Here's the thing with the World Cup. You can be completely thrilled with the result of a match while being incredibly anxious about the play that got you there. Such is the case for the United States after one match so far: Three points against Ghana was huge, but ceding possession and suffering apparent overuse injuries and nipping the win late with a late set piece from a couple of substitutes understandably combine to make American fans more than a little nervous. Especially heading into today's matchup with the reigning top player in the world and his Portugal side.
But forget all that. Let's do better, and let's beat Portugal!
Kickoff Time: 6pm EDT
Venue: Arena Amazonia, Manaus
TV/Streaming: ESPN has this one for English speakers, and Univision is your home para español. Each network's respective online platform will have the online streaming.
Projected USA XI: This one is tough, and not just because we don't have Jozy Altidore to put in sharpie at the top of the formation - actually, that's the biggest monkey wrench Jurgen Klinsmann will be dealing with, as he has to decide what system to run out. I don't expect too many tactical changes from the win over Ghana, so my gut is saying to look for a mostly unchanged lineup: Tim Howard; Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler (John Brooks if he can't go), DaMarcus Beasley; Graham Zusi, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones; Clint Dempsey, Chris Wondolowski.
Prediction: It's going to be tough. It might be the longest 90 minutes of Fabian Johnson's career, but I think after some Tim Howard heroics and more than a couple game-saving tackles, the USA come out on top 1-0, thanks to a strike from MB90.
What Are You Drinking? American libations are strongly preferred in these parts, and in honor of the heat and humidity of the jungle our boys will be playing in tonight, I'll be making up a Green Hat gin rickey. Because of course I will.
If you're new here, then welcome! Make yourself at home. As any returning readers will already know, this is your place for pre-game, in-game and post-game commentary and conversation.
Go go USA! Come on you Rocket Pops! #COYRP