USMNT hold off late Germany rally to post impressive win in wild Centennial match

Clint Dempsey

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

WASHINGTON - On a day when U.S. Soccer was celebrating its centennial anniversary, the U.S. Men’s National Team showed just how far the program has come in those 100 years.

The U.S. put forth arguably their best attacking performance under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Sunday, fending off a late comeback attempt from Germany and beating them, 4-3, in wild centennial celebration match in front of a sell-out crowd of 47,359 at RFK Stadium.

Clint Dempsey scored twice and Jozy Altidore added a goal and assist to lead the way for the Americans, who were cruising for most of the match before late second-half goals from Max Kruse and Julian Draxler made things interesting.

“It got really tense then towards the end, didn’t need to kind of concede the last two goals, but overall a good performance,” said Klinsmann. “We saw a lot of things that we wanted to see.

“Having a player like Clint Dempsey on your team is just a privilege. I think if I look back I think he’s one of the best players, probably, in U.S. history. You see him perform almost every game on a very, very high level. Huge compliment to him and the entire team.”

The U.S. attack came out flying from the opening whistle and they scored twice in a span of four minutes to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Jozy Altidore rifled in the opener with a sublime volley in the 13th minute and German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen comically let in an own goal three minutes later when his bad touch on a back-pass allowed for the ball to roll into the German net.

Germany pulled one back through a Heiko Westermann header in the 52nd minute, but Dempsey scored his first of the game with a thunderous half-volley at the hour-mark off a cross from Altidore. Dempsey then extended the Americans’ lead to 4-1 when he perfectly placed a curling left-footed shot past ter Stegen.

“With his game right now, he’s right on top with the best players around and certainly the top player in the United States,” said Klinsmann. “Having him partner with a forward is important because he sends signals on the field. He sends signals to his own players but he also sends the signals to the opponent and that’s what you need.

While it seemed like the U.S. was on the verge of a route, the Germans responded with two goals that made for some nervy late moments. Kruse beat U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard with a wonderful blast and Draxler tapped home a rebound in the 81st minute.

With the Germans pushing for the equalizer, the U.S. defense began to struggle. Centerbacks Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler were tested repeatedly after Germany inserted fresh legs and substitute left back Edgar Castillo also had some troubles defensively.

“We got a little worn out,” said Besler. “You’ve got to look at a number of different things for that reason: the (hot) weather, Germany, the way the game was being played (because) we were up. We’d like to finish on a better note for sure. It’s still by no means good enough but it’s a good foundation that we’ve started to build.”

The Americans, however, held on in the final few minutes to beat Germany for the first time since 1999 and third time in their nine meetings.

“It’s good to win against a good team like this and to win in a game that marks our 100 years of soccer in this country,” said Dempsey. “It’s showing the game is moving in the right direction and gives us confidence going into these World Cup qualifying games.”

The U.S. will now set their sights towards three upcoming qualifiers, with the first coming on the road against Jamaica on June 7.

—–

What do you think of the USMNT’s 4-3 win over Germany? Who impressed you the most? Feeling confident after the performance?

Share your thoughts below.

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304 Responses to USMNT hold off late Germany rally to post impressive win in wild Centennial match

  1. Don't Care says:

    hahahaha wait i thought Dempsey was a liability??? What about Jozy? Hes awful too. Boyd is so much better than him.

    • Joshua says:

      Possession, shots, run of play, Bradley…everything I’ve been waiting for. They play like that I don’t care what the score.

    • Don't Care says:

      Jozy is the best forward we got no question. Give him the ball and he will score. Boyd is no where near his level (exhibit Boyd’s horrible first touch every game) and anybody calling for him to start have no clue. Another clutch performance by Dempsey like always. One of the best players we got and again anybody saying he’s a liability simply have no clue. This game reaffirms how little most of the people on this board know. I expect some but its really gotten out of hand lately.

      • Scott says:

        I would argue the “Dempsey like always”. If he played like this every game, and I don’t mean the goals, we would be in better shape. He doesn’t. When we start noticing his lack of effort games, over his sold games, we are in good shape. He plays well with a chip on his shoulder, and disappears when he doesn’t. This is true for both club and country. Joey is our best forward when we attack quickly, as this plays to his strength. Both are unquestionable starters, we just need better consistent service to Jozy and more consistent effort from Dempsey.

        • Scott says:

          Joey=Jozy. Stupid spell check!

        • Gary Page says:

          Scott, Dempsey has scored 11 goals in the last 14 national team games, has the fastest goal in team history, was the second American man to score in two different world cups. What more does anyone expect?

        • Lava Lamp says:

          Dempsey does have seem inconsistent, especially on the national stage. Great game today, but during the Gold Cup he failed to score when standing two feet away from a wide open net while being unmarked. I will be a fan on Dempsey when he strings numerous good games together.

          • YesItsNate says:

            Let’s refer you to the comment made 86 minutes before yours in the same reply line:

            “Gary Page says:
            June 2, 2013 at 9:33 PM

            Scott, Dempsey has scored 11 goals in the last 14 national team games…”

            That’s a good run of form strung across numerous games – it’s more than 10% of his total national team caps -and it’s all in the last two years.

            It does not get better or more recent than that when it comes to International Form…

        • Bob says:

          Dempsey has shown some quiet leadership that we don’t always see. I was at the game. Near the end, Boyd tried to take it inside, when the play was clearly to the outside where we had an overlap. Dempsey got on to him immediately, but after the game and after Dempsey’s on field interview, he found Boyd and it was easy to see (by his gestures) how he was telling him what he should have done. Nice leadership from Dempsey, and something you don’t always hear about.

    • TomG says:

      Dempsey and Jozy handing a nice cool double shot of shut up juice to the haters indeed. Jozy even had a nice assist, showing off a skillful scoop cross that he has recently added to his arsenal ( we also saw one against Belgium). MB looking cool and collected, running everything in the middle, midfield maestro style, was the big difference between the organization in this game versus Belgium. Zusi was spectacular, serving up crosses while also locking down his side defensively. JJ with some great pressure forcing one goal, but also responsible for a German goal, displaying AYSO shot blocking form, turning his body sideways on the closeout. OG Made some really nice plays early but inexplicably wanders off his man on the first German goal off the corner. Castillo beaten far too easily on the other goal.

      • byrdman says:

        On JJ AYSO turn, where Omar left Kruse for a wide open shot to the near post. JJ should do better, but IMO OG to play on first two goals.

        • TomG says:

          Def on first goal. Remind me on second?

          • Ben says:

            On the second Omar didn’t step up with Kruse, or rather, he took a couple steps with him and then just let him go on his way. He needed to stick with him in that situation.

      • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

        How was that Kruse goal JJ’s fault?

        OG left Kruse to track the runner that EJ was already tracking. He took one step back (+ 1 yard) from Kruse creating space then did not recover to step up (+ 1 more yard) and pressure him on the “load and fire” giving him a ton of space (6 feet) to load up and take a shot at Timmy. JJ had to leave another man to help cover for OG and Timmy was tracking him going right to left across the formation leaving the Near post just a bit over exposed.

        Good Job: EJ for tracking the runner into the box
        Bad Job: OG for not staying tight to the danger man
        “Iffy” Job: Timmy for exposing just a tad bit too much of the near post
        Doing his Job and another man’s : JJ for leaving his mark/zone to help out unsuccessfully for OG

    • TomG says:

      Dempsey and Jozy handing a nice cool double shot of shut up juice to the haters indeed. Jozy even had a nice a$$ist, showing off a skillful scoop cross that he has recently added to his arsenal ( we also saw one against Belgium). MB looking cool and collected, running everything in the middle, midfield maestro style, was the big difference between the organization in this game versus Belgium. Zusi was spectacular, serving up crosses while also locking down his side defensively. JJ with some great pressure forcing one goal, but also responsible for a German goal, displaying AYSO shot blocking form, turning his body sideways on the closeout. OG Made some really nice plays early but inexplicably wanders off his man on the first German goal off the corner. Castillo beaten far too easily on the other goal.

  2. Don't Care says:

    On a serious note, how does Castillo continue to get called up. Hes beyond awful.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      He plays very well for his club and plays a position that we have historically been paper-thin at.

      • USMNTfan says:

        He wouldn’t exactly call that playing the position, unless Castillo is given courses on how NOT to play LB

    • Old School says:

      Word is he improved and matured.

      Luckily, that’s what these friendlies are for: Proving Evans can take care an of an objective, however unsexy it may be and Castillo can not.

      THAT’s what you schedule friendlies against good nations and not 3rd world countries…now we know (for sure).

      • Andy N says:

        After watching Castillo there, I’m so glad we now have Beasley as an option. That was like playing without a LB.

        • Old School says:

          True.

          Even so, I’d still prefer him on the wing. He’s only capable because of his speed but he doesn’t have good instincts defending, poor defensive tactics at times and he’s about as frail as a 12 year old.

          He needs to be on the wing but that can’t happen until someone actually steps up…and Castillo is obviously incapable of doing so.

          • nathan says:

            Fabian Johnson at LB, Beasley at LM. This seems the obvious answer with the current personnel.

            • Old School says:

              I completely agree.

