German-American players could mean World Cup advantage for U.S.

On Thursday, the United States must tie or defeat Germany to be certain of advancing to the next round in the World Cup.

When the Americans take on Germany in the World Cup, they'll have some German talent of their own.

The U.S. roster features five German-American players.

One of them, midfielder Jermaine Jones, scored the equalizing goal against Portugal on Sunday. His father was an American serviceman, his mother is German. Jones learned to play soccer as a child in Germany, and as a dual citizen could have played for them at this year's cup.

Team USA's multinational roster also includes players with dual citizenship in Norway and Iceland. While some have criticized his choice of players, coach Klinsmann stands by his overall strategy.

"I think when you try to develop kind of a style of play over the next years, you know, it should really reflect your culture and your way of thinking," Klinsmann said at a press conference in 2011. "At the end of the day, it should be a style of play that the people identify with."

Perhaps no one on the team is more familiar with Germany's style of play than coach Klinsmann. As one of best players to ever put on a German uniform, he won a World Cup for the West Germans in 1990. Klinsmann and Germany coach Joachim Lowe are good friends.

Goalie Tim Howard, who plays in soccer's prestigious English Premier League, says that where players compete often has a bigger impact than where they were born.

"Because I've had the ability to play against these top players for 11 years now its hardened me and given me some sort of resolve in the big games," Howard said. "And again mentally knowing that I have been there before; I've played against top opponents in tough environments and so I can do it again."

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