The USA (Estados Unidos) vs Portugal World Cup match will take place at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus on Sunday at 3 PM PST (6 PM EST). This will be the third match played Sunday, following Group H action. Belgium vs. Russia will kick off the day’s football at 9 AM (12 PM EST) and South Korea vs. Algeria will follow at 12 PM (3 PM EST).
If you’re an American fan and didn’t feel something after the victory over Ghana, then I have absolutely nothing to say to you. No, our performance wasn’t that of the Dutch or even fellow CONCACAF team Costa Rica, but three points sends a message to everyone in Group G and the rest of the world that United States are here to play.
United States Team News
The biggest question for the Americans moving forward is undoubtedly the replacement for Jozy Altidore up top. The Sunderland striker was lost just twenty minutes into the Ghana fixture after suffering a hamstring injury. It has been reported widely that this injury is a strain as opposed to a tear, but a timetable for his return is still up in the air. All that is certain is that he won’t be available to play against Portugal.
That leaves manager Jurgen Klinsmann with a very difficult decision to make. He could utilize the services of reserve forwards Chris Wondolowski or Aron Johannsson, but neither man truly fit the number nine role that Altidore leaves vacant. This could also leave captain Clint Dempsey in charge of being the man up front in a false striker position.
If Dempsey were the choice, that would require Klinsmann to maneuver the rest of the lineup, particularly bringing Graham Zusi off the bench to fill the right wing role. This would most likely require the US coach to switch the formation from a 4-4-2 Diamond to the 4-2-3-1 that was on display in the final send-off match against Nigeria.
The US also had to deal with another potential injury when center back Matt Besler made way for John Brooks at halftime. It was apparently only a precautionary measure, but Klinsmann is presented with a tough decision now, because both men played good halves in the opening match. Brooks struggled at the beginning of the second half when he was subbed on, but scoring the winning goal makes Klinsmann’s decision that much more difficult.
Portugal Team News
It is hard to write off a team that has quality players like Nani and Joao Moutinho, in addition to Cristiano Ronaldo, of course. Despite the team’s obvious talent, Portugal fell at the hands of Germany 4-0 in the opener. The match favored the Germans much more after their opposition were reduced to ten men. The loss putting Ronaldo’s team in a huge hole for sure.
To make matters worse, the European side will have to play without several key players, including Ronaldo’s Real Madrid teammates Pepe and Fabio Coentrao when taking on the US. Pepe will be available for the group stage finale against Ghana after picking up a red card last match. Unlike his teammate, Coentrao won’t be as lucky and will miss the remainder of the World Cup with a thigh injury.
Goalkeeper Rui Patricio and forward Hugo Almeida will also be casualties of the team taking on the Americans. Neither man have a timetable for returns yet, but it appears that they will be held out until the next round at the earliest.
USA vs Portugal Prediction
The United States match up much better with Portugal than they did in their first clash with Ghana, which the US still managed to win. Midfield general Michael Bradley will have more space to possess the ball and create opportunities for the USA in this match. The US registered a total of eight shots against Ghana, but look for that number to be much higher against the Portuguese in a match that will be more box to box. Although Portugal still has one of the best players of the planet, I don’t think that Ronaldo will be enough to save his country from being sent home. I believe that the United States will defeat the depleted European side by a score of 2-0.
USA vs Portugal TV Schedule
The match will be televised on ESPN, Univision, and ESPN 3 (Online) at 3 PM PST (6 PM EST).