              • john says:

                I see your reasoning, but I disagree… Beasley holds his own defensively and comes forward as a winger and Johnson is a better midfielder than our other options.. In my eyes when they play together they’re almost interchangeable, which would be a great bit of chemistry if it holds together!!

              • Old School says:

                Well, agree to disagree on that one.

                However, I think we can both agree on this point: LB/LM-LW…whatever the combination, as of right now, a lot of us would prefer it’s F.Johnson and Beasley.

                I’d personally flip them but I’d prefer them both out there, however they’re positioned.

              • Bac says:

                If a true left back does emerge, I’d also like to see what Fabian can do from the right wing spot- they were talking about how he can drift inside well, ….and his speed … Zuci nice- Zuci slow

            • jlm says:

              johnson to lb. donovan to left mid. let donovan drift to the middle with johnson pushing forward in attack.

          • Lil' Zeke says:

            I think I like Beasley ok at back when the man he marks isn’t a great big German guy. I think it will be nice to be able to switch these guys up as needed. It might have been nice to have more of a body in there today.

            • Old School says:

              The thing is, Schurrle isn’t a “big German”. He’s 6’0.

              However, going against Beasley, the dude looks like he’s 6’4, much like a man going against a boy, physically.

          • Increase says:

            I think frail is good. That way he gets fouled or when he fouls…. No ref is gunna card him.

            • Old School says:

              Not a bad point but had this been an actual game, he would have definitely received a card when he was beat, and pulled the player back with both arms to recover placement.

              That’s a result of poor defending/bad defending tactics.

              He’s simply not in his natural position.

      • Rami says:

        Castillo has done a lot of traveling and just got into camp, Ill give him a pass on this one

      • Colin in MT says:

        I agree that Castillo was very weak. However, he also played a game last week in Brazil (with posters on this site saying he put in a MoM performance) and only had a few days of training. He may not be int’l quality, but he starts for a top team in Liga MX and I’m not ready to write him off after a very disappointing 20+ minutes.

        Give him a run in the Gold Cup and then we can revisit this.

        • Ben says:

          On Friday I believe, so that combined with the travel, I’ll give him a pass. I thought Castillo was fine for the first 25 he was in, but he just didn’t have his legs under him.

      • Judging Amy says:

        Well said. Evans as you said may not be the sexy option, but dude can flat out play. Shows why the coaches are the coaches. Excellent from the team, the players, the coaches. Great game to watch live.

    • TomG says:

      Keeps getting called up? We haven’t seen him in a long time and he’s been a key player for a champion Mexican team. One bad outing today shouldn’t trump his excellent club form. I hope he gets more chances.

      • Old School says:

        Castillo has looked this way nearly every time he’s been called up. Whether or not he is having good club form doesn’t seem to be carrying over.

        In the spirit of Denis Green, “Castillo is who we thought he is.” Not built for this level.

        • TomG says:

          Based on that reasoning, DMB never would have gotten another chance. He hasn’t looked bad every call up. He hasnt been called up for over a year i think. He’s a young player still, and you don’t discount club form. Club form is everything. Club form is large sample size. MNT form is small sample size. Club form is a much more statistically significant indicator of future success if it’s a good league. Club form will always tell.

    • Josh D says:

      I was shocked by Castillo’s poor performance. The only think I can chalk it up to is how much he’s played and traveled lately. He looked tired. He’s in my top three players whose stock dropped.

      Players whose stock dropped:
      1. Gonozo: ANOTHER goal squarely on his shoulders. I understand we have to go through the pains but he is simply not learning. He must improve his mental game.
      2. Castillo: Thanks to Castillo’s very poor 20 minuts, we’ll be seeing Beasley as a LB for the next three qualifiers.
      3. Boyd: Ouch. There just isn’t much to say. After the past two games, I can’t see him earning time over more informed MLS players. Depending on Jack Mac’s Gold Cup, Boyd may now be on the outside looking in.

      Stock rise:
      1. Jozy: Back to being everyone’s starting striker. A goal and assist, hustling off the ball, and holding it against defenders. Everything we could have asked.
      2. Evans: I had my doubts, still do. He made some mistakes and is fourth choice, but I think he has leaped frogged Parkhurst.
      3. Davis: He doesn’t do much well, but his left foot will ensure he sees qualifying time. It’s up to Shea to beat him for that spot on the roster.

      Fabian – welcome to our starting left wing slot. Beasley – you bounced off players more than you defended, but you did better than Castillo. Jones and Bradley – you’re finally playing well together.

      Bring on Jamaica!

      • Josh D says:

        Ives – you have to work on your comment restrictions. I understand what you’re trying to do, but I visit loads of websites and forums and none have this problem. It makes commenting pointless when it takes hours to get accepted. Don’t punish us when we did nothing wrong. The community here is what differentiates this blog from others.

        • Travis in Miami says:

          Perhaps he’s trying to keep the community that way with this system (however flawed it might be). A little regulation can keep things from getting out of hand ;)

          • Josh D says:

            I understand, and I’m happy they’re doing that. However, when you can’t write a word like “as sistance” without getting your post delayed for moderation, it gets frustrating. It’s not a deal breaker, and others have complained too. Just something to improve eventually.

      • Ben says:

        What was it that Evans did wrong? Not only did he do nothing wrong, I thought he covered a few miscues by the centerbacks.

        • Judging Amy says:

          Evans went from a “wtf, Evans selected?” to a “Evans, respect” reaction. Dude made me eat crow. I thought that was a very solid performance.

          • Ali Dia says:

            So true. Evans left egg all over my face today — I had the same reaction when I saw he was starting. Workmanlike, alert to every situation, very few mistakes and impressive commitment… this is how Cherundolo made his name. Good for him.

          • R U ManU? says:

            I’m with you. I was (thankfully) wrong about Evans. He earned his minutes in the match for sure.

    • Patrick says:

      *Shrug* I think the same thing happened to Timmy Chandler in Honduras. Klinsman put him in too soon after he’d had an epic flight after a tough club match.

  3. Travis says:

    People going to point to this being Germany’s B team but honestly if their reserves were to field a team itd be a top 15-20 team without a doubt to me, they are stacked. Good result but some serious questions about that defense, especially in the middle where I thought Gonzalez had another subpar game.

    • john says:

      Yep, Gonzalez isn’t quite there… I’m not sold on Besler either – he looked a bit lost frequently.

      However, I was really impressed by Evans and Beasley was solid as usual. So… the question is… who the heck are our center backs going to be??? Get that sorted and we might be on the right track.

    • Increase says:

      They still had 4-5 that start regularly. Podolski has over 100 caps… Mertesacker almost 100 i think. And quite a few others are regulars like Hoewdes. Schueler starts a lot too.
      It was a pretty good team. Just lacked all the super scary midfielders and forwards that were too busy trying to win the Champions league. =(

  4. Old School says:

    Fire Jurgen Klinsmann!

    • Don't Care says:

      Its funny because we won thanks to the same counter attacking high pressure style thats been used since 2002 and with the same core players that did it under Bob. Imagine if JK didnt waste the first 2 years on pointless flip flopping of formations

      • SanFran415 says:

        Uh, we NEVER used a high pressure game plan until Klinsmann took over.

        • Don't Care says:

          Uh, Guess you missed the Gold cup final and the Confederation cup. Jozy and Davies always pressed the ball

          • TomG says:

            Not a big JK guy, but you at incorrect. BB played a counterattacking style with Davies and Altidore.

            • Pirithous says:

              A counterattacking style is in no way incompatible with some high pressure. There is not as much high pressure under Klinsmann as people give him credit for, and there was not nearly as little under Bradley as people now remember. Go back and watch the old games if you can.

              Whatever side of the Bradley/Klinsmann fence you are on (I think the comparisons are poitnless), it is completely correct that most of the offensive success today was a result of more direct, route 1 style of play that looked a lot like 2009.

              • Nate Dollars says:

                yes. the first thing i noticed about this game is that we were pressuring high up the field (noticeable because we don’t do that), and we were playing more direct attacking (including ‘long ball’) instead of the slow, patient buildup that klinsmann loves (and jozy can’t work with).

              • Ben says:

                Then you weren’t watching the game. “Route 1,” as you call it, was the centerbacks hoofing it up to the forwards and everyone moving up. How many times did the centerbacks bash it forward today? Not many. Yeah, Bradley and Jones played some longer balls, but they are not the same thing, nor should they be mistaken for it.

              • TomG says:

                You’re way off. The difference between JK’s high pressure style v BB’s counterattacking philosophy is well established and that wasn’t route 1 football. I think you’re throwing around terms without really understanding them.

      • USMNTfan says:

        Our counters are atrocious. Have been since Donovan’s sabbatical. I can’t remember the last time we countered quickly and scored, let alone even got a shot off.

      • ronniet says:

        That was not counter attacking football….those games came from the run of play and the US taking it to the the germans….we were excellent in defense in the first half and pressed the issue while haing more of the ball than die mannshaft!!! If we can play this way cosistantly form here on out we’ll be a problem come world cup time..fingers crossed! If we can get Donovan back and up to speed, oh boy!!!!

