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World Cup: TV? iPhone? What you need to watch USA-Germany

Soccer fans gather in Chicago's Grant Park to watch Saturday's  U.S.-Portugal game. Fans were turned away from the free event after the park's 10,000-person capacity was reached. [Getty Images]

Soccer fans gather in Chicago's Grant Park to watch Saturday's U.S.-Portugal game. Fans were turned away from the free event after the park's 10,000-person capacity was reached. [Getty Images]

Team USA plays Germany today at Recife, Brazil, in a game that will decide whether the U.S. advances to the 16-team elimination bracket in this year's soccer World Cup.

The U.S. team's first two games kicked off at favorable times for watching on television back home; today's group finale will be smack in the middle of the workday — noon on the East Coast, 9 a.m. out west.

The game will air on ESPN, and many ESPN subscribers will be able to watch a live Internet video stream for free at WatchESPN.com, or using the WatchESPN app on their phones or tablets.

Sunday's 2-2 tie with Portugal set records for WatchESPN, with an average audience per minute of 490,000, totalling nearly 1.4 million viewers.

Fans who can't spend two hours with their eyes glued to a screen can still listen to the game locally on 620-AM or online at ESPNradio.com. Various apps are capable of streaming the radio broadcast on a smartphone or tablet, including ESPN Radio and iTunes Radio in the native Music app on iPhones.

If neither video nor audio is an option for you today, you could always follow the game live at tampabay.com/worldcup.

So, what should you root for today if you're pulling for Team USA? Well:

There are four teams in the United States' group — the others are Germany, Portugal and Ghana — and the top two will advance to the knockout round.

Germany would win the group with at least a draw against the U.S., and is likely to go through even with a loss because of its superior goal difference. The U.S. would also be guaranteed to advance with a draw today, and would top the group with a win. The Americans would advance even with a loss if Ghana-Portugal is a draw.

Portugal and Ghana will be playing at the same time, and both those teams need a win to advance coupled with a result in the U.S.-Germany game that's lopsided enough to give them the advantage in the goal differential tiebreaker.

Portugal's goal differential going into today's game is minus-4. Germany's is plus-4, the United States' is plus-1 and Ghana's is minus-1.

So, U.S. soccer fans are hoping for a win or a draw. Barring those, the U.S. should still advance if both games are close.

There's been some speculation that the U.S. and Germany will conspire to play to a draw today. But there's another factor that could result in a low-scoring game: the weather.

Heavy rains in Recife have caused at least minor flooding in the area, and a soggy field could well result in a 0-0 tie that would advance both teams to the knockout round.

While the game referee could postpone the game because of the weather, it seems unlikely. Thunderstorms are forecast to continue in the area through the early afternoon.

One last thing to be aware of: If the U.S. team does advance to the elimination bracket today, it will be the first time it's ever done so in consecutive World Cups.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

World Cup: TV? iPhone? What you need to watch USA-Germany 06/26/14 [Last modified: Thursday, June 26, 2014 1:48pm]

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