We are exactly one week away from the USA’s World Cup opener against Ghana, and Yahoo! Sports Eric Adelson, for one, believes that the Yanks’ Group G prospects are starting to look up. Despite being drawn into the notorious "Group of Death," Adelson thinks that forces are starting to conspire in Jurgen Klinsman & Co.’s favor: for example, the USA on Saturday very capably dispatched Africa’s reigning champion Nigeria, 2-1, and coach Klinsmann thinks Ghana should prove to be a similar challenge.
Meanwhile, Portugal, the USA’s second opponent, has looked inept going forward in its first two World Cup tune-ups -- but of course both of these were played without 2013 Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who continues to struggle with tendinosis in his left knee. If he proves to be a scratch or even less than 100 percent, Adelson says “listless-looking” Portugal seems “even a little more beatable (or at least tie-able).”
And then there’s presumed Group G winner Germany, which just lost its best player, Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus, to an ankle injury. Despite his injury, Adelson says the USA’s main hope going into its final match will be that the Germans have already qualified for the round of 16 ahead of their June 26 encounter.