SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Tim Howard

howard-BelgiumWorldCup2014-Getty

By RYAN TOLMICH

With goalkeepers like Kasey Keller, Brad Friedel and Tony Meola counted amongst the team’s ranks, the U.S. Men’s National Team has had their fair share of outstanding goalkeeping performances. However, it’s hard to remember one quite like the one put forth by current U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Howard was the only thing standing between the United States’ Round of 16 opposition, Belgium, and an absolute outburst of Red Devil finishes. Despite finally allowing Belgian scores in the 93rd and 105th minutes, Howard came up huge time after time to earn the U.S. a chance to test their luck in the game’s extra period.

Howard finished the game with 15 saves, the most in a single match in World Cup history, and he single-handedly kept the Belgium offense at bay, despite out-shooting the U.S. 39 to 16. Howard made save after save, many of the kick-save variety, to keep the U.S.’s chances alive to advance to their first World Cup quarterfinals since 2002.

Howard’s goalkeeping performance was more than enough to earn him SBI World Cup Man of the Match, beating out Belgium goalscorers Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku for today’s honors.

What did you think of Howard’s performance? Who stood out to you in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s loss to Belgium?

Share you thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, FIFA World Cup, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

181 Responses to SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Tim Howard

  1. Kmac014 says:

    Easiest decision ever. Best goalkeeping I’ve ever seen

  2. Paul Terry says:

    bottom line is, we did not make any progress even with Klinsmann. Btw, you know what Costa Ricans are saying? Theirs was the Group of Death.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      No group with England in it can ever be termed the Group of Death. Sorry.

    • HoboMike says:

      Fail. English team who always chokes. Uruguay team that falls apart without Suarez. Italy team that is overrated.

      • Bac says:

        Ghana team that was already imploding with internal squabbles and problems with the FA and Kevin Prince Boateng says did not sleep the night before the game because the FA booked them in a cheap hotel with water dripping from the ceiling. A Portugal team with five starters out of the line up. Costa Rica was also in a Group of Death and they did not choke on the big one like Klinsmann did.

        Klinsmann was saved from disgrace in this WC by the huge effort put by the players who left it all on the field and succeeded at least in getting out of group despite the incompetence of the arrogant egotist Klinsmann who has disrespected US soccer by his selfish actions. Scwew Klinsmann.

      • bphs says:

        Double fail. It’s clear from your conclusion that you have no idea what you are taking about. This team is leagues better than the USMNT of 2010. On top of that, we have amazing prospects, most of which made substantial contributions in this Cup. I can name a few but you clearly haven’t watched the games with an eye towards movement or tactics. The United State is not to be trifled with and will not be underestimated by any country going forward.

        • Jesse says:

          Amazing prospects? Our best players are getting old. Donovan already aged out, Dempsey, Howard, Jones, Beasley will be gone next cycle.
          Howard was the only thing standing between us and complete embarrassment today.
          England has a lot of prospects, Germany and Belgium have a lot of prospects. We hope to find enough players to fill in the holes.

          • Cylo says:

            Jesse WTF are you talking about? Did you just ignore Fabian Johnson, Yedlin, Brooks, Besler? We have more guys coming up. All of those guys we lose is easy to replace. Howard and Beasley at LB is probably the biggest question. I expect the next pool to be better with attackers with more Germans joining this team.

            • Jesse says:

              These are the players we relied on this World Cup, not new prospects for the future. Who will fill the holes. And Besler is not a prospect, he will be 31 at the next WC. This was his prime. Fabian will be around for another cycle, but he is not a prospect either.
              The greater point is, sure we are developing soccer in this nation, but if you look at the number of stud young players coming through Europe it doesn’t even compare with our system. We didn’t come out and blow anyone away this world cup. We could have lost all 4 games. IMHO we played our best game against Portugal. It was the only game in which we looked truly dangerous.

          • Maykol says:

            Junior Flores, Julian Green, yedlin, Luis Gil, Brooks, Rubio Rubin, and Will Packwood arent good prospects?

            • Ted Tran says:

              Who?

