The U.S. Men's National Team plays a crucial match against Germany in the World Cup today—one that could determine whether or not the team advances into the knockout stage of the tournament. Want to understand it, non sports fan?

These may be the last moments we share together, non sports fan, so let's make it worth it. Strap on your red, white, and blue, and prove to me that we've learned something together this year.

Why is there still more.

Well, listen. The last game we played was a real bummer.

If you watched, which I sure hope you did or else I don't know what you're bringing to this relationship anymore, non sports fan, maybe you noticed that we looked pretty slick out there. Some of the most beautiful football every played was delivered by the ankles of by Cristiano Ronaldo (a.k.a. Kids Kutz a.k.a. Rap Game Perfectly Symmetrical Face a.k.a. Head On Legs). We were sadly taken down by the Portuguese National Team in a draw from a goal made by Varela in the the last thirty seconds of stoppage time. (Do you remember what stoppage time is?)

But to answer your deliberately curt statement, non sports fan, yes, we have to play one more match in order to qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup, and it's not going to be as easy as "Let's win, rah rah rah."

We're not through yet?

No. This is the last U.S. match in the "group stage," after which only two countries from our group—which includes besides us perennial favorites Germany, longtime U.S. spoilers Ghana (whom we beat last week), and Portugal—can advance. No team has gotten enough points (three for a win, one for a draw) to guarantee a place in the knockout stage, so the final games will determine who goes through.

We're tackling Germany, which has been fierce in its prior two matches, even with a few handicapped players who might return for this match. This will likely be our most challenging competition, and even if we lose, we still stand a chance for advancement. Portugal and Ghana are also playing.

Wait, did you say Germany? That means I can make lots of cool and funny World War II jokes during the game!


What needs to happen for the U.S. to advance?

Great question. You could go check out Deadspin, the world's second-best bear video blog, but I think I can give the advancement outcomes to you in a language you're sure to understand:

Germany wins
And we lose
Maybe we're
Only Ghana winning v. Portugal
Fucks the USMNT up
Then what about Portugal
How do they advance?
Right now
Only a lot of goals
No draws
Electric slide to

In short: If the U.S. wins or ties Germany, it advances. If it loses, advancement will depend on how many goals it, Ghana, and Portugal each score.

When is the Portgual-Ghana game?

The U.S.-Germany match and the Portugal-Ghana match will be happening concurrently at 12 p.m. ET. Find two TVs, perhaps at your neighborhood Radio Shack. Most bars have two or more TVs, as part of the reward for having to ever go to a bar.

What's this I hear about collusion?

Ah, the student has become the teacher. It has been rumored that since Germany and the US only need a draw to both advance, there would be reason to play a noncompetitive game in order to force that result.

Jurgen Klinsmann says you can go fuck yourself.

"The U.S. is known to give all they have in every single game, otherwise Mexico wouldn't be here."

But his name sounds awfully German...wouldn't he want his home country to advance?

Klinsmann is no longer German. Klinsmann is as American as apple pie. Klinsmann is your dad.

Who is this guy Miroslav Klose? He seems like he could ruin everything.

Yes, it is true that Klose tied the record for most World Cup goals scored in a career with Brazilian footballer Ronaldo. Yes, he has been known to do a really good backflip. And sure, Rihanna is a fan.

But are you really going to be intimidated by a guy who looks like the exchange student from 1998 classic teen film Can't Hardly Wait?

Didn't think so.

So grab that sour beer that's sitting next to you, gear up in your deepest royals, and bandwagon like you fucking mean it. After all, today's events in sportsball are going to be real goddamn nailbiters.

[Image via AP]