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!

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Frank Kaminsky #44 of the Wisconsin Badgers (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    NCAA Championship Tale: #1 Wisconsin Badgers Vs. #1 Duke Blue Devils

    Two No. 1 seeds battle for the national title. Here is a look at the matchup between the Wisconsin Badgers and Duke Blue Devils.

  2. Andrew Harrison #5 of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons, Getty Images) Sam Dekker #15 of the Wisconsin Badgers (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)
    Final Four Tale: #1 Wisconsin Vs. #1 Kentucky

    The Final Four features very few surprises this season, with three number one seeds making it into the final weekend of the 2015 NCAA College Basketball Tournament.

  3. Jahlil Okafor #15 and Justise Winslow #12 of the Duke Blue Devils (Photo Credit: Bob Leverone, Getty Images) Branden Dawson #22 of the Michigan State Spartans (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)
    Final Four Tale: #1 Duke Vs. #7 Michigan State

    In 1999, Tom Izzo took the Michigan State Spartans to the Final Four for the first time on his watch, and they met Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils.

See All Tales of the Tape