If they lose, it brings Ghana and Portugal back into the fray. If you are the US, you do not want to bring in some of the scenarios below.
Right now, these are the current standings for Group G:
So if the US beat Germany, they will have 7 points, which would put them at the top of Group G and would pit them against the second-place finisher out of Group H.
If the US tie Germany, they would also advance to the knockout round. This time, they would come in second and face the first-place finisher out of Group H, most likely Belgium.
If the US lose to Germany, they will need to rely on what happens in the Portugal-Ghana game, which is also on Thursday, concurrently with the US-Germany game (noon ET, ESPN2):
- If Portugal and Ghana draw, they will each have two points and the USA will be through to the Round of 16 in second place.
- If Portugal win, things look still quite sunny for the US. The Portuguese would need to make up five goals on the US, no easy feat.
- If Ghana win, things get a bit hairier for USA. The Black Stars would need to make up just two goals against the US, which would happen if they win 1-0 (or 2-1, etc) and the US lose 1-0 (or 2-1, etc). But If that scenario does happen, the US would still advance. The two teams would be tied on goal differential and goals scored so it would go to the head-to-head result. The US beat Ghana on Monday night.
- In any other scenario in which the US lose and Ghana win, Ghana would advance.