Technology sucks 

The USA-Ghana and Italy-Czech Republic matches kick off in 7 hours. The current standings are Italy 4, Czech Republic 3, Ghana 3, USA 1/ USA needs a win and either a Italy win, or a hell of a lot of goals (for goal differential), to advance to the playoffs.

The problem is that if the USA wins or ties, Italy needs only a tie to clinch first place in the group, whereas a loss would probably leave them second. Therefore, if the USA goes ahead or remains tied and it's late in the match, Italy will hear about it. They will then have zero incentive to win their match and a lot of incentive to not lose. They will therefore play for a tie, which will require the USA to score about 3-4 goals in the remainder of their match. (I know we'd all like to believe that the best way to preserve a tie is to attack instead of to play passive defense, but that's just not true late in a game.)

The alternative would be for the USA to go down early, provoke Italy into playing for a win, then come back with 2 or more goals against Ghana. Stop laughing.

If I were on the USA soccer contingent, I'd work on a way to jam the communications around the Italy-Czech Republic match. We've got thousands of soldiers stationed in bases aroung Germany, so there must be a few Army engineers we can get to rig something up.


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