After narrowly beating their World Cup nemesis Ghana in the first game 2-1 and drawing 2-2 with Portugal last night in a fight until the very end, the U.S. men’s national team’s hopes of advancing come down to Thursday’s match with Germany at Arena Pernambuco (ESPN, UniMas at 12 p.m. ET). Led by leading scorer and captain Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), the U.S. team controls its own destiny needing a win or a tie to advance to the knockout round. A breakdown of the scenarios in which the U.S. can advance – even if they lose – can be found here.
Meanwhile one CONCACAF nation already has advanced, as Costa Rica punched their ticket to the next round with a surprise 1-0 victory over European powerhouse Italy. Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Columbus Crew) and Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew) will look to finish first in Group D when they take on England Tuesday.