            • Jesse says:

              Does that really compare with the list of prospects from any of the top Nations in the world? They are great Concacaf prospects, they will help fill some voids, but Timmy can’t be replaced, you will have a hard time finding a Dempsey replacement and Jones replacement as well. These are guys who have succeeded at the highest levels in Europe. Not many of our prospects are set to even get an opportunity to do so.

          • Lost in Space says:

            Players to Replace from this Squad:
            Dempsey & Wondo, Jones & Beckerman, Howard & Rimando, Beasley, Davis…..
            Prospects to step into the squad:
            Boyd, Agudelo, Rubio, Williams, Powers, Kitchen, Canouse, Trapp, S. Johnson, Hamid, Cropper, Klute, Acosta, Gyau, Gatt, Shea,
            There are at least 2 very good prospects to replace each of the aged players from this squad. The USMNT will only get better and better as our players progress.

            • Gary Page says:

              Don’t forget Brad Guzan in goal. I think he will become as good as Timmy. Plus you could have added Louis Gil, and several other young MLS players.

            • Jesse says:

              None of these guys will replace Howard. Dempsey and Jones will be a tough stretch for each of these guys. Most of these guys are in their mid 20′s.

              We should be better on the wings. Improvement over Zusi and Bedoya is necessary. Hopefully we will get back a healthy Altidore. There are things to be hopeful for. We still have a long way to go to outplay quality teams.

          • lizbit15 says:

            Actually, we had a lot of young players on the bench. They should be around for the next few years. However, they should have had opportunity to make their World Cup debuts 2014. What were the coaches thinking? If a player is awesome, but having a bad tournament, pull him and get a substitute. I would have asked to be pulled at half time. It’s the honorable thing to do.

        • SuperChivo says:

          I’m sorry, but there is no way you can call this better than either 2010 or 2002. This team got 4 shots and none on frame against the Germans and relied on 16 saves from a keeper against Belgium. That is the very definition of bunker. We tread water and our only progress is thanks to the Germerican Revolution that will probably end with Green. BTW, I don’t necessary blame Klinsmann for this; our entire program has no direction.

          • Cylo says:

            No it was not bunker. How could it be bunker if we had the ball 54% of the time. That not bunker. Its okay you just don’t know the difference of bunkerball and not having a good final 3rd which is our problem

            • Jesse says:

              We had 54% of possession because every time they had the ball, there was a clear opportunity for a shot on goal. They took it and then we collect the ball.

          • Gary Page says:

            The voice of ignorance. How long have you been following US soccer? Two weeks? Klinsmann has already made some changes to the youth national teams that will bear fruit during the next cycle.

          • BrianK says:

            Agreed. No O’Brien, Reina or McBride in this group.

          • Kevin says:

            SuperChivo says: “This team got 4 shots and none on frame against the Germans and relied on 16 saves from a keeper against Belgium.”

            Respectfully, you’re wrong. You can’t extrapolate from stats from a group stage game where a draw or a narrow loss would put us through. And Belgium is turning out to be one of the best teams in this WC. This USA team got out of a brutal group. Very few even though they would do that.

            Comparing teams across time is difficult, of course, but I think this is the best USA team ever sent to the WC.

            • Jesse says:

              best depth, not the most talented starting 11 though. With Jozy down that made a big difference. 2002 had more talent available in the knockout stages than this team had.

    • Raymon says:

      Just now started following soccer? Glad you can go back to baseball or whatever your usual sport is and pontificate and bloviate there, cause your analysis is way off.

    • GW says:

      “the Costa Ricans are saying? Theirs was the Group of Death.”

      England, Italy, Uruguay vs Germany, Portugal, Ghana.

      I’d say Ghana,the US and Portugal would beat England, Italy and an Uruguay w/o a fit Suarez. If the have a fit Suarez, with his tendencies in check, Uruguay can beat anyone.

      Germany beats all three and Costa Rica.

      • HHS says:

        The reason we were considered the group of death is because we are the champions of Concacaf and clearly the better team in our reign. Ghana is clearly the best Afrcan team. And Portugal and Germany are elite teams… Unfortunetly, the Ticos are not considered a threat from Concacaf. If you would have replace the Ticos with Japan, Chile, Colombia, & the U.S.. It would have definitely been called the group of death.

