The toughest group in the World Cup. Of course the US is in it.
The youngest team of the 2010 World Cup is back. Even with their youth they were able to advance to the semi-finals before being bounced by eventual champion Spain. While still being young, yet very good, they come into Group G as the favorite and have 5-1 odds of winning the whole World Cup at last glance. Oh, and fun fact: In every World Cup the Germans have ever been a part of, they've advanced to at least the final 8.
The Germans are LOADED with talent up and down the roster, especially in the midfield. They will quick/short pass opponents to death, with goals being almost guaranteed.
Key Players: Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller
FIFA Ranking: 2
Usually one player doesn't define a team, but as Cristiano Ronaldo goes, so goes Portugal. It's not that there aren't good players elsewhere on the roster, it's just that he's one of the best 2 or 3 players in the world. The team strategy relays a lot on getting him the ball in space and letting him do his thing. Ronaldo just returned to training after a recent injury. The main question is: Will he be 100% for the World Cup?
The qualifying campaign wasn't all that impressive. They ended up having to beat Sweden in the UEFA play-off in order to get here. However, they're still one of the top ranked teams in the world and are capable of beating anyone in the tournament if the team is on their game.
Key Players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani
FIFA Ranking: 4
The Achilles heel of the US team in the last couple World Cup's. Ghana made all of our lives hell 4 years ago when they defeated the US in the knockout round in South Africa. The first game the Black Stars will play is against the US on Monday.
While qualifying for the World Cup, Ghana blew through the CAF group. Winning 5 out of 6, and then ending their campaign with beatdown of Egypt in a 2 game playoff. Interestingly enough, former US coach Bob Bradley is the manager of Egypt. So as you can see, he's still up to his old tricks against Ghana.
Key Players: Kevin-Prince Boateng, Michael Essien, Asamoah Gyan
FIFA Ranking: 37
Well, here we go. It's been 4 years since we've watched the USMNT in a World Cup. Since then, Jurgen Klinsmann has been hired, a lot of German-American players have been added to the roster and Landon Donavon, who was/is US soccer for over a decade is no longer on the squad.
The US lost the first game of the CONCACAF Hex to Honduras. I, and likely many others, wondered at that point if we would even be watching them in the World Cup. Then the game against Costa Rica in a snow storm happened. The US won the game and then proceeded to go 6-1-1 from there; winning CONCACAF fairly easily.
The US might have the best team they've ever had. The problem is that they received a bad draw and were placed in the "Group of Death". It'll be no easy task, but I think the Stars and Stripes can make it out of this group... as the second team of course. I do believe Germany is going to roll through the group. But this is the World Cup, and anything can happen.
Key Players: Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore
FIFA Ranking: 13