May 25, 2014, 11:49 AM EDT
The German national team is dealing with more than its fair share of injuries ahead of the World Cup in Brazil less than a month away.
Both Mario Gomez and Ilkay Gundogan were left off the 30-man roster, Lars Bender won’t be making it to Brazil thanks to an injury, and Sami Khedira looked sluggish and uncomfortable in the Champions League final as he works his way back from an ACL tear. Those are just the definitely misses.
While most fans in the US aren’t shedding any tears for their fellow group members, those who will be watching in hopes their country makes it out of the “Group of Death” should take a closer look at how things could play out.
The best hope the United States has of advancing past the group stage in this World Cup will likely depend on Germany dominating the group, and their failure to do so could mean a quick exit for Jurgen Klinsmann and company.
The group is Germany’s to lose, that much is given. So if that ends up being the case, the rest of Portugal, Ghana, and the US are fighting for the #2 spot.
Therefore, if Germany doesn’t win the group in dominating fashion, it will have dropped points to those battling with the US for the second spot.
In addition, an interesting scheduling tidbit could end up benefiting the US should things play out. The United States plays Germany last in the group, which could be a positive if the Germans already have the group’s top spot locked up.
The US has already defeated a German “B” team 4-3 last June with a squad very similar to the one going to Brazil this summer. If the European powerhouses already have the group wrapped up, they could start a number of replacements, and the United States could have a chance to pick up a vital point or even three.
In addition, goal differential could very well be a factor in determining that second spot. Theoretically, if the United States beats Ghana and draws Portugal, those four points could be the same total Portugal ends up with. Therefore, it could be vitally important to either the US or Portugal that Germany demolishes the other.
This is all, obviously, contingent on the most important thing for the US, which is taking care of their own business. The Americans won’t go anywhere if they can’t pick up points on their own. But outside help will likely be needed as well.
So while the Germans are sweating out their mounting injuries, US fans should be quietly cheering them on, hoping the Germans do indeed dominate Group G, opening the way for the Americans to make a move on the Round of 16.
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