Photo: REX USA/Graham Chadwick / Daily Mail/Rex.
Hit any street, bar, park, or restaurant in the United States today, and you're likely to find someone sporting a Team USA soccer jersey. That's because America's national team is kicking off right now against Portugal in Brazil, for their second match of the 2014.
In case you haven't already heard, it's a pretty big deal. If the U.S. defeats Portugal, the team will advance to the next round. When the groups were first announced, the thought of Team USA making it through to the elimination stages was almost unfathomable. With elite squads Germany and Portugal included, as well as their old foe Ghana, the Americans found themselves as the heavy underdog in the notorious "Group of Death".
That was then.
After a spirited display against Ghana in which they won 2-1, coupled with yesterday's epic 2-2 tie between Ghana and Germany, and the Germans' absolute dismantling of Portugal last week, the Americans find themselves primed to take control of the group tonight.
Although soccer in America has always taken a back seat to football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, this year feels decidedly different. The nation has been struck with World Cup fever, as bars around the country are expecting Super Bowl-like crowds for the game. A win tonight will incite absolute, unbridled frenzy in cities across the country. Only Cristiano Ronaldo, the reigning FIFA world player of the year, stands in their way. We'll be watching, and we suggest you do too.