        • Dennis says:

          Not so much taking it to the germans as having the germans wait in their own half before putting up any kind of defensive pressure. You can make long serves when there is no pressure and the US took advantage of that, Germany was sitting too deep to call what the US did counter-attacking, more like taking what the germans gave them.

      • Gary Page says:

        His pointless flip flopping has led to depth with players who have played in multiple positions and situations. It still remains to be seen if he just experiments for experiment’s sake, but it could be he is doing this in order to expose his players to a lot of different situations and positions so that we have a lot of interchangeable parts.

  5. Andy N says:

    I actually only got to watch the last 15 minutes unfortunately. Edgar Castillo scared the bejesus out of me. That was like Bornstein 2.0.

    • Old School says:

      Great reference.

      It completely highlights you’re only as strong as your weakest link. Especially on the backline.

      • Andy N says:

        And you can see, just like in the Gold Cup Final against Mexico, how if one guy in the defense is getting torn apart, everyone else has to over-commit, step up out of position to help out and it opens up holes elsewhere that wouldn’t ordinarily be there.

        • Old School says:

          “And you can see, just like in the Gold Cup Final against Mexico, how if one guy in the defense is getting torn apart”

          Bingo.

          We win that Gold Cup if not for Bornstein.

          • Andy N says:

            Totally agree. We were completely in control until the Cherundolo injury and everything changed after that.

            But then again I guess one of the indicators of a truly good team is depth. We’re still very reliant on our top 11 being healthy for the World Cup. If a Dempsey, Bradley, etc goes down with an injury, we have no remotely suitable replacements.

            • DR7_Liverpool_ says:

              This sums up the USMNT predicament. Our best starting eleven can compete against most nations but realistically injuries must always be taken into context.

              In a perfect world they would always be healthy and ready to play but this is simply never the case.

              Great performance today minus the shakiness at the end.

            • Ben says:

              You aren’t remembering the game correctly then. We were holding on to dear life before Bornstein came on, but Mexico was threatening every time they had the ball, even when Cherundolo was playing.

            • That’s how I remember the Gold Cup, no Cherundolo and things went down hill.

          • fortunate only says:

            Hyperbole much?

            Dolo was getting done dirty by dos Santos and Barrera before he came off injured. On the other end, once Salcido came off injured, we weren’t able to penetrate that side of the field with Torres Nilo.

            • Old School says:

              “Hyperbole much?”

              No.

              Go back and watch the entire match. That was the US’s match until JB came in.

              THAT is when Dos Santos and the rest of the Mexican attack immediately shifted to the right side.

              Reality much?

              • Ben says:

                Well Cherundolo was in for 11 minutes, so thats a pretty big conclusion to jump to.

              • Hogatroge says:

                That match was never the US’s match. Both goals were against the run of play, and anyone could see it was going to get out of hand from there. There’s a reason people say 2-0 is the most dangerous lead to have.

              • fortunate only says:

                If that’s what you call reality, I would hate to see what hyperbole actually means to you.

                I have watched the game numerous times and still don’t agree with what you stated.

                It’s amazing you can claim with such certainty that we would have won the Gold Cup if it wasn’t for Cherundolo’s injury when the Mexicans have a better claim to that excuse with the injuries to Salcido and Rafa Marquez.

                The mere fact that we didn’t get the better of Torres Nilo, not even once, once Salcido came off disproves the notion that you’ve put forth. They, in turn, still managed to get in behind Lichaj and Bornstein numerous times.

          • Scott says:

            Makes Beesler look that much better. He is in between Omar and Castillo, yet the glaring mistakes are not his. I think that we should try another combination with Beesler and use FJ or DMB at LB.

            • Scott says:

              I would add, if you are going to pair Omar and Besler, stop with the rotation and let them learn to work with each other.

            • GW says:

              Besler gave the ball away too much in the second half. He should get better.

    • John says:

      Yeah very poor outing. He has to slide down the depth chart even past playing Cameron at left back going on to Jamaica.

  6. Good Jeremy says:

    We all agree with the last two games that Gonzo is not yet ready for elite competition, but can we finally say that Howard isn’t either? Giving away a near post goal from outside the box, giving up an easy rebound in the middle of the box today… then rewind to the World Cup and remember him getting beat over the top from almost 30 yards out against Slovenia and allowing another nearpost goal from outside the box against Ghana. That’s two in four games in the world’s biggest competition. I think Guzan has earned more playing time than he has been given.

    And yes, this is a repost from another article.

    • John says:

      Didn’t Guzan just give up 3 in a half to Belgium?

      • The411 says:

        Only one of the three was somehwat the liability of Guzan and that was Fellaini’s header.

        • John says:

          I agree but the only one of these goals I saw as Howard’s liability was perhaps giving up the rebound,

    • Travis says:

      Blaming Howard on the second goal is rubbish. Point the finger at the CMs and CBs who failed to close out. Near post goals are only really the fault of the goalie when the attacker is coming that side and the angle is narrow. He was more or less center at top of the box with the entire goal to aim for. Also why are you talking about games from 2010? Talk about irrelevant.

      • Good Jeremy says:

        I bring up 2010 because he let in two soft goals in only four games, one of them being the difference in the round of 16. So I feel mistakes in world cup games that have not been fixed since are relevant.

        On the near post goal, he was moving away from the near post as the shot came so a combination of footwork and positioning was the problem there, then on the rebound given up it was a shot on the ground that he got both hands on easily without being fully extended so it’s reasonable to assume a GK that is at no risk of losing his starting position would swallow the rebound. I didn’t say Howard should be glued to the bench, I just said “I think Guzan has earned more playing time than he has been given.”

        • TomG says:

          None of those goals were soft. Not sure what you’re talking about.

          • conrad says:

            Like the poster, I don’t keep a running tally of Howard’s saves and blunders. I seem to recall at least a couple where he was glued to the spot and watched a ball sail in the corner. When? I don’t know. But I think we can agree that Howard is not infallible. He is an excellent leader, and a terrific distributor. But he does let in the occasional bad one.

        • USMNTkeeper says:

          Guzan is not a savior. Please take your terrible, dated arguments elsewhere.

        • Lil' Zeke says:

          Bad Jeremy, bad! Ain’t nobody got ESP. Howard’s job was to cover the far post, and if he can’t rely on bare minimum professional play from his defenders to thwart the near post effort then… well, he’s not The Supreme Being..

          Oh, and also: sweet strike.

      • Hogatroge says:

        While I agree that the defense was at fault on every goal, let’s buck the trend of giving Howard a clean slate.

        He’s a player on the pitch, too. The US relies on him to show up big in games. Keepers shouldn’t be held unaccountable for every goal except the overt blunders (like ter Stegen’s today).

        Howard should have worked some magic on at least 1 of those 3. That’s not saying any of them were easy, but he’s supposed to be an elite keeper.

    • Old School says:

      “We all agree with the last two games that Gonzo is not yet ready for elite competition, but can we finally say that Howard isn’t either?”

      I don’t have an issue with Howard. Several of those shots on target should never have been put on target, if the defending was capable and doing their job.

      Howard is still the best keeper in the pool and those shots allowed by poor defending likely would have gone past Guzan, too.

      If Gonzo is the future, he needs to step up in the present. End.of.story.

    • PD says:

      Give it a rest.

      • john says:

        I’m not sure if Guzan is a better option than Howard, but I do think that Howard’s not a good leader. He’s smart, he’s a good player, his positioning is right about 80% of the time (although he has a tendency to sometimes cover that pesky center post…) but he’s not telling his guys what to do.

        I know he’s burdened with some clownish defending at times (Gonzalez, Castillo), but as a veteran and as someone who apparently has his position locked down, perhaps he should step up and dictate the defense.

        Simply dropping f-bombs all the time AFTER the fact, isn’t all that useful.

        For that reason, and not because of superior skill, I wouldn’t be fussed if Guzan was given a serious run of chances.

        • PD says:

          So you want him to be… Nicer?!?!

          This is the single most ridiculous argument for repla Kng your number 1 I have ever heard. Might as well say you don’t like the choice of goalie gloves…

          • PD says:

            Replacing.

            • PD says:

              Moreover, unless you have a camera on him for the full 90 minutes and observe him in practice, I’m not sure you can make the statements you make about his lack of direction to his back line.

          • john says:

            I’m not sure where you got nicer from? I essentially said that providing leadership as a veteran goalkeeper is crucial for a mismatched, young, or inexperienced center back pairing.

            I said that Tim Howard is not a great leader or a great organizer, and I’m sticking to that… I’m pretty sure I’ve watched enough of him over the last 12+ years to be able to safely say that. I’m not sure why you got all offended by that. Nor why Howard shouldn’t have competition for his position just like everyone else does…

            If there are constant mixups at the back, which there are, there’s a lack of communication, which there is. If your veteran goalkeeper is called upon to lead the back line, which Howard essentially has been, but mixups persist, that’s a pattern. And so why not try another keeper to see what happens?

      • Daniel says:

        +1

    • downintexas says:

      Thanks for the laugh. Howard is not up to elite competition. Man that cracks me up.

    • Rabbit says:

      No, we cannot finally say that Howard “is not yet ready for elite competition”. If you honestly believe this, I don’t know how to help you.

      • Ben says:

        Howard always gets a free pass. He definitely could’ve done better on the 3rd and his positioning (which is arguably the most important part of goalkeeping) was suspect on the 2nd. He’s still a very good keeper and a great shot-stopper but Guzan does do some important things better, like command his box.

        And the original commenter is right … even if he does go into ancient history for the examples, Howard has a habit of letting in goals from distance both for the USMNT and Everton. I think that comes down to positioning.

        I don’t know that Guzan should be our #1 right now, and I certainly wouldn’t make the switch for the 3 upcoming qualifiers, but I could see Guzan passing Howard before the WC if he doesn’t improve.

  7. nathan says:

    Ahh, the joys of web coding. The page title still says “USMNT rout Germany.”

  8. Falsify says:

    Terrible defense in the 2nd half.

    • keithbabs79 says:

      The last 20 minutes were dreadful. Belgium 2.0. Our sole attack was to clear it.

  9. deepvalue says:

    Take away the goal and assist and that was still Jozy’s best game in a US uniform in a long time. He has always had the talent and ability. Today he put in the effort to be more than a goal poacher. He tracked back and pressured opposing defenders the way he has to if he’s going to play in this system.

    Evans was very solid at right back. It was a huge relief to have Bradley on the field, and I thought JJ played even better today than he did against Belgium. Good stuff today all around.

    • john says:

      Nice to see, isn’t it? :)

    • Hogatroge says:

      While part was Jozy stepping it up, it’s not like he’s been horrible lately. He finally had some service today, and on top of that, he worked his butt off.

  10. SanFran415 says:

    Will the regular suspects be here to apologize for libeling Klinsmann about Beasley and Evans? Guess he’s a professional coach for a reason.

    Probably not. I’ll eat my crow while I’m at it–we did so much better than I anticipated.

    • Old School says:

      I’m still not a fan of Beasley at LB and I’ve said that since he returned to the national team (when I was the only one voicing it).

      • SanFran415 says:

        Eh, you’re always reasonable and rational with your arguments.

        • Old School says:

          I appreciate that.

          Admittedly, I can be an asshole, but I always enjoy a good debate.

      • keithbabs79 says:

        I’m a fan of Beasley (he hussles hard, attacks well), just not at LB. I’d like to see what Fabian could do there. He impressed on defense when he first joined the team.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I won’t. I don’t think you need to play people out of position in international teams and I thought Beasley looked like a winger filling in at fullback – which he is. His speed enables him to make up for his (frequent) errors and when he gets beat (which is often) but that’s not really what you’re looking for from a full back. Evans was not bad today. Still down on Klinsmann and it’s going to take more than this to convince me otherwise.

    • Don't Care says:

      Hahahahaha this game shows Beasley is a good LB?? Not at all. Laughable to actually think that

    • Nate Dollars says:

      you have a point about evans–he completely surprised me by not being awful.

      • Hogatroge says:

        While few expected his solid performance from today, he was not awful in the second half, from a defensive role, against Canada. At CM, however…

    • beachbum says:

      I never gripe about the MLS callups because I believe in those guys

      anyway, what Klinnsman did in the first half was deploy a 4-4-2 (with some 4-4-1-1 tendencies at times) without stranding Jozy on an island and Clint sliding around, and then sent direct balls into him and also played repeatedly up the flank…right up Jozy’s alley and it’s no surprise to me he was comfortable and changed the whole tenor of that game with his golazo…awesome freakin strike. Pretty cool what Jozy can do with tactics and servcie that suits him (lots of us dumb posters have been calling for this). It was good to see

      if you think Coach has just been waiting to spring this formation and tactic, i disagree. He has tried innumerable other approaches (formations, tactics, personnel) based on his ideas EXCEPT this old school Team USA style…and I give him tons of credit for reverting to it today. US players understand it and are comfortable in it, and so play better in it. The US even countered hard, looking for it. Klinnsman’s coachings can still be seen in the team’s play even with these old school tactics/formation

      • Travis in Miami says:

        “Klinnsman’s coachings can still be seen in the team’s play even with these old school tactics/formation”

        +1

      • twh says:

        In the first half, Germany was playing a high defensive line. The US seemed to play an intentional strategy of luring them forward, then passing over the top. Evans had a great long ball to Altidore around the 5 min mark, which resulted in a corner. Germany also seemed to favor their right side defensively in the first half, as if they were alarmed about the Beasley-Fabian combo on that side. That left room on the other side, leading to our first goal.

        Best showing from the Bradley-Jones pairing I’ve seen. EJ’s run opened space for Dempsey’s first goal. Evans looked solid. Davis had a good half- it could have been better if he’d been more aggressive. Defense is a work in progress. Look for EJ to start at LW vs Jamaica if Fabian can’t go (or maybe even if he can.)

      • recovered amishman says:

        Bunker Bob, is that you?

      • GW says:

        beachbum,

        I was at the game.

        “BB the next generation” is a little wide of the mark. Mostly because the US did not have a monopoly on what you are calling their style. Or rather if confident teamwork, and direct play as well as a commitment to keeping possession and maintaining shape at all times means it can only be called Bradley 2.0 then fine call it that. But he ain’t here anymore.

        There were times today when you could see them practically fighting with themselves to AVOID taking a counterattacking opportunity in favor of a more conservative approach. I remember BB as being a very interesting tactician when the games really counted and I don’t remember him ever using possession as a defensive tactic which is what you saw a lot of today. It was quite hot and humid down there and I’m actually impressed they maintained their style as long as they did.

        What you saw in the Belgium game was how these guys look after almost a month of not playing together and only a couple of days practice.

        What you saw today with the US was what I have often seen in the past with both BB and JK when they had the team together for a run of games, dramatic improvement after a shaky start.

        Being at the game you get to see things that I sometimes miss on TV, And what I saw was a confident team that had a plan and stuck with it all night They were not perfect and actually made quite few mistakes but they did not let them bother them and just moved on. Maybe DMB’s “no harm no foul”. attitude is rubbing off on people. This was very much a team win. Gonzo had a trying game and Besler gave away the ball too cheaply several times but the team picked them up and never let their heads drop.

        It’s a good thing Boca and Gooch were called into the Gold Cup. If they could get back on the team they would have a lot to teach Gonzo and Besler who play together much like Boca and Gooch did in their heyday.

        It helped that just a few minutes into the match the incompetent Evans set the tone for the match and put in a neat diagonal pass about 40 yards in the air down the side that Jozy turned with beautifully and got a corner out of it. I doubt Beckham could have put in a better one.

        And of course the tone was “ We will do our thing and you try and stop us”. It seemed pretty clear JK told them to jump on the Germans right away and Jones and company were only too happy to oblige.

    • keithbabs79 says:

      Beasley was lucky it wasn’t 1-0 in the first 5 minutes. If all it took was speed to play LB, Wynne would get a call-up. He’ll make just us many mistakes, but mostly in the attacking third.

    • Mig says:

      I’m here, just recovering from the shock (and actually had other things to do after the game). It was a good performance. Plenty of things to say about the utterly disinterested German side and the fact it was a (relatively) weak lineup. BUT, a win vs. Germany is never a trivial thing and more importantly, the team actually looked like they were trying and had some attacking ideas.

      Eating a bit of crow, I am.

    • Judging Amy says:

      Not a JK hater, but I will say that performance was better than I expected. It was awesome. A great game to see in person. The pretty play, the individual and team efforts, the wonderful goals, the tactics, the ideas and playing strategies the coaching staff have been working on and improving upon coming together so nicely…A sincere thanks to coaching staff and the players from someone getting to witness that in person. Great day to be a Nats fan.

  11. Mat says:

    Could it be that Jurgen knows more about coaching a soccer team than people on this board? Where’s the thrashing we were supposed to receive?

    • SanFran415 says:

      They won’t apologize or admit it though.

      They’ll just be ready to criticize the next call up or lack thereof. It happened with Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon. Results ended that. It’s now Brad Evans and Beasley. Results ended that.

    • Old School says:

      Oh, they’ll find a reason.

      Although, they certainly won’t stick their chest out nearly as far after the result. Rest assured though, they’ll certainly find a reason.

    • Air Jordanz says:

      Agreed. Is Klinsmann the best coach in the world? No. Is he clueless, though? Far from it.

      We’re dealing with a defensive depth shortage that is outside Klinsmann’s control. Professional defenders have to be held accountable for their own mistakes (see Belgium match and this one). That’s not on JK. The national team coach has limited time with the team. It’s not his place to teach the basics of defense. By all accounts, players like Gonzo and Castillo have earned their call-ups. If they play great until seeing the field for the US, then lay an egg for the Nats, you can’t point to Klinsmann and blame him.

    • Don't Care says:

      Or wait could it be that JK is finally doing the same thing that has got the USMNT results for the last decade??? No your right. Thank god JK found Dempsey and Jozy from the depths of the player pool. Im sure it was JK’s plan all along to eventually play 2 CM’s right? He was probably just hustling the other teams the whole time. I bet he slips Lichaj into the squad right at the very end. That sly dog

      • Nate Dollars says:

        +1

        it’s like a kid who refuses obvious advice because he wants to do it ‘his way’. when he finally goes with what will work, you don’t praise him for being a genius, you’re just glad he finally got it right.

        • MFP says:

          Yeah, you sound like someone with a bone to pick. We won and scored 4 goals. Give the players and coach some credit. Jump on the coach when the team sucks. This just isn’t that time.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            not sure what you’re arguing with me about. i think i was clear that this isn’t the time to ‘jump on the coach’, because he finally got it right.

      • byrdman says:

        I am no expert, and I certainly learn a lot from the comments on this site, but is it possible that the 3 Dmid lineup was because JK knew how slow Boca is, how weak Goodson plays, how inexperienced Cameron is, etc…. It seems to me that he was trying to hide, but BB wasn’t able to hide. We don’t have much in the back.

    • TomG says:

      The JK lovers and haters both tend to overreact IMO. He’s a very mixed bag. Even today, which is a wonderful result for him, you have to have some concerns re the defensive organization which is largely on him. JKs results have been decent but form has been poor. No matter what your feelings about him, I think it’s tough to argue that the jury isn’t still out on him. Even the most ardent detractors need to see that the German form under JK was also very poor leading up to the WC and they turned it around so you have to at the very least give him until next Summer (as long as they qualify).

    • beachbum says:

      not all of us are simply lovers/haters

  12. Mat says:

    Now we need 6 points from the next 3 games at least and we’ll have a foot in Brazil. Go USA!

  13. el paso tx utep miners says:

    Usa is in big triuble since klinsi lineup changes and decisions are simply, not good. In reality usa has the players, power and skills to play offensively while also having a concrete back line. Usa can also play like like bayern munich or even mexicos national team, with speed coming wrong the wings and centermid and even backline. Klinsi needs to make up his mind because usa can easily play with speed and 90% offense and run over teams, while having a concrete backline, just like a european powerhouse team, even mexico has gone in that direction, thats why they dismantle teams now. By the way, nice pack stadium,those fans should show up for dc united games and dc united should decorate rfk like that for their games. Therefore, make dc united their sss as soon as possible and recruit all those young College soccer fans and foreigners.

  14. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Castillo sucks!!! Castillo overlaps great and knows postion in offense, but defensive positioning sucks, and he gets out-muscle rather easily. Hell, Beasley is superior leftback, I am not a Beasley playing leftback. Bring back Bornstein!!

  15. Nick says:

    Well all those CB’s for Germany must play in the Dutch league, right?

  16. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Gonzalez and Besler are great playing CONCACAF teams, but not elite European stars. Maybe experience will help.

    Davis and Eddie Johnson played well Today, combine well in the attack, and knew how kill the game.

    • Old School says:

      “Gonzalez and Besler are great playing CONCACAF teams, but not elite European stars. Maybe experience will help.”

      Which comes through playing all of these friendlies against top nations.

      That and consistency…assuming they both remain healthy, that pairing needs to stay in the starting lineup and figure it out until Brazil (including the Gold Cup).

      Of the two, I have bigger question marks of Gonzalez than I do Besler.

      • Scott e Dio93 says:

        Maybe because Gooch and Bocanegra fill-in those voids left by Agoos and Pope very quickly at young age, we have high exceptation for Gonzalez and Besler. I really miss Gooch caliber pre-injury, Gooch kept the team alive during the Italy, in the World Cup in 2006.

      • GW says:

        “Of the two, I have bigger question marks of Gonzalez than I do Besler.”

        That may be because of the nature of their partnership.

        Gonzo is the more aggressive , physical, “attacking” defender of the pair. Besler lays back more, he comes in and cleans up the mess afterwards so to speak.

        Gonzo’s mistakes are more obvious and more frequent, in part because he takes more aggressive risks.

        Besler makes mistakes as well. He gave the ball away badly a few times today but it may not have been noticed as much.
        .
        But these are things that should get ironed out with experience. Arena and Vermes know their stuff and believe in the dynamic duo.
        Both are being thrown in prematurely and JK has had his hand forced but it may work out for the best in Brazil if they get there.

        • Old School says:

          This has nothing to do with the partnership. This has everything to do with Gonzalez.

          No matter the pairing, be it Cameron, Goodson or Besler, Gonzalez appears to be the weaker link.

          Does he have more potential? Most likely. Is he there yet? No.

          My statement is an indictment on Gonzalez and not his teammate on the backline.

          • GW says:

            . Your orginal post was entirely about Gonzo and Besler.This is what you wrote::

            “That and consistency…assuming they both remain healthy, that pairing needs to stay in the starting lineup and figure it out until Brazil (including the Gold Cup). Of the two, I have bigger question marks of Gonzalez than I do Besler.”

            Your statement compares Gonzo to Besler. You wrote “of the two”, meaning Gonzo and Besler. No mention was made of Cameron or Goodson. As far as I know Besler has not been paired at center back with Goodson or Cameron for the US.

            The fact is all four are shaky.Cameron is looking as tentative as as he ever has since he became a regular and Goodson is still inconsistent

            If you wanted to criticise Gonzo alone you should not have mentioned Besler.

    • Bryan says:

      Boyd did not kill the game. Thought it was a good teaching moment after the final whistle to see Clint talking to Boyd about needing to just take it to the corner flag on that break at the end.

      • Scott e Dio93 says:

        Boyd took shots, that’s what forwards do, cause some saves and danger. I disagree with Twellman’s comment with that.

        • Cornelius says:

          I wouldn’t have minded so much if he had made a better pass or shot. As it was, Boyd gave up possession AND his shot sucked.

        • Travis in Miami says:

          Pretty basic stuff at that point in a game like that. Take it to the corner. Kill the game. I was watching a non-ESPN feed and it sounds like the announcer on that feed was saying the same thing as Twellman.

          In fact, after his shot flew far from bringing a save or danger, Germany had a half chance at evening the game at the other end. I was thinking to myself if that would have happened if Boyd had taken it to the corner.

          After the goal kick had been given you could see Dempsey point to the corner and yelling to Boyd. It was the first time I saw Dempsey acting like the captain.

          • bryan says:

            yeah man, even after the whistle dempsey was still telling boyd to take it to the corner next time. boyd really wanted to score. haha

            • twh says:

              Dempsey was yelling at Boyd to take it to the corner the moment Boyd got the ball. Boyd should have done it automatically anyway, but when your captain gives you an instruction like that, you do it. Boyd deserved to get his a$$ chewed by Dempsey, and hopefully by JK as well.

              • bryan says:

                i didn’t say differently. i agree. it was still funny because that’s a classic example of a young player doing something stupid because of emotions.

              • bryan says:

                i didn’t say differently. i agree. it was still funny because that’s a cla$$ic example of a young player doing something stupid because of emotions.

        • PD says:

          Right. If he had scored no one would be talking about that.

      • keithbabs79 says:

        Never seen Boyd play club, but he looked like a track star that was asked to join the boys varsity team simply because of his athleticism.

      • Scott says:

        Taking it to the corner wastes what, 3-5 seconds? The better option was the inside passes to Dempsey, followed by a run to space, or the outside pass to to the other open player on the left. Both use up the same time, but keep up the offensive pressure.

      • Hogatroge says:

        Nice point, but after hesitating with an open look on goal inside the 18 just a few minutes earlier, Boyd was chomping at the bit. Maybe against any other team but Deutschland, he takes it to the corner. Or at least, maybe next time.

      • Increase says:

        or pass to Clint…. cause he was open….
        Boyd didn’t have much of an angle there.

        But yes Corner flag was the best option. Kill the game. It’s lame but the best teams do it well.

    • Josh D says:

      Can USSF just offer Brooks $50M to play for the US and solve the problem? We can Kickstarter it. I’ll offer $20.

      • Hogatroge says:

        While I hope we can sway Brooks somehow, you really think a 20 year old with 1 pro season and 0 international experience (youth withstanding) will make fewer rookie mistakes than an MLS Defender of the Year?

  17. Don't Care says:

    Also got to wonder why our setpieces are so awful now. Cant get a shot on goal and cant defend them. Use to be our bread and butter

    • Good Jeremy says:

      I’ve wondered the same thing. I think a lot of it is that we got out of the bunker mentality of BB that relied on heavy defense then stealing goals on counterattacks and set plays, leading us to deploy less speed in the outside midfield and practice set pieces less. I also think part of it is from assuming Gonzo’s height will give him an advantage and planning as so.

      Also, we scored on a set piece against Belgium.

      • GW says:

        Gonzo did not dominate in the air today.

        Part of that is the Germans traditionally rule the air.

    • Travis in Miami says:

      Landon

    • Hogatroge says:

      Are you serious? Deuce and Cameron combined for a solid goal against Belgium from a set piece. Also, Davis sent in a couple of nice corners, one of which Jones put on target if not for ter Stegen’s save.

  18. Herschel Skywalker says:

    Gonzo and Beesler are the most overrated two dudes in US Soccer. Give me a break. They are second string at best. Put Onyewu, Goodson, or Boca with one of them at a time to teach th how to play the international game and bring in Lichaj and Spector to fill the fullback holes and we will be a decent team. Also, put Zusi on his proper “backup to Donovan” role and we will have the right side seen up too.

    • Rami says:

      Not sure if serious?

      • keithbabs79 says:

        Agreed. Boca can help now, but probably too old for starting WC. Onyewu is, well… Onyewu. I’m scared to death whenever he has the ball at his feet and 10 yards of free space in front of him.

    • Travis in Miami says:

      I’m inclined to agree with you about a more experienced CB matched with one of the current choices. I would wait until after the Gold Cup to seriously making an argument for it. Gooch has been riding the pine at Malaga and Boca has been injured and playing in the Spain’s 2nd division.

      But something has to give.

      • Colin in MT says:

        I think that “experienced”CB is Cameron now. He had some shaky moments a year ago during that 5 game run but worked his way out of it. I think Besler Cameron should be the starting CB pairing. Cameron is tall and athletic like Gonzo but more composed and less prone to mental errors(from the CB spot)

    • Hogatroge says:

      Lol. You listed Goodson as a clear cut improvement.

      While I disagree with your “second string” comments, it’s clear they have a lot to improve on and little time to do so.

      That said, Boca and Gooch will have the Gold Cup to prove they belong back in the mix. See the preliminary roster for more info.

    • GW says:

      The only reason you saw Gonzo-Besler today is because the play of the other three CB’s has tailed off so much.

      JK is a realist. He’s trying to turn Chicken ++++ into Chicken soup . He got away with it today.

  19. John says:

    Beasley had another great run today, getting behind the back line. Klinsmann might have to consider switching him to the midfield.

    • Hogatroge says:

      I was hoping he’d rip a shot. We hesitated today on so many good opportunities. Beasley and Boyd each has at least 1 open look on goal, but both took 1 too many touches.

  20. scott47a says:

    Waiting to hear the Evans complainers eat a little crow on here.
    Too much to ask?

    I will admit he looked tired at the end, and played much better with Zusi than EJ. But let’s be honest, EJ is not a midfielder and does not have real midfielder’s defensive skills. He wasn’t much help to Brad back there.

  21. Andy N says:

    On the horrible German keeper own-goal, I love Jermaine Jones celebrating it going in as if he scored!

  22. The411 says:

    The real question is … how good is Belgium?

    • SanFran415 says:

      They’ve only conceded 1 goal in 6 games of qualifying. To answer your question: very, very good.

    • Old School says:

      They’re still scary good.

      You know what’s even more scary? They could miss out on the World Cup still (again).

    • John says:

      Just look at the line up, they are scary good.

    • PD says:

      If there were ever a chance for a Cinderella run in a World Cup, they are apt to do it.

  23. boyd, castillo and beasley were not good. Boyd especially – WOW que horrible!

    • John says:

      I don’t think Boyd was that bad. He needs to understand the game situation but also you kind of understand wanting to create something with the little time you get.

    • Hogatroge says:

      False. Boyd was mediocre, but he also had the added pressure of playing against his home country in limited minutes.

      Despite his mistakes, he put himself in impeccable shooting position a couple of times, even if he hesitated on one and flubbed the shot on the other.

      • GW says:

        The criticism of Boyd is overblown. If he had had maybe ten more minutes, it might have been very interesting.

        He’s stylistically very different from Jozy, more overtly physical and flamboyant but I think he may be just as dangerous, once they figure out how best to use him.
        .

  24. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Boyd did good, played what forward suppose to do…shoot!!! I just wish to Boyd at least 45 minutes game with USNT.

    Beasley isn’t leftback, bless Beasley willing play there, but Beasley is more creative and dangerous than Davis.

    • crocajun says:

      Boyd is not in the same class with jozy, ej, and gomez at the moment. Maybe one day, but not right now

    • conrad says:

      Boyd was not brought on to shoot. Boyed was brought on to be fast and pin the ball in the final third and kill the clock. Did you SEE the look Dempsey gave him at the final whistle?

      • Hogatroge says:

        Boyd was brought on to play forward. That means his priorities are:

        1.) Take good shots
        2.) Everything else (including kill the game)

        Now, he took a couple bad shots, and hesitated on at least 1 good one, but he was playing against Germany and desperately wanted a goal. Yeah, that’s a half-as5ed excuse, but it won’t happen every game.

        I love Deuce, but I’ve criticized him a bit lately. While I’m eating crow today, let me remind you of the YC he drew last year for diving while looking for the hat trick (forgot against who… maybe Guatemala?). That said, it’s easy for Deuce to yell at Boyd, after he had 70 minutes to add 2 to his tally.

        Boyd wasn’t great today, but we know he can be. Is he better than Jozy? No, but he’s had less time to develop on the club and international levels. Let’s cut him a little slack for wanting to make a statement against Germany that nobody else except JJ or Fabian could have made.

        • Judging Amy says:

          “Boyd wasn’t great today, but we know he can be.” Players with infinitely more potential than Boyd have flamed out fabulously. With young “could-be’s” we KNOW very little. 2 consecutive bad outings from the young T. Boyd.

  25. LAGuy says:

    A lot of you guys are quick pounce on what you perceive as Castillo’s defensive mistakes. However, where’s the mention of his involvement in the attack during the last two US goals. Take a look at the play build-up and you’ll find that goal number 3 and four had a lot to do with Castillo’s offensive thought. Goal 3, he switches the ball after pulling 4-5 germans to his left side. 4th goal, he takes the ball inside and backheels, where it’s then switched to ultimately land on Dempsey’s feet.

    Analyze the last 25 minutes of the game and you’ll see that Johnson and Evans were terrible. A lot of the German attack came from their left (especially during crosses). That’s where the focus should be.

    I’d take castillo’s offensive involvement over the one goal ya’ll are blaming him for any day.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      to be fair, it wasn’t just one goal he was responsible for–he got beat repeatedly.

      however, i will agree with you that he adds a lot going forward, which is why it’s easy to compare him to beasley: good offense, panicky defense. but yeah, let’s push fabian johnson up instead.

    • Scott e Dio93 says:

      Castillo was being destroyed Sam, Castillo has history messing up majority of the his caps, and Castillo does overlap with great intellgence in the attack and combine well, but Castillo defensive position is beyond horrible, and Castillo is too weak handle the attackers.

      • LAGuy says:

        I guess it all depends on what kind of a game we want. Continue the counter-attack offense/defensive mindset, or play a possessive, build-up attack. Of course, the latter would require better communication from the Besler/Omar duo.

        I still think the focus should be shifted on Johnson and Evans in the final quarter of the game. German possession was ubiquitous on that right flank.

    • Travis in Miami says:

      The way the US has been defending lately…

      Our best D may just be a good O. If you buy that then LAGuy has a great argument.

    • wandmdave says:

      You also have to throw in the 3 or 4 times he let his man cut inside and run past him cleanly too. His D was shakey at the end.

      That said his offense was great (at least on par with Beasley) and DMB was exposed as many times on D before you count the many awful tackles he made that were forgotten because he had the speed to recover.

      I hope Castillo gets another start or two to rule out weariness from travel or lack of training time with the team before we anoint DMB starting LB or pull Johnson back into the LB spot. Just look at how much difference a few days made for Jozy.

  26. Ben says:

    Really fun game to watch as a US fan. Despite the fact that Germany was missing the majority of their best players, this was still a big win. A few things to take away from the game…

    1. Hopefully Johnson’s injury wasn’t too serious because I like him in the attack. Beasley looks more than capable at left back, and I was really looking forward to seeing those 2 play together more on the flank.
    Prior to this round of friendlies I was excited to see Castillo, but he looked horrible today. Didn’t seem to show any effort at all after getting burned by Sam. He’s been in great club form but has never looked good with the USMNT.

    2. I was not excited to see Brad Evans in the starting lineup, but he played an amazing game shutting down Podolski and Shurrle after they switched sides. I would have to think he starts the Jamaica qualifier. The center backs were shaky. Everyone seems to think Gonzalez is the next big thing. The potential is there, but he seems to make too many crucial mistakes. I would not be against moving Cameron back to CB alongside Besler against Jamaica.

    3. It was great to see Jozy finally score. All around he looked very good getting involved in plays and tracking back on defense. He assisted Dempsey’s first goal as well.

    4. Jones was the best player for me. Bradley was quieter but still very solid. They are clearly the starters at the 2 CM positions without any competition.

    5. Eddie Johnson looked good the last 2 friendlies. I think he might push Zusi for a starting spot in the qualifiers. I’d still prefer to have Donovan, but that will have to wait. If Johnson doesn’t start, I see him making some appearances from the bench.

    6. Starting XI for Jamaica…

    …………………………Altidore………………………….

    ……Johnson……….Dempsey………….Zusi………

    ……………….Bradley……..Jones…………………….

    …..Beasley….Besler……Cameron…..Evans……

    …………………………Howard…………………………

    • twh says:

      I’m undecided on Gonzo vs Cameron in Point #2, but +1 on all the others.

    • twh says:

      Which Johnson are you predicting will start at LW? E or F?

    • wandmdave says:

      Still not sold on DMB at LB. Had Mexico, Belgium, or Germany capitalized on his many poor/weak tackles we’d be focusing on him and not Gonzo right now. He will regress to the mean soon. Definitely a servicable emergency replacement but can’t get behind him as a starter.

      Even though Castillo didn’t show much I’d like to see him again after some rest and training with the team. If he still lays an egg bring on DMB.

      Love the rest of you choices.

  27. Nate Dollars says:

    can we just tell the team that every game is a friendly?

    i wonder what the highest ratio of friendly wins/competitive wins is for a national team.

  28. Cornelius says:

    Impressed: Altidore, Dempsey, Beasley, Evans, Jones, Bradley, Zusi

    Disappointed: Castillo, Boyd, Gonzalez

    So-So: F. Johnson, E. Johnson, Davis, Besler

    I loved the hustle and press from the US forwards this game, especially from Altidore. The passing and understanding between Jones and Bradley was better than any other time I can remember.

    What to do with the Center Back position is a real conundrum. Would you replace Gonzalez with Cameron next game (giving the third different pairing in as many games)? Or give Gonzalez and Besler back to back games to gel and sort it out?

  29. Scott e Dio93 says:

    The Good : Altidore was MVP, Jones shows great leadership in this game, Zusi was intellgent in the attack and knew defend when needed it, Fabian Johnson is amazing creative player on top, Evans did OK, and Dempsey woke-up in the second half.

  30. Beto says:

    Wow excelent game, i still think jurgen called in a favor on that, but it must be the green jerseys that brings out the best in us!!!

    • Travis in Miami says:

      What happened to 5-1?

      Still I think this could be a watershed game for this bunch as Ives’ article had foreshadowed.

    • PD says:

      Considering the fact that no one could have anticipated that Bayern and Dortmund (the clubs that a significant number of Mannschaft starters come from) would have been quite so busy leading up to this friendly.

  31. biff says:

    No ifs, ands, or buts about it, that was an overall impressive offensive performance. Defense solid in the first half but broke down in the second. But who cares after that very strong ball-controlled and attacking performance. Offense needed fixing bad and that was without a doubt the best attacking offense in the Klinsmann era. Amazing. Hard to believe that this was the same team that in recent months had delivered a series of tepid heartless performances.

    I did expect a win against Germany’s C-team, but not an overpowering win like today. Wow. A total humilation for Germany and I am truly surprised. Germany was bad today, but I honestly think we could have played well today against Germany’s A-team. How did this happen? Did someone wave a magic wand over this team? Did Klinsmann sneak in the frying pan guy before the game to get them fired up?

    • SanFran415 says:

      C-?

      That’s more of a B+ team. 6 of their starters have more than 24 caps. The entire starting lineup has well over 400 caps among them.

      • TomG says:

        +1. B at least.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        ha, the total caps stat is slightly misleading, since probably half those are from klose + podolski.

        still, i agree: B team.

      • HoboMike says:

        No. C at best. You could argue that only 2 of Germany’s starters would be on their A team, which is:

        ———————–Klose————————
        Podolski—————Ozil——————-Reus
        ————-Schweinsteiger—-Gundoguan/Khedira
        Schmelzer—-Hummels—-Boateng—Lahm
        —————–Neuer———————-

        And that’s leaving out Germany’s best-performing player (at club level) before he got injured (Kroos) and Germany’s most influential player at the last World Cup (Mueller).

        • Nate Dollars says:

          so we played the second-stringers, right? meaning the B team.

        • GW says:

          HoboMike,

          Rather than wonder about whether Germany was an A ,B or C team how about wondering if they were more talented than the US?

          How many of their guys would have started for the US?

          Even though they had a clown keeper, they came within a blown penalty call on Gonzo of tying or even beating the US. . They were very unlucky and the ref was very unkind to them.

          Don’t kid yourself, the guys with the green shirts, could easily have beaten the US on a day when the US was playing as well as this particular version ever has.

          The US beat a very good team.

  32. bryan says:

    well, evans made me eat my words. good game. enjoyed it. now, time to get 9 points.

  33. Mike Lamb says:

    I thought Besler and Gonzo were the worst 2 of the US starters. ESPN gave them a 6 and 5, respectively, but they weren’t good. Poor clearances; poor positioning; numerous giveaways. I don’t know what needs to happen to shore that up. Maybe put Cameron back in the middle.

    I wish we could combine Beas’s speed/tenacity with Castillo’s technical ability and poise on the ball.

    Jozy was great all game. Evans was solid. Didn’t do a ton going forward, but if I can only have one, I’d rather the guy play solid defensively–and he did that all game.

    I don’t imagine that the German keeper will be seeing a call up again any time soon. Aside from the own goal, I didn’t think Demps second goal was a particularly amazing shot.

    • conrad says:

      Really? Left-footed curler with 18 inches of space off the defender into the upper 90?
      It was pretty great.

      • Mike Lamb says:

        Watch it again. It wasn’t upper 90. It was a good shot, but not spectacular. Definitely a saveable shot. Keeper had really slow feet.

        • TomG says:

          Amazing freaking shot. Left footed, curling over the keeper at full stretch after faking out his defender. What a thing of beauty. One of the things that makes him so dangerous is that Defenders are forced to cover his right foot, but he can kill you just as dead with his left. What a shot.

        • Ben says:

          You’re spoofing. You can blame the terrible defense of Poldolski, but the keeper couldn’t do anything about that.

        • GW says:

          Dempsey was momentarily left unpressured. The keeper was very likely screened because he reacted just a bit too late. It might have been “saveable “ but that is asking a lot.

          It curled around him. You have to hit those just right. Clint generally tries one of those every game. A couple of shots like that by the Germans in this game just missed.

    • Travis in Miami says:

      Agreed about Gonzo and Besler. Cameron the answer? I seemed to remember him having the same issues. I’m looking to the Gold Cup for some possible answers – Boca, Gooch, possibly Orazco. They will be there with Gonzo and Besler. Let’s have a battle royale, young versus old and see who comes out on top. I think the slate should be clean going into that competition. We have to get our defensive house in order.

      • beachbum says:

        I think one answer is allowing the same back line to gel and get used to each other and get in synch instead of changing all the time, whatever that line is, of course it’s not always possible but it can sure help

        • Scott says:

          Agreed. I have my opinions, but picking 4 and staying with them is the only way to build a solid back line. Injuries are a factor, but the CB’s have been healthy and need time together.

  34. Kojo says:

    Good win for the US. However, the fact remains we just BARELY beat a heavily depleted German side. If the Germans brought over their full team much like the Belgians I think the headlines would be reading much like what we saw in the Belgian game the other day (if not worst). Truth is with the talent in this country we should be much further along then what we are. If we still are worried about beating Concacaf teams and overly celebrating BIG wins over countries 2nd tier teams then what has really changed? Doesn’t changed the fact I’m still cheering for the US in every game.

    • TomG says:

      Is this a joke?

        • TomG says:

          Well, then you’re not at all familiar with The German team. See SanFran below.

        • USMNTfan says:

          Are you really expecting miracle changes in 2 years? A lot of JK’s ideas will take a decade or so to garnish results (ie, youth system). At this level and age, bad habits die hard.

          • Kojo says:

            Who said its been only 2 years. We’ve been supposedly trying to improve for over a decade. Yet we’re still squeaking by teams we honestly should not be worried about (not talking about teams like Germany). I see many high level players in our country at every age group on practically a daily basis. We have talent here which is why many of the more talented prospects are being picked up by top clubs in other countries at a very young age. And one of the main reasons they leave is because they feel they won’t get the same development here in the US. Why?

    • SanFran415 says:

      That German starting lineup has over 430 caps between them. 5 or 6 of those players would be the greatest American ever hands down.

      • Kojo says:

        I agree that Germany produces many players that are better than what we have. That’s exactly the point. The players on the field today for the US have just as many caps as the 430 caps you stated the German side had. Beasley has at least 100 alone. With the time and money the US has been investing over the last 10-15 years in our National team. We should be further along as a team. Whether we win or lose against top tier teams their is still a huge gap between them. Like I stated before we still should not be worried about getting out of the Concacaf at this stage of the game. And for those who say that this German side would beat most teams in the world is doubtful. The only time teams put their B side against opponents are when they A. The game means nothing and they’d rather rest players B. Don’t respect the other team. Or C. The other team is also playing their 2nd tier team.

        • TomG says:

          Do you know what a friendly is? Just enjoy the win. You don’t take a good win and whine about the team’s lack of overall progress. You’re like the girl whose boyfriend finally took her out to dinner then spends the whole date whining about how he never takes her out to dinner.

          • Kojo says:

            Good one…buddy. So because I think we can be better than what we are you choose to throw insults. That’s part of the reason why we haven’t progressed further than what we have. What’s wrong with expecting more from the team I love. I work everyday to make sure we grow the sport in our country amend hope to see us win the world cup one day. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful victory!

            • Ben says:

              It takes a lot more than 10-15 years like you think. It starts with a strong domestic league. Plus we have other sports offering competition whereas soccer is everything in most European countries. MLS is improving and US Soccer will grow with it, but it takes time. Enjoy the win. Even though it was a friendly, we showed significant improvement.

            • beachbum says:

              whoa, slow down. there has been more progress in the last 10 years than the 90 years before it…that from the perspective of no less than Walter Bahr. You know who he is? ahhh, now that you just googled him…that’s what he said TODAY

              he’s right

            • TomG says:

              Not insulting you. You didn’t pay attention to my analogy. You are complaining after they played well and showed progress. If you made those comments after the Jamaica loss, they are more appropriate. After this win, however, they make no sense. That argument is for a different day. If you can’t enjoy progress then you’re just going to be miserable and annoying.

