TALE OF THE TAPE

Should U.S. Play For Win Or Tie Against Germany?

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.

Win
Tie
U.S. soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann. (Getty Images)
Netherlands v Germany - Group B: UEFA EURO 2012
U.S. soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann. (Getty Images)
Dignity
Winner If you're a true competitor, you take pride in winning every time out. There's no other option.
They say ties are like kissing your sister -- why would you ever purposely try to do that?
Aesthetics
Winner The U.S. and Germany have the talent to play quality, entertaining soccer if they stick to their identity.
No one wants to watch two sides kick the ball around for 90 minutes in the middle-third of the field.
Short-term reward
Winner The U.S. would win Group G and play either Algeria, Russia or Korea in a round of 16 matchup.
The U.S. would take second in Group G and almost assuredly play Belgium, an outside title contender, in a round of 16 matchup.
Long-term reward
The U.S. would be in the same quadrant as Argentina, making for a really tough potential quarterfinals.
Winner If the U.S. got through the round of 16, a favorable quarterfinal matchup against the likes of Nigeria or France awaits.
Attitude
Winner 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.
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

U.S. soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann. (Getty Images)
Winner Win
4 out of 5

You play to win the game!

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