2014 World Cup: USMNT Lucky to Advance to Round of 16
The United States Men’s National Team has advanced to the Round of 16 of the World Cup. Their 1-0 loss to Germany did not matter as Portugal defeated Ghana 2-1, leaving their goal differential at minus-3 with the U.S. standing at zero. Therefore, Germany wins the group with the U.S. finishing right behind them.
The U.S. looked extremely tired in this game, and to add to that negativity, the Germans were extremely cautious and calm on the ball. Their passing, running and creation of chances looked as if they were desperate to win when they did not really need to. Regardless, they deservedly won the match thanks to a brilliant curler from Thomas Muller who now has four goals in his first three games.
Jurgen Klinsmann will have to regroup his boys ahead of the Round of 16 as they looked like a side that needed favors from others in order to advance. Deciding their own destiny against a German team that always plays for the win was always going to be difficult, but they still should have done a bit better as they allowed themselves to be forced to sit inside their own half.
The U.S. will most likely be facing Belgium in the Round of 16 as they will look to clinch their group today against South Korea. That is a young team that is full of energy, talent and skill in every single position. The U.S. will be forced to defend in that one as well, but they could hurt them hard on the counter if Clint Dempsey can drop back to help start one. He along with Michael Bradley will have to be involved more in the attack as their one attempt today was never going to be enough to rescue their team.
Escaping the group of death was brilliant for a team that had to get past the likes of Portugal and Ghana to do so. Finishing behind Germany is the least of their worries at this very moment.