When the United States won their World Cup group and advanced to the knockout stage, it may have set up an easy run to the quarterfinals. The United States must beat Ghana and then will take on the winner of Uruguay vs upstart South Korea.
Entering their upcoming match with Ghana, the United States should have a healthy Tim Howard and a plethora of confident strikers that cannot wait to get on the pitch and score their first goals of the World Cup. Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have been the best strikers so far and they are coming into the play from the midfield position. Jozy Altidore, Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez must get off the snide and score in the next two World Cup matches.
Ghana Will Be Tough & United States Cannot Overlook their World Cup Elimination Match
Ghana stymied a high scoring German offensive juggernaut and played well enough to advance to the knockout stage of the World Cup. This being said, the United States must take this match seriously. The World Cup match will be very similar to the United States match with Algeria and the United States was held scoreless in regulation against Algeria.
Look for the United States to play this match exactly the same as the played Algeria, even though in the box score they appeared unsuccessful. Anyone that watched the United States against Algeria could see the United States was a far superior striking team and could have won the World Cup match 3-0. A disallowed goal and some mental errors by the United States kept the match close but the United States had the fortitude to play through and score at the 91 minute mark.
Uruguay will play South Korea in the World Cup Elimination Match
The Uruguay versus South Korea match will be intriguing to say the least. Uruguay has played well in the World Cup group stage and South Korea, the surprise underdog story of this years World Cup, will be an exciting match to watch. South Korea has set the stage in this World Cup to be the lovable underdogs along with the United States.
South Korea does come up against a Uruguay team that will not let the upstart South Koreans sneak by them. Look for Uruguay to come out aggressive in this World Cup elimination match but if they are reckless, a calculating South Korea team will have a chance to capitalize.
Final Analysis of United States Chances to Make Quarterfinals
The United States must stay on an even keel and keep attacking to advance through the next two elimination matches and make the quarterfinals. Now that there are no ties and the result of a tie in regulation is a shootout, the United States would fare well in a shootout against either of these World Cup teams.
Whichever team the United States faces if they get by Ghana, will be tough enough to be the possible favorite in their match. A South Korea versus the United States may be much tougher than many fans anticipate.
www.espn.go.com World Cup team and player profiles.