        • Ted Tran says:

          I think thats true before the start of the tournament, but afterwards it is clear as day the US was one of the worst from the Concacaf, and that both Portugal and Ghana did not show up.

  3. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Howard’s right foot alone earned MOTM.

    CONCACAF has shown ridiculously good goalkeeping.

  4. Mark says:

    When your keeper is the MOTM and you still lose the game you know you got your azz kicked.

    • Don the Jewler says:

      Yea I saw the Mexico choke..so what’s your point

      • George Baldwin says:

        I love the US but at least Mexico played attacking football in more than 1 match. I would have been happier if the US didn’t play so scared against Ghana, Germany and Belgium. Mexico brought the game to basically all their opponents including the Dutch and the Brazilian team.

        • SuperChivo says:

          When we had to play football (Portugal, the last 25 minutes of Belgium, we looked pretty good. Too bad we were content with the bunker the rest of the time. At least an occasional counter would have been nice.

          • GW says:

            The World Cup is about getting a result,, nothing else.

          • Gary Page says:

            Belgium has better players and better passers who are better at keeping possession and attacking. If you were to examine the club careers of the Belgian players, you would find that most of them play for top teams in top leagues. They compare favorably with any other team left in the tournament. If Belgium plays to their potential, they could win it all. The US doesn’t have players as good as Belgium’s, nor as many good players as Belgium. It’s not a question of intent or tactics, they are just better.

            • lizbit15 says:

              Gary Page – Agree with you, 100% based solely on what I saw in the game.Passing game, ball possession, smooth deliveries, shots on goal, foot work and ball control and positional awareness. Belgium had the better team on the field. But USA had the best goalie in the World Cup!

          • GW says:

            Not everyone agrees with you

            link to independent.co.uk

        • Cylo says:

          We had the ball 54 percent of the game. We attacked its just Belgium attackers are better.

        • Don the Jewler says:

          ironic.. but Mexico quit playing attacking soccer against Holland and it cost them

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      Yeah, 2-1. What a mauling.

      • Clover362 says:

        And zero zero after regulation time with us having the last good chance.

        • Mr_A says:

          That was a bummer. But it’s easy to understand the “if we couldn’t do it in 2 hours +, how much difference would another 2 minutes make?” I wanted a few more minutes too, but really we only have our team tactics to blame for not doing that sooner. Plenty of bummers: Wondo, fail to convert on the amazing free kick play, and there was another good look in those final mintues, too.

  5. Paul says:

    Absolutely. Great game by Howard.

  6. JayAre says:

    Our Goal keeping, defending, and defensive midfield talent pool is pretty good going forward. We need help on everything offensive.

    • JayAre says:

      I’m just noticing this but we only scored 5 goals in this WC and 3 of them came from Germerica. Algeria brought a team with 16 french born players. I don’t care if the next WC all our guys are foreign born. F* it.

    • Jovins says:

      Our wide midfielders are pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. Bedoya and Zusi are just lacking quality, pace, and flair.

      • quozzel says:

        They’re decent players, just a notch below International level.

        Julian Green is going to get every call-up going forwards, believe it. Believe also that Klinsmann is going to be on the phone with Immigration tomorrow demanding they fast-track Darlington Nagbe’s citizenship – he should be on track for that in 2015, I wish we had him now. We really could use Joe Gyau to start get good minutes somewhere.

        I’m almost staring harder at striker. Lukaku coming on showed us exactly what we were missing when Altidore went out – a big, physical presence who can win those battles against CB’s. Juan Agudelo needs to solidify a spot somewhere on club level. I can almost guarantee you that Gyasi Zardes gets a look, and soon – not as a winger, but as a forward, with the USMNT.

        And a #10…what I wouldn’t give for an actual #10 midfielder. Wish Freddy Adu had gotten his head on straight. Wish Stuart Holden hadn’t gotten both knees shredded. Wish Luis Gil was just a year or so older…oh, well, them’s the breaks.

        • Tom says:

          Gil and Holden really project as DMs,too.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          #10: Gedion Zelalem?

