After the United States fell victim to a late goal and a tie game against Portugal, rumors started to swirl surrounding the United States and their next match. Currently, Germany and the U.S. hold the two top spots in Group G. Many speculate the United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and German manager Joachim Low will arrange for a tie in tomorrow’s match.
Tying Germany propels the United States into the Round of 16. Germany would emerge as the group winner with five points, while the United States would end group play with five points as well. Although both teams finish with five points, Germany is then named group winner due to goal differential. A tie makes the match between Portugal and Ghana meaningless.
One glaring reason for an arranged tie is based on the relationship Klinsmann and Low share. When Klinsmann became the manager of the German national team in 2004, he brought Low on as an assistant. Their partnership on the sidelines ended with Klinsmann’s departure in 2006. Low then stepped in as the new manager. The two remain good friends off the field.
Klinsmann claims he is not interested in arranging a mutually beneficial tie. He had these words during the post-match press conference after tying Portugal.
“Jogi is doing his job and I’m doing my job. I’m going to do everything to get to the Round of 16,” Klinsmann said. “That’s what I’m going to do.”
With a victory against Germany, the United States would win Group G and face the second-place finisher from Group H. A draw pits the U.S. against the winner of Group H.
Losing their upcoming match against Germany makes advancement for the U.S. somewhat tricky because of goal differential and would allow the winner of the match between Portugal and Ghana an opportunity to advance.
Neither Klinsmann nor Low will ever comment on their being any sort of discussion regarding a mutually beneficial tie due to its illegality under FIFA regulations. However, a tie score and any signs of uninspired play between the two teams will call into a question the likelihood of some unknown conversation.