The big worry for the United States men’s national team is that the physical and mental fatigue of the 2-2 draw against Portugal will be too much to overcome against Germany.
The U.S. and Portugal played in Manaus — an oppressively hot, humid outpost in a remote part of the Amazon.
In this World Cup, the four teams that have played there (Italy, England, Croatia, Cameroon) have all gotten destroyed once they left.
They all lost their next games, and went 0-1-5 in tournament games overall after playing in Manaus.
Italy beat England 2-1 at the Arena Amazonia on the first weekend of the tournament. England lost their next game to Uruguay and Italy lost their next game to Costa Rica.
Croatia beat Cameroon 4-0 in Manaus. Cameroon lost their next game to Brazil and Croatia lost their next game to Mexico.
All four teams have since been eliminated from the World Cup.
The sample size is small, but it makes sense that the Amazon would take its toll. Before the World Cup draw in December USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he’d be fine with any outcome as long as he didn’t have to go to Manaus.
The conditions are exhausting, especially with only a few days of recovery between games. The travel is a factor as well, with teams losing training days because they have to fly thousands of miles to the jungle.
The U.S. will have to overcome all of that to advance.
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