RandBall

Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

Follow Randball on Twitter

261271731

TFD: No, the U.S. did not back into the round of 16

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated July 16th at 12:08pm 264810281

backingin

After the United States lost 1-0 to Germany on Thursday in the World Cup but still advanced to the round of 16 thanks to Portugal’s 2-1 victory over Ghana, it became fashionable to say the Americans “backed in” to their coveted spot beyond group play.

What really happened is that the U.S. built a comfortable advantage over both Portugal and Ghana after the first two matches of group play, leaving the Americans with many “outs,” as the poker crowd likes to say, when it came to advancing Thursday.

Winning their own match was the simplest way. Earning a draw against Germany was also a straight-forward way.

But still the likeliest way was for the U.S. to keep it close vs. Germany, hope for the best, but accept a one-goal loss because in many circumstances that would mean the squad advanced. A lopsided loss, however, would put the Americans in much more potential peril.

So while there is never really a cause to say a team backed into the playoffs in any sport — wins are wins, losses are losses, ties are ties, no matter when they happen — it is particularly not true with the U.S. in the World Cup.

After all, as we tweeted 10 days ago before the first U.S. match, the realistic path to advancement was pretty clear:

Beat Ghana. Draw with Portugal. Defensive shell/keep it close vs. Germany. Goal differential. #roadtotheknockoutstage

— RandBall (@RandBall) June 16, 2014

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia - WP: A. Harang 5 FINAL
Washington - LP: J. Zimmermann 3
Atlanta - LP: S. Marimon 5 FINAL
Toronto - WP: B. Cecil 6
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 12 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 3
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 4 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 2
Cincinnati - LP: H. Bailey 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: C. Martinez 5
San Diego - LP: C. Kimbrel 6 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: Z. Rosscup 7
Baltimore 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Boston 1
Milwaukee 0 Top 1st Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Miami - M. Latos 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. deGrom
LA Angels - C. Wilson 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
NY Yankees - M. Tanaka 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Oakland - J. Hahn 6:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Arizona - R. De La Rosa 8:05 PM
San Francisco - C. Heston
Colorado - J. Lyles 8:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Texas - C. Lewis 8:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Washington 93 FINAL
Toronto 86
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Golden State 106
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Chicago
Dallas 8:30 PM
Houston
Minnesota 1 FINAL
St. Louis 4
Detroit 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 5
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
NY Rangers
Winnipeg 9:30 PM
Anaheim
Houston 6:00 PM
D.C.
Orlando City 6:30 PM
Columbus
Toronto FC 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Seattle 8:00 PM
Colorado
Vancouver FC 8:30 PM
Real Salt Lake
Sporting Kansas City 9:30 PM
Los Angeles

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What do you think of ESPN reporter Britt McHenry's one-week suspension?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT