World Cup fans to crowd Hermosa Beach Pier for U.S. v. Germany match

#WorldCup2014 match between U.S. and Germany to attract thousands at Hermosa Beach Pier today

Thousands of fans are expected to pack the Hermosa Beach Pier on Thursday morning to cheer on the U.S. national soccer team when they take on Germany at the World Cup.

As they did for the U.S. 2-1 victory over Ghana, the L.A. Galaxy will be broadcasting the FIFA World Cup match on a jumbo screen when it kicks off at 9 a.m. PDT. And like the June 16 thriller, thousands of fans decked out in red, white and blue are expected to turn out for the free event.

L.A. Galaxy has been hosting large public viewing parties across the Southland as the U.S. team fights within the so-called "Group of Death" to make it to the knockout stage.

With nothing worse than a tie against Germany today, the U.S. will go on to the knockout stage for the third time in four World Cup tournaments. Even with a loss, the U.S. has a good chance to advance given its superior goal differential over Ghana and Portugal, the other two teams in its group.

Germany, a three-time World Cup champion, is ranked second in the world. The U.S., on the other hand, has made it as far as the quarterfinals only once in the modern era.

Still, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati told The Times he doesn't believe the American team is the underdog.

"I think for the first time in our recent history," he said, "our players believe they're capable of beating anyone."

For news as it happens in California, follow @JasonBretWells.

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World