          Also: Mix Diskerud.

          • Cylo says:

            Man, we really need Gedion Zelalem in the next pool.

          • Gary Page says:

            I wonder, too, about Marc Pelosi. Haven’t heard much about him since his injury, but he was very promising before it.

        • GW says:

          Just to put things in perspective. Benteke is Belgium’s #1 center forward. He gets hurt so the US winds up facing Origi who then gets subbed out by Lukaku.

          All three are demonstrably better than Jozy. That is the kind of team Belgium is . That is a team with real depth. They beat us but we could have and maybe should have beaten them.

          So it is a little odd to see these people complaining about the US’ performance It was Belgium who way under performed because they were forced to by the US..

          • beachbum says:

            we should have beaten Belgium?

            • GW says:

              beachbum,

              Wondo puts in that chance, and he should have, and Belgium are dead.

              So yes we should have beaten Belgium.

              It would have been unfair to Belgium but I’ve seen many big games end exactly this way.

              The World Cup is not about the better team, it’s about the team that scores more goals.

        • Gary Page says:

          I think that Belgium was both quicker and faster than the US for almost all the positions. Yedlin, Zardes, and Agudelo should help in that regard.

          • Rob says:

            I thought Yedlin was quicker than his Belgian counterparts, but he was the only one. I also loved the way he looked off the bench in the other games. He impressed me more than he ever has with the team.

      • JayAre says:

        Absolutely. Our outside backs are better winger than our actual wingers.

      • Umlaut says:

        Unfortunately I think the primary benefit of having players like Zusi and Davis on the squad, both known for their service from the wings, was to get Altidore (and Wondo the Poacher) good looks in the box. Well that obviously went to hell twenty minutes into our first game, and then we were stuck with two wingers that can’t really take people on, with no one to cross the ball to. (I still wish Boyd had gotten the call up, but, ehh, spilt milk.)

        On the flip side, it’s very possible Yedlin doesn’t emerge like he did if JK doesn’t have to trade in the crossing for players with the ability to go one-on-one. Yedlin, too, to an extent.

      • Tank721 says:

        and people think Donovan wasn’t missed lol we even had EJ for a long time what could have been if Chandler played at right back and Fabian right in front of him we needed him in the attacking third more often he was great or Cameron playing at the full back

    • Cylo says:

      JayAre your 100 percent right. Our offense is just not there right now. We need upgrades at wings and forwards.

  7. The German says:

    I think Ochoa had a couple more acrobatic saves against Brasil , but Howard came up big time after time after time!
    Keeper of the WC…

  8. danny says:

    Runner Up ought to be Besler who’s also been outstanding the entire world cup. I hope a European club comes knocking with a nice paycheck.

    • Dave80 says:

      Agree overall – very, very proud of the KC native.

      On the other hand, though, the first goal was all on him. Sloppy challenge with Lukaku, then over shooting DeB as he lined up to shoot. Appeared tired, probably from the constant pressure.

      • Jesse says:

        Both goals were more on Besler than anyone else.

        • Eurosnob says:

          +1

        • SuperChivo says:

          There were so many opportunities he just had bad luck that the ones that actually went in came from his man. I think that he could easily play for a Stoke level team.

        • GW says:

          Besler was run over by Lukaku for both goals, almost literally run over. It was like watching a wide receiver try to tackle a middle linebacker on an interception run back.

          I find it hard to fault Besler in those cases. You need to double a guy like Lukaku and you need to cut off his service,so he can’t start those runs.in the first place.

          • Clover362 says:

            In extra time With lukaku coming on in the 90′ minute with bessler having gone 45′ 90′ 90′ and traveling over 9000 miles and playing in Manaus he got out muscled with no cover because we were pressing at that point . Besler had a good tournament he could easily play on a mid tier premier league team. Solid passer good in the air, good anticipation and plays with his whole heart.

            • GW says:

              Besler can do better than a “mid tier EPL team”, though that is not chopped liver.

              Once Brooks grows up and Besler gets a little more experience that should be the first pair,,though Gonzo may yet have a say in that.

              As for Cameron. ope people understand now that playing the #6 role is not that easy.

