WORLD CUP OPEN THREAD: DAY ELEVEN - USA! USA! USA!

Wait, Hawkeye Elvis is in Brazil? - Michael Steele

The USMNT returns to action, seeking a second-straight win -- and a second-straight trip to the knockout rounds of the World Cup.

12 years ago, the United States put together its best run in the modern age of the World Cup, making it to the quarterfinals in South Korea before losing a controversial 1-0 game to Germany (the eventual World Cup runners-up). That remarkable run began with a 3-2 win over Portugal in the group stage.  A repeat performance here would likely secure a berth in the knockout rounds for the U.S.  Portugal is a weakened opponent, missing key players through injury (Fabio Coentrao) or suspension (Pepe), and with their best player (Ronaldo) hampered by a niggling knee injury, but they're still a talented and dangerous opponent.  Of course, America has its own injury issues (Jozy Altidore is out of action after sustaining a serious hamstring strain in the Ghana game), too.

Oh, and just to make things even more fun, this game will be played in Manaus, deep in the Amazon jungle.  Hey, it was never supposed to be easy, right?

TODAY'S GAMES:

Belgium v. Russia (11 AM CT, ABC and WatchABC, Derek Rae and Efan Ekoku)
South Korea v. Algeria (2 PM CT, ABC and WatchABC, Daniel Mann and Kasey Keller)
USA v. Portugal (5 PM CT, ESPN and WatchESPN, Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman)

The usual rules apply.

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