Just as pretty much everyone else in the United States did on Thursday, I nearly lost my mind when Clint Dempsey got the huge goal to put the United States up 2-1 and complete a comeback after a 1-0 disastrous start. Geoff Cameron made a huge mistake with a whiffed clearance that dropped the ball right on the foot of Nani, and he slammed it home past Tim Howard. Not much Howard could do, but everyone who has followed this US Men’s National Team likely thought, “here we go again.” Then, we were all proven wrong.
Dempsey had the huge goal, and the USMNT looked as though they were poised to grab six points in the first two games of the group of death, and also to advance before even having to play powerhouse Germany. Then came the brutal blow, in the 95th minute when Christiano Ronaldo, who had been shut down all game, whipped in a beautiful cross that was headed home by Varela for Portugal to even up the score at 2-2, and leave their tournament hopes alive, but very slim still.
Twitter spoke of “broken hearts in the United States,” but let’s not go there just yet. We have a ton to be excited about, and an incredibly bright future.
Let’s start with Jurgen Klinsmann. Klinsmann has officially proven that he is the right man for this job. After being questioned all over the place, he turned to two players in two matches who some felt shouldn’t even be on the roster. The first was John Brooks, who’s only 21 and scored the game winner against Ghana. Then, in the second game, it was DeAndre Yedlin who helped set up the goal that gave the United States a 2-1 lead, and played great while he was on the field.
Folks, Klinsmann knows exactly what he’s doing, and he’s an excellent coach.
I have even better news for United States soccer fans. They’re going to get through to the Round of 16. The USA is taking on Germany on Thursday, and a draw gets both in, but even if Ghana can beat Portugal, they must make up that two goal difference IF the USA loses to Germany. For Portugal, they need to have an absolutely huge win with the USA or Germany losing fairly badly, which I don’t see happening.
The United States is a great, well-rounded team, and I’ve been impressed with their play. They will get a draw against Germany, and they’ll be on to the Round of 16. Even more importantly though, I believe that we see a draw in the Portugal vs. Ghana game on Thursday, making the outcome of the USA vs. Germany game irrelevant.
The future is bright for US Soccer, so stay positive, and make sure that you stay behind your country as well America.