    • Ted Tran says:

      Besler look terrible against Lakaku, it was incredibly embarrassing we have such a physically weak defender.

      • GW says:

        Ted,

        Leverage, leverage is everything. Ever hear of judo or wrestling? Lukaku is a horse but he also had good position on Besler.

  9. Nick says:

    Who is the next goalkeeper after Tim Howard?

    • Tom says:

      Guzan will be a year younger than Tim Howard is now, next WCF.

      • Paul says:

        2 years younger. He is 29 so 33 and Howard is 35. Howard started at 31 at his first world cup

    • Brian says:

      Brad Guzan and he is also on his way to becoming world class.

    • Dave80 says:

      Didn’t Everton just extend Timmy for another four years?

      So Timmy continues.

      If not, then Guzan, if he is still going.

      And if not Brad, then I must say I have liked Rimando in each of his starts that I’ve seen.

      • Cylo says:

        Is Guzan only a year younger then Howard? I thought he was younger

        • Sharkbait says:

          Guzan is only 28 or 29 I believe.

        • Umlaut says:

          He means that by the next WC, Guzan will be a year younger than Howard is for this WC (though actually Guzan is 29 and Howard is 35, so Guzan will be two years younger in four years than Howard is now).

      • Lost in Space says:

        Rimando is Timmy’s age. He’s basically done other than maybe 1 last winter camp. Guzan is next in line….followed by a handful of up and comers who need seasoning (Sean Johnson, Bill Hamid, Cody Cropper, Irwin, Clark). Keeper will be fine unless Guzan goes down.

  10. SwizzyQ says:

    Gotta feel bad for Timmy in his last world cup game, he didn’t deserve to be on the losing team. AND HE WOULDNT HAVE if WONDO could do WHAT HE WAS BROUGHT HERE TO DO!!! single reason he made the roster was to poach and screwed it up. game should have ended in 90 minutes. Still proud of the team how their effort to fight back!

  11. Brian Hall says:

    I like Zusi and he did his best but he was a weak link. Bedoya was a little better and both played hard the entire tournent but eventually you need some class by your wingers, a little composure and un-predictability. Hazard tried to take on two defenders our wings were scare to take one one. I didn’t see a single step-over from any player that game, that continues to be the problem of an American player. At best the razzle dazzle is never taught to our youth players and at worse it’s discouraged by coaches and parents who confuse it with show boating. We got max results from this team but we are still a very long way from seeing a team that can challenge for a World Cup title.

    • Zocklo says:

      Zusi is a fine MLS level player but his game is not dynamic enough for WC competition..

    • keithbabs79 says:

      This is common sense, not important insight

    • Also, this. Zusi was terrible today.

      • mouf says:

        He was in his club form today. He has been bad this season, SKC hasnt had much drop off on the wing in his absence.

    • Dman says:

      I guess you missed Yedlin and Green doing mad step-overs and showing us the future of the USMNT wing position?

      • Cylo says:

        Yedlin the truth. Jury still out on Green but that was promising. I really hope he turns out for us. We need him at LW. LW is a big mess right now

        • Eurosnob says:

          Green is one of the top 3 young prospects in the entire Bayern youth system, he can play any of the attacking positions and he puts the ball in the net. Neither he nor Yedlin arrived yet, but they both did well with the limited opportunities at this WC.

        • Fast Eddie says:

          What! Did you see the difference in play of the time from the minute Green entered the game? Like night and day. If Julian would have come in at half-time, or in the 72nd minute instead of Wondo, or at the end of regulation when the score was 0-0 we WOULD HAVE WON THE GAME.

          The jury is still out? No the jury is in, it is you that is still out.

          • GW says:

            Mr. Eddie,

            Green came in just after Belgium went up 2-0, They had relaxed into a defensive posture with 14 minutes to go. And they were probably a bit gassed. No one can keep attacking for 120 minutes though Belgium came pretty close.

            However it was still a great goal especially for a fourth division player as slowleftarm likes to call him.

            In all this crying and moaning people seem to be forgetting that Belgium is arguably one of the two or three best teams in the tournament.

