U.S. Coach Dismisses Conspiracies About Secret Deal With Germany
Soccer fans around the world are anxiously awaiting Thursday's World Cup matchup between the United States and Germany to see who will move on to the knockout stage. There are various scenarios that could play out in the "Group of Death," which also includes Portugal and Ghana, but one is receiving by far the most attention.
Since both teams would advance out of group play with a draw, many conspiracy-minded folks are bringing up the idea that the two coaches could, theoretically, agree to play to a tie. The plot only thickens when people point out that U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann is a former German star footballer and once coached the German squad with the team's current manager, Joachim Löw, as his assistant.
Trace Gallagher reported on the situation this afternoon on Real Story: could there actually be a backroom deal?
Klinsmann has stated emphatically that the goal is to beat Germany and win the group.
“The message is very simple: We want to beat Germany,’’ Klinsmann said. “We want to be first in our group, so we’re not thinking about a tie. We know a tie gets us through too, which if at the end of the day it ends up a tie because it’s an exciting game and a very close game, so be it. But our goal is to beat Germany."
Löw also dismissed the idea of a secret agreement. Gallagher noted that secret deals are not unprecedented in the World Cup, most notably in 1982 when West Germany and Austria colluded to make sure West Germany won a low-scoring match.
That controversy led FIFA to change its rules so that the final matches of each group are both played at the same time.
The two sides will square off Thursday at noon ET in Recife, Brazil, just a few days after the Americans played to a heartbreaking 2-2 tie as Portugal scored the equalizer in the final seconds. According to reports, Sunday's match was watched by nearly 25 million viewers in the U.S. across ESPN and Univision, the most ever for a U.S. soccer telecast.