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Germany Draws 2-2 with Ghana: What It Means For the USMNT

How Germany's draw with Ghana affects the USMNT chances of getting out of the Group of Death.

The team trains in Manaus ahead of its game against Portugal
The team trains in Manaus ahead of its game against Portugal
Kevin C. Cox

The partying in Germany for Miroslav Klose's 15th goal in the World Cup, an all-time record he shares with Brazil's Ronaldo, was cut short on Saturday after Die Mannschaft drew against Ghana and made things interesting in Group G.

With Germany sitting atop the group with four points, the U.S. Men's National Team face a much easier challenge than if the German's had dominated the West Africans like they did Portugal. With the Yanks' game against Portugal slated for Sunday evening, a whole country's ambition may lay in the hands of the USMNT's 14 players (11 starters and three substitutions).

Cristiano Ronaldo may not be at full fitness but even a half-fit Ronaldo can give some of the best back lines challenges. Many pundits have been asking about who to start at left back, with Timmy Chandler and DaMarcus Beasley being the focus of the argument.

No offense to Beasley, as this is his fourth World Cup and the Yanks could use as much the experience in that back line as they can get, but the left side should not be the focus in this game. The focus needs to be on the right and who is going to start to try and shut down the best player in the world.

The 2014 Ballon d'Or winner will have problems of his own, with Pepe out due to seeing a straight red in his last game and Fabio Coentrao out due to a hamstring injury. With a noticeably weaker Portuguese defense, the USMNT will probably look to get forward a bit more and press Portugal so they can try and get a result against the No. 4 team in the world.

And with Fabian Johnson putting in aspiring performances in the warm-up games and the U.S.' first game against Ghana, the Hoffenheim defender will most likely get the nod to start on the right side.

So what does this all mean for DeAndre Yedlin?

Well, if —and that's a big if—Johnson can hold back CR7, then Yedlin may see his first minutes of the 2014 World Cup in an effort to get Jürgen Klinsmann's side forward. And if he does break into the action, he will add some much needed pace to the American's game and an extra attacker from the back.

With the USMNT sitting on three points and in second place in Group G, if it can win the Americans can go top of the group. But, more realistically, if the U.S. loses or draws, it will hold its position in second with a superior goal differential of +1, while Germany sports a +4 and Portugal have a lowly -4.

If the USMNT manage a draw against Portugal and don't get completely blown out of the water by Germany, it might just make it through the group stages unscathed. Of course people will still focus on the injury to Jozy Altidore and the lack of strength and a target forward upfront. But hey, the Yanks have a legitimate chance of making it through to the Round of 16, let's focus on the positives.