            It has been the US’ bad luck to have to play them and Germany

            If they can keep this up Belgium will kill Argentina.

          • Rob says:

            I kind of agree with “the jury is still out”. The guy has crazy talent, he made a huge difference when he came in, and I fully expect him to be a major contributor in 2018 (and in the next few years). However, he doesn’t have the track record and experience for me to be 100% convinced yet. I’m just hopeful.

  12. mike k says:

    I think we should bring 4 keepers to thenext world cup.. I mean because so many of them go out..

  13. KingGoogleyEye says:

    On second thought, maybe if Howard had let the first one in, then we would have played like mad for the next 89 minutes and secured a come-from-behind victory!

    • Mr_A says:

      Good one!

      Although I tip my hat to Klinsmann’s tactics, the game strategy is open to question if we only look good when we’re down a goal. Some people say it’s not bunkering, but that’s sure what it looks like.

  14. deepvalue says:

    Bill Hamid has stepped up his game this year. Much better coming off the line for example. If he continues to improve his mental focus he could be the guy.

  15. Matt Bk says:

    Hats off , Tim.

  16. Adam M. says:

    Tim Howard was almost on our money. Literally, his face would have been on US currency.

  17. Dave says:

    TIM HOWARD FOR PRESIDENT!!!

  18. Heartbroken says:

    gotta think that if Timmy keeps his ridiculous fitness up he’ll still be our guy in 4 years

  19. west says:

    Klinsi’s gonna keep trolling the Ramstein airbase for talent – the MLS guys all flopped

    • Scott says:

      Support your statement. I’d say a mixed bag, just like the non-MLS

      • HorseWhistle says:

        We just got bombed like Desden. Timmy held us above water or we’d be blaming more than just Besler.
        I don’t see the problem with more overseas recruiting. It will probably advance the USMNT faster than MLS.

      • GW says:

        Jones, MVP material
        Fabian Primary offensive catalyst
        Brooks,late goal game winning
        Green late goal inspired comeback
        Chandler DNP

        Not bad for the German Americans

    • beachbum says:

      did you see Germany game?

  20. Cylo says:

    Dempsey, Jones, Beasley, Beckerman, Wondo and maybe Howard just played there last WC game. But I can see Howard as a back up in 2018 cause Goalies age better. Replacing Beasley at LB has me worried. I’m guessing Chandler at LB but his a true RB.

    • WeAreGoingToBrazil says:

      I think after what Yedlin showed this WC, he will be our RB going forward. That frees FJ up to play left back, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in the midfield.

      • Umlaut says:

        In the Portugal game, wasn’t Yedlin more of a RM, with FJ behind him at RB? Today he was obviously RB, though, but nevertheless I think it will be interesting over the next season or two to see if Yedlin doesn’t transition into a more advanced role, a winger or right mid.

  21. JayAre says:

    Random thought here but next time we play Costa Rica we need to beat them 5-0. Can’t have them getting any funny ideas on who the best team in concacaf is.

  22. Scott says:

    Timmy definitely MOTM. Yedlin impressive and Beasley solid again (old man).

    • Cylo says:

      Man, Beasley will be missed at LB. Outside of Chandler I can’t think of anybody taking that job. Lichaj maybe

    • Dennis says:

      My vote for the field player who had the greatest impact on the US ability to blunt the attacks of every team we faced was Beasley. Even in the last 10 minutes of overtime in the 4th game, when he was pounded to the ground and it looked like he was beaten, he bounced up and knocked the ball away.

      Grit, your name is Beasley!

  23. Chase says:

    Ffirst of all very proud of our boys. Klinssman should have brought Boyd instead of brad. Hindsight is 20/20. I would also say that johansson would have been a better sub than wondo ad actually could have come on for dempsey who was worn out. I blame klinsman on this loss but think he will do better in the next cup so keep him on. Kudos to Yedlin and Green by the way!

    • Umlaut says:

      I said this in another post, but I think the point of Davis and Zusi were to provide Jozy (and Wondo, I guess) with service, which obviously went by the wayside 20 minutes into our first game. If Boyd came along, I think it is all the more reason to bring Davis, as Boyd is another big target for crosses. I would rather we switched Boyd for Wondo.

