Ben's Blog: Playing for the tie

My head says one thing and my heart says the opposite. The United States will take on Germany on Thursday in Recife, Brazil, and a tie will send both teams forward in the World Cup, eliminating Portugal and Ghana. That creates a potential soccer dilemma for players and fans.

Head

"The answer is simple. Just kick the ball around with Germany for 90 minutes, let the game end in a 0-0 tie, and both countries are happy. Even if you are the favored German side, why would you ever risk leaving yourself open to counterattack by pressing the action when a tie gets you through as the top seed? Play nice, and everybody wins with a tie."

Heart

"Sports is about competition. The World Cup is the biggest stage in all of sports. What kind of message does it send when you don't give your best effort and try to win? It's unappealing, it's un-American and it's unfair to the other teams in the tournament. In some cases, fans are spending their life savings to travel to these matches, and there's a chance players won't even be trying to win? That's awful. If Team USA wants their World Cup success to mean anything, they need to earn it the right way--on the pitch--and not in some handshake deal with the Germans."

Who's right? Head or heart? Tweet me @BenHigginsSD with your thoughts.

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