Both Team USA and Germany can advance to the knockout stage of the World Cup if they tie Thursday’s match against one another. For either side — more notably, the U.S., because of its lesser goal differential — a loss could mean an exit. This set-up has led to speculation that the two sides will be an extremely conservative game to ensure a 0-0 result and advancement for both. So what should the Americans do? We break it down.
Tale of the tape
Should U.S. Play For Win Or Tie Against Germany?
|If you're a true competitor, you take pride in winning every time out. There's no other option.||Dignity||They say ties are like kissing your sister -- why would you ever purposely try to do that?|
|The U.S. and Germany have the talent to play quality, entertaining soccer if they stick to their identity.||Aesthetics||No one wants to watch two sides kick the ball around for 90 minutes in the middle-third of the field.|
|The U.S. would win Group G and play either Algeria, Russia or Korea in a round of 16 matchup.||Short-term reward||The U.S. would take second in Group G and almost assuredly play Belgium, an outside title contender, in a round of 16 matchup.|
|The U.S. would be in the same quadrant as Argentina, making for a really tough potential quarterfinals.||Long-term reward||If the U.S. got through the round of 16, a favorable quarterfinal matchup against the likes of Nigeria or France awaits.|
|To be the best, you have to compete -- and beat -- the best. Germany is among the elite, so this is the chance to prove yourself.||Attitude||How do you sell your team and nation on competing for World Cup titles in the future if you take the easy way out in this situation?|
The winner is
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