Everyone knows what's at stake when the U.S. plays Germany on Thursday -- a place in the next round of the World Cup, catharsis after Portugal's last-second equalizer -- and we expect there will be many people catching a 24-hour virus or scheduling an important meeting around kickoff.

So where should you watch the match? When it comes to bars, my advice from Sunday still holds: Wherever you're going, arrive early and have a back-up plan. You don't want to miss the first few minutes of the match – remember Clint Dempsey's goal against Ghana? – while you're standing on the sidewalk outside.

Will Clint Dempsey (L) and Michael Bradley be celebrating at the end of the U.S. match against Germany? (Photo by Andres Stapff/Reuters)

The big draw, for many reasons, will be Soccer in the Circle. Just as in 2010, large screens are being set up in Dupont Circle, creating Washington's largest outdoor viewing party. It's going to be crowded, loud and festive, with plenty of flags and signs, especially with the sunny forecast. The fun begins at 11:30 a.m. It should be obvious, but remember that no alcohol is allowed.

Other outdoor viewing options include National Harbor, which has a 32-foot LED screen on the Potomac River, and in the Mosaic District. All of these events are free and open to all ages. (See our guide to watching the World Cup outdoors.)

To watch the match on a huge screen without dealing with humidity try Arlington Cinema N Drafthouse, where all U.S. matches play on a high-definition movie screen, and the Fillmore in Silver Spring. Both parties are free.

Many of the big soccer bars open at 11 a.m., including Laughing Man Tavern, Lucky Bar, Biergarten Haus and the Queen Vic. Others are getting earlier starts: Fado opens at 9 a.m., Penn Social will get the party underway at 9:30 a.m., and Ireland's Four Courts starts at 10.

Laughing Man Tavern is the loudest, most raucous U.S. bar in town, thanks to the American Outlaws, but it has hit capacity more than 90 minutes before every U.S. kickoff. There's no harm in trying to get in tomorrow, especially if you can get there before doors open. If there's a line down the block – and there will be – head elsewhere. If you find a line outside your soccer bar of choice, here are a few ideas for nearby venues to try instead:

• Laughing Man Tavern: Elephant and Castle is the closest good soccer option; Penn Social is larger but could also fill up, as it did on Monday.

• Lucky Bar/Public Bar/Cafe Citron: Buffalo Billiards, Madhatter.

Biergarten Haus/The Pug/Queen Vic: Little Miss Whiskey's, H Street Country Club, Star and Shamrock.

Ireland's Four Courts/Summers: Velocity Five, Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill.

• Penn Social: Iron Horse Tap Room (opening at 11:30), Redline.

• Capitol Lounge: Union Pub

And now, your updated U.S.A.-related viewing/happy hour guide:

If you've watched a U.S. national team match, you've seen the bandana-wearing American Outlaws, the loud-and-proud supporters group. The local chapter of the Outlaws takes over the basement of the Laughing Man Tavern for every game, including the World Cup. During matches, the bar will offer $3 PBR and $4 Heinekens.

Annapolis has its own branch of the American Outlaws, founded earlier this year. The group gathers at Union Jack's of Annapolis, where World Cup drink specials include $3 16-ounce Budweiser bottles and $4 Stella Artois.

At Capitol Hill's Capitol Lounge, you'll get $12 pitchers of beer during every game, plus a free Jack Daniels shot every time the United States scores. (The crowds drank the bar dry last time.)

The Pug on H Street NE will offer $1 hot dogs and $3 Budweiser tallboy cans during every U.S. game.

Public Bar and Penn Social both have $3 Bud Lights and huge screens.

Duffy's Irish Pub pairs $5 plates of wings with $20 buckets of Flying Dog's Old Bay-seasoned Dead Rise beer. The bar is taking table reservations for groups of four or larger, with one caveat: The whole party must arrive by 11:50.

Bluejacket, which opens at 11 a.m., will have the game -- and the sound -- on the TVs for the lunch crowd.

Boundary Stone sells cans of the DC United/DC Brau collaboration The Tradition for $3 during matches.

The Brixton shows matches both indoors and on its rooftop deck. Game-time deals include $5 draft beers, rail drinks and Smirnoff and Absolut drinks, $6 glasses of wine and $5 appetizers.

Ireland's Four Courts has been mobbed for every U.S. game, and not just because of the $4 Heinekens and $5 Guinness.

Dacha Beer Garden has $5 half-liter mugs of German beer and $10 glass boots. (Arrive early to get a good view of one of the screens around the bar.)

The Black Squirrel will open at 11 a.m. and start its popular half-price burger night at 11:30 a.m., so you can get a terrific burger and craft beer before the match.

Wear a U.S. or Germany jersey to El Rey and you'll get $18 buckets of Tecate during the match.

Union Jack's Bethesda has $3 Heineken drafts and 16-ounce Budweiser and Bud Light aluminum bottles.

Town Tavern offers $3 domestic bottles, $4 rail drinks and $6 burger combos.

Drafting Table's deals include $4 craft beer, food specials and (cross your fingers) a one-cent beer for everyone in the place if the U.S. wins.

In Columbia Heights, Lou's City Bar and the neighboring Acre 121 open at 11:30, and both will show the game on their patios. Specials at Lou's include $5 Heineken drafts and $18 buckets of Mexican beers.

You'll fine even more happy hour deals here.

More on the World CupWhere to find fans of your favorite team | The area's best soccer bars | World Cup happy hours | Tips for first-time fans | World Cup TV ScheduleAll Washington Post World Cup coverage