U.S. fans were surely thinking it as soon as Cristiano Ronaldo found Silvestre Varela in stoppage time. Ghana and Portugal fans were likely already dreading it. And a German journalist brought the idea to center stage in Jurgen Klinsmann’s post-match press conference:

Will Team USA and Germany pre-arrange a tie in their Group G finale Wednesday, assuring both nations advance to the knockout round of the World Cup?

Such an international detente isn’t unprecedented. In 1982, for example, West Germany defeated Austria 2-1 in a match known as the “Disgrace of Gijón;” the one-goal victory ensured both the West Germans and the Austrians would advance out of Group 2, and the Algerians would be shut out of the opportunity to shock one of the two European nations.

The 1982 match provoked a massive change in FIFA; since then, group finales are held simultaneously. The unique situation in Group G, though, is that the United States and Germany don’t need to rely on the result of the Portgual-Chile game to know a tie is good for both parties; regardless of whether Portugal or Ghana win, a tie means Germany wins Group G, the United States finishes second, and Portugal and Ghana are sent home packing from the Group of Death.

Monday morning on Mad Dog Sports Radio, Evan Cohen, Steve Phillips and Mike Babchik debated the merits of Klinsmann and Joachim Löw getting together and doing, as a WWE fan might say, what’s “best for business.”

“What I don’t understand, is why is it OK?” Phillips asked. “It’s wrestling. It’s wrestling if you start out going into the game, saying this is the script we’re gonna follow. It’s wrestling.”

“The rumors that are out there now, I mean, I can’t even fathom this because I thought it was a joke,” Cohen said. “I don’t see that Jurgen Klinsmann would ever do this.”

Added Cohen:

“I understand what people are saying, that it makes sense because of the fact that Germany doesn’t get a better result with a win or a draw, and that the U.S. obviously advancing to the knockout round would be a huge win for the country, for soccer in our country.”

Babchik liked the idea of a fixed tie.

It makes more sense to actually do it. Germany, with a win and with a draw, they both get out of the group, and [Germany] wins the group. So why would Germany try hard? Why would Germany try to win that game if they can arrange it with Klinsmann – who obviously knows that coach, that coach in Germany worked under Klinsmann, they are buddies, he’s a part of the Klinsmann tree – why not reach out to him and say, “You know what, let’s do this thing.”

Babchik’s proposal?

“Play their hearts out in the first half […] At halftime, if it’s 0-0 or 1-1, call off the dogs. Sit back, play a little defense. No shots on goal.”

Phillips wouldn’t hear it.

“The idea of participating in a sport is to try to win.”

What do you think? Should Team USA and Germany pre-arrange a draw? Would you? Vote below, and tweet your thoughts @MadDogRadio.

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