final matches of the group stage begin today. all teams in each group play simultaneously to avoid any advantage. in group b at noon spain and austrailia play for pride while netherlands and chile face off for the top spot in group. the winner avoids playing the top team in their opposing group in the next round, in this case group a. brasil with a win against cameroon will take the top slot in group a unless mexico score an inordinate amount of goals while defeating croatia. mexico can also advance with a tie while croatia need an outright win to knock mexico out. those games begin at 4pm.
What has to happen for the US to go through? How probable?
i wrote in the other post --
two ways for the us to get through: ghana and portugal tie which is a possibility as they both have something to play for, or the us beat or tie germany.
but i guess the us could get through on goal differential (the first tiebreaker) as well because neither portugal nor ghana can get more than the 4 points the us has. so root for portugal as their goal different is terrible and only a us drubbing by germany combined with a portugal rout will not put them through should portugal prevail.
and while germany wants to secure the group with a win or at the very least a tie, i think the german coach was an assistant under the us coach klinsmann so there is at least the notion that he would like to help his friend succeed if possible. (which is one of the reasons that the final games are played concurrently. they mentioned at least one time when the germans conveniently tied with austria to ensure both made it out of the group stage.)
also linda posted a nytimes article on the probability of them getting through.