[BRAZIL 2014] The USA returns to Recife 64 years after it exited the 1950 World Cup with a 5-2 loss to Chile. It will hope for a better result on Thursday against Germany (live at noon ET on ESPN and Univision).
The USA controls its own destiny. It will win the group with a victory over Germany and advance in second place with tie.
You'll also want to be following Ghana-Portugal in Brasilia (live at noon ET on ESPN2 and UniMas/Galavision), where any number of results could help (or hurt) the USA.
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA +/1
4 Germany 1-1-0 6/2(+4)
4 USA 1-1-0 4/3(+1)
1 Ghana 0-1-1 3/4 (-1)
1 Portugal 0-1-1 2/6 (-4)
June 26 in Recife
USA vs. Germany (ESPN, Univision/UDN noon ET)
June 26 in Brasilia
Portugal vs. Ghana (ESPN2, UniMas/Galavision noon ET)
USA advances if ...
-- It beats or ties Germany.
-- Ghana and Portugal tie.
-- It loses to Germany by no more than one goal and Ghana beats Portugal by no more than one (*depending on goals scored).
-- It loses to Germany and Portugal beats Ghana by a combined margin of no more than five goals (depending on goals scored).
*If tied on second tiebreaker vs. Ghana -- goals scored -- USA will win third tiebreaker -- head-to-head.
Starting Lineups ...
USA --Howard; Johnson, Gonzalaz (for Cameron), Besler, Beasley; Beckerman, Jones, Davis (for Bedoya), Bradley, Zusi; Dempsey.
Germany --Neuer,Boateng,Mertesacker,Howedes, Hummels; Schweinsteiger (for Khedira), Lahm, Kroos;Ozil, Podolski (for Goetze),Mueller.
The referee for the USA-Germany match will be Uzbekistan's Ravshan Irmatov, considered the best referee in Asia. He's been a FIFA referee since the age of 26 and whistled the 2011 Asian Cup final between and Japan and Australia. This is his third match after Switzerland-Ecuador and Mexico-Croatia. El Tri was furious with Irmatov for not calling a hand ball on Darijo Srna in the second half. It also had a case for a hand ball in the first half.
FiveThirtyEight has the Germans as heavy favorites -- 63-15 percent -- with a 22 percent chance of a draw. The big question, though, is will the USA advance, and it has the odds at 76-24 in the USA's favor. In the other Group G match, Portugal is a 36-35 percent favorite with a 29 percent chance of a tie.
Ridge Mahoney:USA-Germany Preview
Paul Kennedy:Three keys to USA-Germany
Paul Kennedy:USA-Germany coaches share deep roots
Paul Kennedy: Klinsmann debunks notion of arranged tie
Ridge Mahoney:By words and deeds, Jones confirms his commitment
Weather Report ...
Like Natal before the USA-Ghana game, Recife has been experiencing driving rainstorms. Unlike the first two U.S. matches, which were played in the evening, the USA-Germany will be played in the afternoon. The weather report for the game -- 1 p.m. local time kickoff -- is temperatures at 80 degrees and showers.
UPDATE: Heavy flooding has made the stadium inaccessible to many fans trying to reach stadium located in outskirts of city (see below). Both teams were kept off the field in warmups.
Located on the northeast coast, Recife is Brazil's fourth largest city but it was once the largest city in South America, an important port for the sugar cane trade to Europe. With the end of slavery in 1888 -- Brazil was the last country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery -- Recife's influence lessened. It has benefited greatly, though, from Brazil's economic boom of the last 20 years and government investment in the Northeast.
On the eve of the World Cup, cattle could still be seen in the vicinity of the 42,610-seat Arena Pernambuco, built in Sao Lourenco, on the outskirts of Recife, at a cost of $220 million. The stadium is supposed to be part of an economic development project in the rural area. After the World Cup, Nautico, one of Recife's three pro clubs, will play at the Arena Pernambuco.
Goalkeepers:Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG), Tim Howard (Everton/ENG), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
Defenders:DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/MEX), Matt Besler (Sporting KC), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg/GER), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/GER), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders).
Midfielders:Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/FRA), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/NOR), Julian Green (Bayern Munich/GER), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas/TUR), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC).
Forwards:Jozy Altidore (Sunderland/ENG), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ/NED), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).
Goalkeepers:Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Bor. Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Kevin Grosskreutz (Bor. Dortmund), Erik Durm (Bor. Dortmund), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Bor. Dortmund), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal/ENG), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria/ITA).
Midfielders: Julian Draxler (Schalke 04), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Christoph Kramer (Borussia M'Gladbach), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid/SPA), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/ENG), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal/ENG), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea/ENG), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Forwards:Miroslav Klose (Lazio/ITA), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich).