccer nation. In order to be the best… you need to play against the best.
    In my opinion, our current pool of players is solid, we have a combination of experience players (Donovan,Dempsey,Howard) and promising young talents (Mix,Johannsson,Altidore) that prove to us this year they can a tough opponent team.

  101. crosebud says:

    Not hearing much yet about youth and fitness being an issue. It seems like a strenuous setup (heat and travel) and I wonder if there are any thoughts about some of our older players not making the cut. I guess I’m thinking about Dolo who has been in the news lately and Beasley ,Donovan etc. I still really feel that we were a step too slow/old against Ghana last time around with Boca being the most obvious example.
    Is there a position where a better player may have to sit in place of a younger player in better shape?

  102. Big Chil says:

    P ortugal
    U SA
    G ermany
    G hana
    L
    Y

  103. Chris says:

    If we advance, we play against Group H I believe.

    That’s Belgium, Russia, Algeria, South Korea. So, we do get rewarded if we advance because each of those teams will be easier than the three we play in the group.

    • chuck says:

      Yep, unlike Mexico, which have an ok group only to advance and be crushed xD

    • Jeremy says:

      Is this a joke? Belgium is certianly light-years ahead of Portugal and Ghana and about on par with Germany. Have you been following international soccer this year. Belgium is a potential World Cup winner.

  104. solles says:

    “one of the most difficult groups in world cup history” man here’s hoping the hyperbole doesnt ratchet up even MORE between now than June. I’m already sick of this not-true sentence.

    • usaalltheway says:

      It is for the USMNT.

      This couldn’t have been scripted better for a Hollywood film.

      Ghana – well, if you write on here you know those stories.

      Germany – same thing.

      And last but not least, we have to take on Ronaldo’s Portugal who are a solid although beatable team.

      This is far and away the worse possible group for the USMNT.

      That being said, I feel the US will get through; we beat Ghana, beat Portugal and tie Germany. Here is to dreaming…

  105. Gene says:

    Tough draw, but

    (a) I agree with those who say that the Spain, Netherlands, Chile group would have been harder to advance from.

    (b) The group games will be entertaining.

    (c) Don’t we want a chance to finally beat Ghana?

  106. JB says:

    all i can say is, I feel bad for australia.

  107. Bitman says:

    Michael Bradley, please stay healthy. Then anything is possible.

  108. Jeremy says:

    I’m sorry, but reading all of these posts, one thing is clear. People here are DRAMATICALLY overrating Portugal and Ghana!

    They are nice, quality teams, no doubt, but these are simply not world-beaters. Portugal is mainly a one star team. Moutinho gives them a world-class box-to-box mid, but other than that, you never know when the rest of the offense will show up. They have a history of underperforming that dates back to the time the Dead Sea Scrolls were written. They had ten games in qualifying and couldn’t even finish ahead of Russia- Russia people! And this is nothing new, they barely qualified for the last WC, also needing the extra play-in series. We even knocked them out in 2002. They just aren’t a top-class side,,,and NO ONE’S favorites to win the cup.

    Ghana only seems threatening because of our history against them. If this were any other team in the world who drew them I can assure you they would not be trembling in their boots. Most of these fans can only cite the two WC games we lost against them. This is simply not a particularly threatening side. So incredibly much has changed since the last Cup, and we almost beat them then, only losing in extra time, with Bradley as coach and a far inferior product on the field compared to what we can put out there now.

    I’m not saying these two teams are cakewalks, but, outside of Germany, which I doubt we will beat or even draw, we ABSOLUTELY stand a very reasonable chance of besting Portugal and Ghana. This is simply not the group of death, people. In fact, I think it is only the third toughest group. Aside from the obvious Spain-Holland-Chile group I also believe Italy-Uruguay-England is a tougher draw.

    Stop overrating Portugal and Ghana and have a little confidence in your team. There is no reason we won’t put up a good fight at the very least.

    • John says:

      I agree they are good sides but if we aren’t at the point where we can beat a Ghana or Portugal then this team really hasn’t progressed under Klinsmann.

      • Jeremy says:

        Did you read my whole post? I’m saying I believe we can beat them, both of them. Not saying we will, but can. And Klinsmann hasn’t yet had a chance to prove if we are now capable of beating them, he hasn’t played them.

      • Jeremy says:

        What I’m saying is they are good sides but not great, and certainly nothing to call “group of death” material. Only Germany truly is of that ilk.

        • John says:

          No I agree, and I’d say landing in B or D would have been worse for us. So it’s hard to really say it’s the group of death when there were at least 2 worse possibilities.

    • Rob Jones says:

      You can’t blame people for being realistic.

    • Rob Jones says:

      “I’m sorry, but reading all of these posts, one thing is clear. People here are DRAMATICALLY overrating Portugal and Ghana!”

      Perhaps you’re overrating the USMNT?

    • RICARDO says:

      Bradley was and always will be a good coach so don’t make it sound like he was a liability.

    • Andy N says:

      +1. I agree completely. We should be thankful we’re not in Australia or Costa Rica’s position.

    • Chris says:

      LOL a few posts up this guy asked if I was crazy. Than posts this.

  109. Smith says:

    We’re gonna have to play some ugly soccer to get ahead.

  110. Rob Jones says:

    The USMNT will not advance but maybe they can score a few goals or make one of the other teams struggle.

    • Benny says:

      You probably said that 4 years ago also. And when they do advance, because they will, you can act like you new they would.

      • Rob Jones says:

        I’ll always stand by my comments. And the USMNT was a minute away from tying Algeria and packing their bags if not for a last second goal by Landycakes.

  111. John says:

    For everyone who says there’s no way we are getting out of the group. What does the team have to do for this to be a successful World Cup for Klinsmann? How do we judge the progress he has made as coach?

    • PD says:

      Personally, I think he’s already ptoving his merit. But if I had to base it solely on WC performance?

      Beat Ghana
      Don’t underplay the currently top 5 FIFA ranked Portugal (and hope they underplay us)
      Give Germany hell and hope for a draw.

      If refs don’t play a role, anywhere from 3 to 9 points are there. I personally want to see the US earn 4-6. That would tell me they played well and kept fate in their own hands.

  112. Germany Defeater says:

    The only question is whether to play Hasselhoff in midfield or as a striker.

  113. Andy N says:

    The USA’s group is a challenge certainly but if you compare our group to other Pot 3 teams, I think it could have been a lot worse. Australia, facing Spain, Chile and Netherlands and Costa Rica, facing Italy, England and Uruguay, have much worse groups than us.

    We know Ghana and played them evenly in both matches even though we lost and I think Portugal tends to play to the level of their competition. They both can be beat. It’ll be a challenge but this is not an unbeatable group.

    • Andy N says:

      Also for anyone who watched the draw, it sounded like when the USA was announced in Group G with Germany and Ghana, there was a loud gasp from people in the audience. Was that maybe a sign of respect or people immediately realizing the Klinsmann/Germany connection?

  114. PD says:

    It really all comes down to beating Ghana.