2014 WORLD CUP: Can USA fans recover by Thursday?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the US Men's National Team testing the boundaries of our emotions, many of us are likely praying for the same thing...

...collusion...

I don't know about you, but I don't know how much more I can take. To heck with the players, they are trained for this.

After the 2nd US goal against Portugal, I had to take Advil because my head was splitting.

After the dream destroying dagger of a cross by Ronaldo snatched victory and advancement from the US, I struggled to go to sleep. Woke up at 5am the next morning and couldn't go back to sleep thinking about that mess.

I wonder if John Brooks dreamed about that?

And now we wait....

...for Germany.

Who the hell knows how this will play out. Klinsmann has already said there would be no agreement to play for a tie.

That's significant because a draw would put both Germany and the US through.

Of course he's going to say that publicly. Who would want to admit to that kind of collusion?

I would fully expect that, once the match reached about the 70 minute mark, if it was still square, that players and coaches alike would wink and nod at each other and we would go along our merry way. There has been more than one example in past world cup play of such "things."

So then, just to drive the nail home, Klinsmann comes out with claims that Germany received preferential treatment in scheduling for group play.

Wonderful.

The US were so psyched to get a crack at, then beat, Ghana, their nemesis of the last two World Cups. Well wouldn't you know, thanks to those two defensive whiffs against Portugal, Ghana again has the opportunity to eliminate the US.

You see, thanks to goal differential (the difference between goals scored and goals allowed for a team), Germany has nothing to worry about. Win, lose, or draw, the Germans have a 99.7% chance of advancing. Can't see them losing to the US 2-0 and Ghana beating Portugal 3-0. Even still, if that happened Germany would still advance on total goals.

Despite that, because of a terrible draw vs Ghana, the Germans need to win or draw to win the group, which is still a very desirable prize.

The US, on the other hand, is actually in a very vulnerable position. While some statistical services say the Americans have a 76% chance of advancing, I think that is being extremely generous given the situation.

The US could easily lose to Germany 1-0 or 2-1. Ghana is in a far more motivated position than Portugal, as goal differential is their 800 lb gorilla in the room thanks to their opening match meltdown against Germany. Should Ghana jump on top early, I could see the Portuguese folding up the tents. Ghana, knowing that an American loss and goal differential are their only hope, will keep bringing the attack. Wouldn't be shocked at all to see Ghana ring up 2-3 goals, no problem. The current goal differential between the US and Ghana is 2. Any combination of US loss and Ghana win that adds up to 3 or more goals sends the Americans home.

So let's say that Ghana ties the US on goal differential. The next tie-breaker is total goals scored. Ghana trails the US 4-3. That's just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than goal differential. I could definitely see the US registering 0 or 1 goal, and Ghana putting 2 or 3 on the board. Americans go home again.

If by some miracle the US gets past those 2 tie-breakers they are home free, as the next step is head to head, and the US beat Ghana.

I'm telling you right now, this is a 50/50 crap shoot at best for Klinsmann and Company. It would be an absolute shame for the US to not advance, as the knockout round bracket sets up well. If the Americans finish runner up in their group, they would probably get Belgium, which I think is a good draw for the US and a chance to get to the semi-finals.

I would be calling my fellow countrymen right now, talk about old times, make all chummy chummy, then practice kick ball in the midfield for 90 minutes.

But of course this World Cup is the stuff of chaos. Who would've thought that England, Spain, and probably Portugal would all be gone. Italy is on the edge. Brazil barely got through. Germany lathered up Portugal, then had to rally to scratch out a draw against Ghana.

So why should we expect anything but chaos and another emotional roller coaster on Thursday.

A large bottle of Advil will be close by my side.

GO USMNT!!!

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