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USMNT, Portugal Draw 2-2: What It Means for DeAndre Yedlin and the Americans

After a heart-pounding draw against Portugal, many USMNT fans feel slighted. Here's why they shouldn't.

DeAndre Yedlin fights off Miguel Veloso in the dying minutes of the Yanks 2-2 draw against Portugal
DeAndre Yedlin fights off Miguel Veloso in the dying minutes of the Yanks 2-2 draw against Portugal
Christopher Lee

Well all least DeAndre Yedlin saw some action.

After a horrible miscue by Geoff Cameron early on in Sunday's match vs. Portugal, the United States Men's National Team (USMNT) looked like the better team going forward despite being down 1-0. And it proved its offensive firepower twice. Once with a beautiful strike from Jermaine Jones from outside the box and the second a stomach-ball that Captain Marvel himself, Clint Dempsey, pushed in. Who said the Americans needed Jozy Altidore to score goals?

But the poor men from the States couldn't take away the lion's share of the points, as Cristiano Ronaldo did what most players who claim to be the best in the world do. And that was aid his team in getting a goal that silenced American fans not only in Manaus, but the world over.

The feeling after Ronaldo's cross found Silvestre Verala's head in the very last minute of stoppage time seemed to stop everything for the USMNT. The fans groaned and sighed with agony while the players looked on in disgust as the Portuguese celebrated rescuing a point from what once looked like a defeated night for them.

Yes, the Yanks drew to a sub-par Portugal. Yes, this does indeed suck.

But instead of focusing on the sadness and grief this will bring to many pessimistic USMNT fans who (probably think Landon Donovan should have been on the plane), Hustle Belt chooses to focus on the lighter side of things. More importantly the mathematical side of things. The USMNT still have a pretty solid chance of getting out of the group stages.

Both the U.S. and Germany have four points in Group G, while Portugal and Ghana sit on one point apiece after tonight's match. However not all points are created equal, as Ghana sits in third with a minus-one goal differential while Portugal sits in last place with a dismal minus-four differential.

The USMNT sport a plus-one differential, while Germany sits in the top spot with a massive plus-four differential. This all means that when the Yanks play Germany in the last game of the group stages, if Ghana manages to beat Portugal by less than two, or the USMNT lose by less than two, then America advances to the knockout rounds.

Of course Ghana has looked the aggressor in Group G thus far, narrowly losing to the Yanks after a last gasp header by John Brooks that carved the youngster into American Outlaw folklore. Ghana followed up that performance with a thrilling 2-2 draw with Germany to keep its hope of getting out of the so-called "Group of Death," alive.

But if the best player in the world, Ronaldo, has anything to say about it, he will not let his team go out of the 2014 World Cup without at least one win. And if the No. 4 ranked team in the world manage to beat the Black Stars, short of anything miraculous—like a six-goal outburst—the Yanks make it through anyway.

Another positive to take away is that Yedlin saw his first action in the World Cup on Sunday night. After coming on in the 71st minute, Yedlin immediately injected pace into the right side. And with Fabian Johnson staying back to cover the right side, it gave the Seattle Sounders' right back a free license to rome the pitch at his leisure.

Yedlin's major contribution to the match saw him get involved in the Americans' second goal. As he drove down to the byline with conviction, he sent in a pinpoint cross across the face of goal where Michael Bradley picked it up. After struggling to control it, Bradley touched it to Graham Zusi who put the ball back across goal and allowed Dempsey to gut-punch it in.

So Yedlin contributed, the USMNT isn't doomed and America is bound to overreact to the result despite many coming in hoping for a draw. Guess that's what makes the World Cup such a magical and enchanting spectacle.