5 Positives From Gut-Wrenching Portugal Draw
Let’s take a step back and pull some positives out of what was a very impressive game, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Sure, it feels like two points lost, but keep in mind that we just outplayed the No. 4 team in the world, even if it was a draw. We are in control of our own fate, and I actually feel incredibly confident about that, even given the German opposition.
It's no longer surprising when Tim Howard keeps us alive throughout the game, but he did it again. Not only that, but the entire team's reaction after giving up the 17th minute goal shows unbelievable resilience, which is a good sign going into the Germany game, fresh off what feels like a letdown.
We actually controlled the ball. We had 48 percent possession, which obviously proves that Portugal had it more. However, you have to consider that, with the US on the defensive for the last 10 minutes, Portugal climbed in the possession statistic. And compared to our 40 percent against Ghana, it's a major improvement.
3. Attacking Power
3. Attacking Power
We created very little opportunities against Ghana. Facing Portugal, the exact opposite was true; whereas against Ghana we put up only eight total shots, against Portugal we put up nine in the first half alone. Dempsey's supporting cast is starting to grow and so to are the USMNT's scoring options.
Jurgen Klinsmann adapted to changing conditions incredibly well. Starting Beckerman and Jones deep in midfield helped shut down the middle of the field. Putting in DeAndre Yedlin late added much needed pace and contributed largely to our second goal. We have a great coach at the helm, that's for sure.
Aside from two hiccups, this defense was very good. Ronaldo, the greatest player in the world, was shut down completely for 94 minutes of the game. The wing backs, Beasley and Johnson, provided plenty of offensive support on the flanks. It was a solid, well-played game for the US defense.