Well, this is it. The United States would have been more than happy if they were told six months ago that all they would have to do to get to the round of 16 was to beat Algeria. But now, they have to go out and actually do it. It may not be as easy as we would like to think is, especially with how solid Algeria looked in their draw last week against England. But if the school of thought is that Algeria has already played their best game while the Americans haven't, then I think we're going to be in for a treat. This United States team has had a lot of time to think about how their game against Slovenia ended, from the comeback right down to the disallowed goal. I think Bob Bradley has them more ready than they've ever been, and come out firing with their backs on the line.
You saw this team do something similar like this last year in the Confederations Cup, when in their last game of group play they had like a .5 percent chance to advance, but came out blazing anyway knocking off Egypt 3-0. Sure enough, they found themselves advancing where they then upset Spain and lead Brazil 2-0 at halftime. There is a difference between teams that can get the victory and teams that will get the victory, and I think this is a United States team that will get it done. All they have to do is just not give up a stupid goal early, and come out attacking right away, and this will be a good morning.
United States 3, Algeria 0
Group C - England vs. Slovenia - 9:00am - ESPN2
Assuming the Americans do win, England is going to need a victory to advance as well. As we've seen, this Slovenian team is nothing to take lightly, but again, I think we've seen Slovenia play their best game already, while we definitely haven't from England. I'm kind of rooting for Slovenia to win, because if so the Americans would take second in the group and I'll have a better chance of watching them play, but the U.S. would have a better chance to make some noise if we won the group, so we should be rooting for the English side. I can easily see England just getting a draw here and going home a complete disappointment, but I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and see them through.
England 1, Slovenia 0
Group D - Germany vs. Ghana - 1:30pm - ESPN
This really is going to be an incredible day of soccer. Both Ghana and Germany would be the qualifiers of this group right now, but there is still one more contest to be played. Every team, including Serbia and Australia, are still alive in this group, and I'm really pulling for Ghana here because we may not see any one of the six African teams advance into the round of 16, which would really be a shame. But, I don't know, I think Germany figures things back out and gets the victory here. Ghana's fate would then rest on the outcome of the Serbia and Australia game.
Germany 2, Ghana 1
Group D - Serbia vs. Australia - 1:30pm - ESPN
Australia kept themselves alive in this tournament with a tie against Ghana, while Serbia kept themselves in the race by knocking off Deutschland. Both teams have a lot at stake here, but I think it ends up turning into more of a chess match with neither team either to break through for a victory. I'm going with a tie here, a result which would send Ghana through, as long as they don't lose by more than one goal. This is the second day in the row where my predictions have turned into me basically making things play out in favor of an African squad, but I fear I'll be wrong again here.
Australia 1, Serbia 1