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The five most intriguing subplots from today’s huge USA vs. Germany World Cup 2014 clash

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America’s German contingent... Whoa!

Five players in the US World Cup squad were born in Germany (to American servicemen parents). At least two—midfielder Jermaine Jones (who scored a spectacular goal against Portugal) and right back Fabian Johnson—should start. “We talk German sometimes, but we have respect for the guys who don’t talk German,” Jones recently said. “So if we see that somebody is there with us that doesn’t understand the German language, then we talk 100% English.”

If America gets through, how high can the ratings get?

I wonder what the ratings were.

America got through. How high will ratings be for Tuesday's knockout round game vs Belgium?

The urge to draw

Both the US and Germany only need to secure a draw (and one competition point) to progress to the next round of the tournament. If they were to follow an argument put forward in game theory, they should collude to achieve that. (If they did, Germany, one of the genuine tournament favorites, would still secure the top spot in Group G, meaning it would face a theoretically weaker team in the next round.)

Yet securing such an outcome is easier said than done, and both coaches have ruled it out publicly.  The teams have never reached a stalemate in past competitive encounters. Collusion has happened at World Cups before, most infamously in 1982, when Germany (then West Germany) played Austria in what has become known as the “non-agression pact of Gijon.”  If things are all square late in the game, don’t be surprised if the intensity drops and it all gets a bit boring.

The U.S. soccer team lost to Germany 0-1 today, but still moves to the final 16 of the World Cup in Brazil.

Because Portugal defeated Ghana 2-1, the U.S. advances based on goal differential.


Yay for goal differential! Bring on Belgium!!

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