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World Cup Preview: USA vs Portugal

by Photo of Matthew Golda

If USA beats Portugal, they are through to the round of sixteen. That’s easier said than done.

World Cup Preview: USA vs Portugal

Last Match

USA won 2-1 vs Ghana

Portugal lost 4-0 vs Germany

For the Americans, it wasn't perfect, but a win is a win. Managing to get three points against Ghana was the perfect start for an American squad looking to get out of the group stage for the second consecutive World Cup, something they have never done in their history. With a win against Portugal, they achieve just that. For Portugal, they are just looking to survive. They were thrashed by the Germans in their opening game and need to rebound in a big way. 

These two sides have some recent history, as the US defeated Portugal in the group stage of the 2002 World Cup:

Although this a generation of players ago (sorry, Landon), it is a nice piece of nostalgia. Portugal is still a football powerhouse, but the American side has progressed since that 2002 World Cup, which saw the US advance to the quarterfinals

Key Players

Michael Bradley, USA

Bradley was my key player for the match against Ghana as well. Unfortunately, Bradley had a subpar game. He is a resilient and smart player, so I expect him to rebound nicely and man the midfield like he's capable of doing. Maybe he'll even score a goal. Unfortunately, there won't be a call like this if he does. I do see the resemblance to Lex Luther though...    

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

Ronaldo is the easy pick for Portugal. He is the best athlete in the world of football and Portugal goes as he goes. He did not look 100% healthy against Germany on Monday, but the US can't game plan for a Ronaldo who is less than 100%. Even an injured Ronaldo can do some serious damage.

Best Kits

USA Kits:

Portugal Kits:

Portugal's kits are crisp and clear and resemble elite kits that elite nations produce. However, they are up against the red, white, and blue of the United States. I like the look Portugal's kits provide, but they are no match for the patriotism I feel when I glance at the US kits. We've come a long way.

Advantage: USA

When and Where?

6 PM ET, Arena Amazonia, Manaus, Brazil

Match Prediction

1-1 draw. The Americans will be looking to control the ball to the best of their abilities and keep it away from the dynamic Cristiano Ronaldo. Due to the 2-2 draw between Ghana and Germany yesterday, the US can advance to the round of sixteen with a win. It is still up in the air as to who Klinsmann inserts into the lineup in replace of Altidore. It's all going to come down the kind of formation Klinsmann wants to put out against Portugal, who aren't eliminated with a draw today, but will be most likely coming out to win. The playing conditions could prove troublesome for both sides, as they are playing in the jungle of Manaus. The US looked like they struggled last game with their fitness, so that could be an issue again today.

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