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As always, it’s really easy to put too much pressure on any US football team during international competitions. This particular team at this particular time in the history of the sport in this country is pretty different. Especially with this particular coach at the helm of the entire program. Practically they are having as much pressure as any U.S. soccer team ever had in history.
After the World Cup draw, many thought the team had been placed in the Group of Death. As two of the top five teams were with them. And Ghana was the United States’ personal World Cup executioner in each of the last two.
But after the first nine days, things are a little bit changed. Life and death in a World Cup are proving to be different from reality. Fans can now just start proving their own group as the group of death. For England and Spain, they are all the same.
There have been much more surprises around the tournament so far. Many of which could have the United States feeling rather optimistic about its own chances to create.
No matter what the group is, even death is often diagnosed wrong at the World Cup.
Getting three points from a match against Ghana, will make the USMNT confident before the Portugal vs US match. They outplayed their opponents for 80 of the 90 minutes. So why worry about the death, rather they can easily enjoy the rest games.
The US team should be hopeful for the upcoming games. They will be assured the knockout stage with only a win from the Portugal vs US match on Sunday.
Portugal vs US match preview:
United States team must be thinking of their loss of Jozy Altidore. On the other hand Portugal team is not so happy either. They are also losing Pepe to a horrible suspension after head butting Germany’s Thomas Mueller. Fabio Coentrao and Hugo Almeida are out of the tournament because of injury. Even Cristiano can be a matter of disappointment for the Portugal team.
From the Portugal team perspectives, they will be needing two of their last games win. As they can easily figure out that it would be tough to get out of the goal difference disadvantage, already created. So they will be desperate to bring three points from the Portugal vs US match.
US fans must be hoping for something more too. Just look at Chile, Costa Rica and even Mexico. Expectations can change during a tournament. No one ever had expected US team to take down Portugal or Germany. But now, it’s time for at least to provide the challenge.
May be don’t lose, would be the perfect thinking over the top ranked teams for USMNT. Just maintaining this strategy twice, they are guaranteed the next round of the tournament.
Despite the heat and humidity in Manaus, they have to hope multiple non-contact injuries won’t hit. As a one more match to come up.
This week, speaking with the media Bradley said via US Soccer,
“We talked five minutes after the Ghana game ended about being excited and proud of the way we started off but also realizing that one game doesn’t mean anything”
He knew very well, that night was not the sharpest of him. But he emphasized on keeping importance of following up on those three points with a positive result against Portugal. They need to follow up the first game with a good result. They are focused for the game three needing a result or looking at the other game.
If there is a call for optimism heading into the match against Portugal, surely it starts with Bradley. USMNT must make this player understand that he needs to play better. There is no telling, how much better the USMNT will be, when Bradley plays his best. What do you think? Will it be enough for the Portugal team? Probably the Portugal vs US match will reply in a more optimistic way.