Updated 7:57 pm Saturday June 21st
Win and they are in.
After the United States upset win over Ghana on Monday they have a golden opportunity to advance in the world cup by defeating Portugal on Sunday. Germany and Ghana tied 2-2 on Saturday which means The US could advance with a win over Portugal on Sunday.
The game against Portugal represents Team USA’s best chance to advance. If they can’t get a win against Portugal they will have to try to take down Germany in the final game of group play. Germany is considered one of the favorites to win the World Cup so if the Team USA is to advance they need the win on Sunday.
In the process of losing to Germany Portugal also lost some of their star players. Portugal star Cristano Ronaldo was ruled out for the game against the US with a knee injury. Now reports are surfacing that Ronaldo will play agaisnt the US after a teammate told the media that he is fully partcipating in practice. Either way Ronaldo’s knee will be a question mark for Portugal.
Portugal defenseman Fabio Coentrao has also been ruled out for the tournament after being taken off on a stretcher against Germany.
Despite the injuries beating Portugal won’t be easy. They have a lot of talent and after getting beat-up by Germany on Monday they will be looking for redemption and fighting for to stave off elimination.
The United States also got beat-up in their win against Ghana and will have to try to defeat Portugal short-handed.
Team USA Captain Clint Dempsey suffered a broken nose and is only able to breath out of one nostril. To make matters worse star forward Jozy Altidore will miss the match after straining his hamstring in the game against Ghana.
Having two top strikers injured might hamper the US offense. If that is the case Team USA will have to depend on goalkeeper Tim Howard to turn in another stellar performance like he did against Ghana.
Team USA Soccer vs. Portugal
When: Sunday, June 22nd
Start Time: 6:00 pm
Live Stream: WatchESPN.com