    • Mat says:

      Yes, the same weak Germany team that crushed Ecuador, who is playing extremely well in the tough South America WCQ zone.
      Obviously, no one here is going to say the US is level with Germany, that would be plain ignorant. However we did show character and grit after Belgium, and got a nice result to boot.

      • Kojo says:

        Again, I agree with you. We always show grit. That’s what I love about our team. But grit alone doesn’t mean we are getting any closer to winning a world cup or competing regularly with top tier teams. Grit got us thru the 90′s and is getting us thru today. Doesn’t mean there’s been much progress. Sure we have some players playing abroad and doing well for US players. Most of the better players on the US that are considered the top players play abroad. But many can argue they are doing well because they’ve been playing outside the US. Why can’t we as a country produce these players without them having to leave then come back? That’s what we have been supposedly investing time and money over a decade to do.

        • Dennis says:

          In soccer, the surest way to improve is to play with and against better players. Right now, English Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, Erdivisie and Mexico are leagues with better teams and better players from top to bottom than MLS. Even if all the foreign-based US players stayed in MLS, the average would not improve enough

          OTOH, the MLS has improved and it is still the place the majority of US players start their pro careers. When they get good enough, better teams come knocking. (I think only FJ, Jones, Chandler and maybe Cherundolo did not start out in MLS.)

        • Judging Amy says:

          “But grit alone doesn’t mean we are getting any closer to winning a world cup or competing regularly with top tier teams.”

          Straw. Man. Possession play from Dempsey to Zusi to Jozy’s lovely, skillful volley. Jozy’s trap, spin, and scoop-cross to Dempsey’s forceful, technical half-volley. Dempsey’s sublime piece of skill into an incisively placed curler. 75% of our win (3 out of 4). Not grit alone. Far from it.

          • beachbum says:

            good post. I really dug Walter Bahr’s take on it all today…more progress in the last 10 years than the 90 years before combined

  35. beachbum says:

    so how about that formation and tactics by the USA? Jozy seems to like playing with a partner up there, and likes it when he get service whether with direct balls or from the flanks. Good on Klinnsman for making the adjustments to play to his lead striker’s strengths imo. It’s been a lon time coming imo, and it was great to see

    Love Beasley, tough cookie with heart and stones, but I wonder about him against the physical matchups over the course of a game at LB, but what a great LM in a 4-4-2

    • TomG says:

      This match and the Slovenia match are our two best efforts against good competition. Both employed a lot of 4-4-2, but it’s pretty clear that JK would rather not play 4-4-2 if he has any choice.

      • beachbum says:

        team sure seems to play with more confidence, more understanding, more belief

        • TomG says:

          Yes. Formations are somewhat misleading as teams change alignment throughout, but everyone definitely seems more on the same page when we start 4-4-2

    • byrdman says:

      Somebody said, maybe on another site or on the telecast, that the players talked to JK about the formation, and told them they were much more comfortable in a 4-4-2. I don’t know if it is legitimate or not, but that’s what I saw or heard. Sorry the memory ….

  36. Brett says:

    Hard to complain when you get 3 nice goals, but the defense continues to be late or reckless with pressure resulting in open chances.

  37. KJ says:

    Time to put Fabian back at LB. Move Beasley to midfield. Otherwise, good game. It is just one game though, don’t take too much from it one way or another.

  38. USMNT Searching says:

    Did anyone notice (announcers did not) Beasley and FJ were purposely interchanging positions (LB,LM,LB) in the second half before being sub’d.off. I envisioned this and thought the strategy would be great, providing cover when weakness surfaced, and allowing them to both get involved in the wide attack. This helped both players and should be considered as a strong tactic going forward. This is a unique paring opportunity and strengthens LB depth.

    • GW says:

      This kind of pairing is not unique. It is a very common thing , so common that perhaps that is why the announcers did not mention it.

  39. span16 says:

    Nice win. But calling this Germany team anything but a B/C team is wishful thinking. A Germany sans Gomez, Muller, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Reus, Gotze, Schmelzer, Boateng, Hummels, Lahm and Neuer is not really the real A team regardless of how many caps they have. .

    Certainly they beat a team of above average German pros, but without the Bayern M players there has to be an asterisk attached.

    • Casey says:

      Gomez hasn’t been getting playing time even for Bayern. Yes this was a depleted squad but they had players that played in the Euros and featured significant minutes. Way to be a debbie downer without knowing everything.

      • Bean says:

        I hate to be a downer, but without Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Khedira, and Hummels, Muller, the Germans were just in friendly-mode.

  40. James P says:

    Great read!

    Just wondering, how does everyone think USA will do in the coming matches? What do you think will be our strengths and weaknesses?

  41. 2tone says:

    Good game. That’s the only conclusion I am drawing from it.

    What matters is the qualifiers starting friday.

  42. AC says:

    Great game. Any news on Fabian Johnson? Word from ESPN.com is he had a hamstring injury.

  43. Dennis says:

    In the first half Germany had 3 outstanding chances to score. Belgium would have made at least 2 of them. I thought Germany let the US off and failed to punish the mistakes ruthlessly. Defensively this game was only a tiny bit better than the one vs Belgium (Evans did very well compared to Cameron, Besler was solid compared to Goodson). If the Germans had finished in the first half, it would have been 2-2 or 302 Germany at half-time. I was glad the US did a better job attacking, but with Bradley and FJ in the mix, I sort of expected the US to do better with possession. Germany helped the US by using low pressure and not challenging much except in their defending half. That took the pressure off our backs and gave Bradley, Jones and Evans the time to serve some good balls.

    The win is nice, but face it, the team did not improve so much as it simply was capable of exploiting the Germans’ tactics and was let off the hook in the first half by Germany’s failure to convert good chances as well as the gift goal (sure US pressure caused the OG, but international keepers seldom make such glaring blunders, that part was luck).

    • GW says:

      One can always make plausible arguments that the game could have gone in another direction but the fact is the game went the way it did.

      As a team the US remains as I have always described them. If they give it their best and do everything right they can beat anyone on a given day. They still have the same weaknesses and strengths.

      True, it’s a friendly and something of a B to C team but they are still Germany and still a very good team. I’ll bet most of them would start for the US.

      The fact that the US played like it did and won at least says they are getting better at maximizing their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses. This does not guarantee a result with Jamaica, Panama and Honduras but unless the USMNT players are complete morons, they now have a better idea of just how good they can be right now. One would think such knowledge might be useful at this particular time.

      They are certainly good enough to beat Jamaica, Panama and Honduras. They just need to remember that and hopefully, this win will help them remember just how good they are.

      And while you may not find that a good thing, others do.

  44. Joe A. says:

    I’ll give our fullbacks a pass for playing out of their typical positions. However that central defence pairing is not working like it should.

  45. Zztoppppp says:

    I caught so much crap on this board when I said Evans should have been called in over Pankhurst. Then he gets a late call and now this. I feel like I finally know something about this sport.

  46. ex_sweeper says:

    Any German speakers on the board? TV interview with Klinsmann and Löw after the game that it would be interesting to see a transcript of: link to youtube.com
    The only thing I could pick up was that the reporter asked Klinsmann if it was clear that this was a B team we beat. Yep – I think we got that.

    • Increase says:

      A lot of stuff you would hear in the English Press.

      Both coaches took some light jabs. Loewe hinted that the USA cared more as we had 3 qualifiers coming up. Jurgen mentioned that Germany made a bunch of mistakes but that germany wasn’t smooth? or not on their game.

      That mean Journalist Lady asked Jurgen about his lack of a tactical reputation, but He mostly just pointed out that “tactical thinking things though” is Loewe talent.
      Loewe said they were a great team(He and Jurgen).

      Fairly friendly interview. Jurgen seemed a bit nervous. Sometimes he would be more comfortable on the field than as a coach.

      Jurgen totally dodged a question about if his son would play for Germany in 2022.
      He just said “He was born in Munich.”

      Urg also, Loewe talks quite fast and has a swabian accent? Loewe hinted that the USA might have cared more

  47. brent says:

    Everybody is forgetting the players we left off the squad. In my opinion we left off 3 starters. Cherundolo, Donovan and Bocanegra. So it was our A- or B+ team. OK, Bocanegra will not play(dont’t know why as Spainish 2nd div is 2 steps higher than MLS and he way better than Omar and Besler) what is Klansman thinking? Our defense looks like swiss cheese and Besler, Goodseen and Gonzalez are eating the cheese. Hallo Klansman! Gonna be trouble in qualifying.

    • Leo says:

      What about it, though?

      Cherundolo wasn’t left off, he asked for a break so that he can recuperate. Boca hasn’t been playing regularly. We don’t need another re-hashing of Donovan’s situation, as Klinsmann keeps stating there are people ahead of him and he’ll be playing with the Gold Cup squad.

      I may not agree with the decisions Klinsmann’s made, but the rationale has been made and for all intents and purposes, this is our A team right now. Our back line looks like a leaky boat, but it’s time to step up or sit down for guys like Besler and Gonzalez.