US vs. Germany: Bragging rights at stake for Minnesota family


There's a lot at stake in Thursday's USA vs. Germany World Cup game – and support for the men in red, white and blue can be seen all around Minnesota.

Group G, which has been dubbed "the group of death," is living up to its name in the final day of group play. The United States, Germany, Portugal and Ghana all still have a chance of advancing to the knockout round.

The 11 a.m. matchup between the U.S. and Germany is one of the biggest soccer games in recent U.S. sports history.

Far from the world stage being set in Brazil, one Minnesota family will be watching the game with more interest than most.

"For me, it's simple. I root for Germany and Eric [Matteson] roots for the United States. And then we'll talk about it afterwards," Herta Matteson told the Rochester Post Bulletin.

Herta Matteson is from Germany and will be rooting for her home country, while her husband, even though they met in Germany, will be cheering for the United States.

The couple will celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary on July 4th this year, so Herta Matteson says one soccer game probably won't make that much of a difference in their marriage, the newspaper reports.

Herta Matteson told the Post Bulletin that she's happy soccer is starting to build up its fan base in Minnesota, although she says people "don't know how to watch a game properly ... they don't know when to sing, or when to yell and chant," but she gives fans credit because they're still learning.

One clue that soccer is gaining in popularity in Minnesota: there was a line outside Minneapolis' Brit's Pub – one of the most popular places in the Twin Cities to watch soccer – before doors even opened Thursday morning.

Target Field Station will also broadcast the game on the station's jumbo display screen – and concessions will be available for fans.

Even President Barack Obama is expected to tune in to the game – he'll be on Air Force One en route to Minnesota, FOX 9 reports.

USA Today notes that the president is scheduled to land in Minnesota around 12:25 p.m., when the second half of the game will be underway.

Obama is expected to go to lunch in the Minneapolis area, "so maybe there will be a TV around," USA Today says.

The game is expected to start on time, although the area around the Recife, Brazil, stadium is flooded just like much of Minnesota.

As the game gets underway, the big question is whether or not the U.S. will advance to the next round. Tiebreakers in the World Cup can be confusing, so the New York Times has laid out a handy interactive table that details the 984 ways the U.S. can advance.

The United States is more likely than not to move on no matter the result Thursday – a win or draw puts them through, but even a loss can still advance the team as long as Ghana and Portugal play to a draw. If you're nervous, "remain calm, consult the table and sit next to someone lucky," the newspaper says.

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