KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Americans will unite over their television sets Thursday to root our National Soccer Team to victory. We need to beat or tie Germany to make it to the next round. Though a loss could get us there as well.
Some have given us a better than 75 percent chance of moving on. But trying to figure out what it will take to move to the next round can be confusing.
Since we beat Ghana and tied Portugal, we have four points in our group -- same as Germany -- while Ghana and Portugal have one each. For us to move on, we need to either beat or tie Germany.
That would give us more points than Ghana or Portugal, who are playing each other Thursday morning as well. If we lose but Ghana and Portugal tie, we still move on because we'd still have more points than either team. But if we lose and either Ghana or Portugal wins, it will come down to goal differential.
What does that mean exactly? We've scored one more goal than Ghana and four more goals than Portugal. So if we lose 1-nil and Ghana wins one-nil, we'd be tied, but because we beat Ghana head to head, we go through. But if we lose one-nil and Ghana wins and scores two or more goals, Ghana goes through by scoring more total goals. The only way Portugal goes through is if we lose and they blow out Ghana by five or more goals.
Basically, the more goals we score today, the better our odds of going through to the next round. Officials with the Power and Light District say the crowds have been bigger this World Cup than four years ago, and they invite you to come down during your lunch hour to watch the game with them
"It's about as electric a sports atmosphere as you can have," said Nick Benjamin, Exec. Director KC Power and Light District. "It becomes more of a collective experience. There's just more energy and more excitement, and when things go right, you have 10,000 people that are there with you and experiencing that excitement and when things go wrong, you have a lot of people to commiserate with."
Kickoff is at eleven o'clock.
A lot of the bars and restaurants in the Power and Light District will open around 7-7:30 Thursday morning, so you can come early, eat breakfast and get a good seat for the big game.