Jozy Altidore’s 13th-minute volley that ended his U.S. Men’s National Team goal drought of over 18 months may have been the defining moment in the USMNT’s 4-3 victory over the German Men’s National Team, but it was midfielder Graham Zusi’s pinpoint cross that led to that spectacular goal.
Altidore even said to the press after the game, “The ball makes the goal. It was a fantastic buildup … but the ball from Zusi was fantastic.” The cross from the Sporting Kansas City midfielder was more than fantastic; it was world class.
Zusi was all over the field against Germany. He was first to every ball and had very few mistakes. He electrified an offense that seemed bored in its performance against Belgium on May 29. It seemed like every build-up by the United States was from Michael Bradley cutting off a German pass, who would then swing it out wide to Zusi.
The U.S. offense took the mentality of Zusi and Bradley, and played with a determination that hasn’t been seen since the victory over Italy in February of last year.
If Zusi can play at this level through the rest of World Cup qualification, there is no way that the U.S. won’t make it to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The USMNT has faltered over the past few years due to sporadic wing play and their ability to get the ball to their strikers.
With Altidore in form, Clint Dempsey scoring off of just about anything, Zusi swinging in crosses like he’s summoning his inner Barcelona and Bradley commanding the middle of the field, the U.S. looks like the most dangerous team in the CONCACAF region.