    • Gary Page says:

      US fans need to accept the truth. Belgium is a better team with better players. If both teams play to their potential, Belgium should win about 9 times out of 10. Without Timmy playing out of his mind, the US could have easily lost 4-0, or worse.

  24. Matt Rasmussen says:

    Tim Howard deserves his spot in the record books. He proved Taylor Twellman wrong that “you can’t play defense for 96 minutes.” The only reason the US were in the game is because of Howard. It sucks that Wondo doinked his shot from six yards but without Howard, we would have been down by a handfull at that point anyway.

    There is plenty of time to debate the up-and-comers and who should play on the national team going forward but I’d say everyone on this 23 man roster played as predicted with the exception that Howard, Jones, Beckerman and Yedlin exceeded expectations and Bradley fell far short of expectations.

  25. D-Bo says:

    Best performance by a goalkeeper since Keller against Brazil in ’97… Better when you take the context into account. So unfortunate to lose that game as a keeper but you have to score goals to win the game. Proud of our boys.

  26. BamaMan says:

    Rare to see a perfect 10 performance. I think Tim Howard was mighty close to it today. We just didn’t have the luck. We aren’t good enough to beat a team like Belgium without it and instead Belgium comes out and plays their best game of the tournament. Wondo and Dempsey both botched chances (Dempsey shouldn’t have taken the second touch on the extra time shot).

    Klinsmann’s decision making hasn’t been perfect – I don’t think starting Cameron over Beckerman helped today (although Bradley played much, much better). I still think the roster was the right one based on what we knew at the time. Johnson, Green, Yeldin, and Brooks were all validated (although why did we never see Brooks again? I’m a little curious on that).

    The ultimate question will be should we have brought Donovan. It’s hard to say. He’s clearly more accomplished than Bedoya, Davis, or Zusi. Would he have played better in his current form? Maybe. My bigger question is do we survive the 3-game gauntlet if we have an aging superstar (who will likely play as a sub) in the locker room who is willing to publicly undermine our coach? Some rosters can survive that kind of dissent. Some locker rooms thrive on it. I lean towards the notion that we’re not good enough to handle it. I think leaving Donovan at home helped us in the group stage mentally. In a magical world where you could bring in new players for the round of 16, I think he’d have helped us today in place of Zusi.

    • Gary Page says:

      When did Donovan publicly undermine the coach? Please provide evidence before defaming a player. Donovan has played in 3 previous World Cup teams and in qualifying for all 3 cycles. Please provide me with some evidence that he was ever a problem in the locker room during that time or this. I have followed US soccer pretty closely and have never seen this charge until posters here have been saying this since Klinsmann cut him. I also am a fan of the Galaxy and have never seen any complaints about Donovan from his teammates, current or past. People who engage in character assassination without evidence should be treated with the utmost contempt.

        • Gary Page says:

          You are making a conclusion based on the headline of the article, not what Donovan said. Saying “It is not my concern” is hardly undermining the coach. In fact, I would argue that it is the most professional approach because he was staying out of the coaching controversy. As a player, you should play your best no matter who the coach is and I would argue that is the tenor of his comment. At worst, what he said is the equivalent to “no comment,.” Later on he says that being kept out of the game as a youth gave him a hunger to perform. This would seem to indicate support for Bradley putting him on the bench. You and others are grasping at straws.

      • BamaMan says:

        You never heard any complaints about Donovan from Beckham? After Donovan trashed his then-current teammate in the book? I didn’t even know about the Goal article, which is pretty awful in itself.

        As for public undermining, we don’t have to go any further than the Inside US March to Brazil interviews, where Donovan said he simply wasn’t going to comply with Klinsmann’s demands that he give 100% every day. If you can’t go, that’s not a complaint you take to the media. You take it to your coach in private.

    • GW says:

      JK said that Brooks is Besler’s sub and Gonzo is Cameron’s. Since Besler seemed to not have any ill effects from his hamstring you never saw Brooks again.

  27. MiamiAl says:

    Since I started following USMNT in 1990, that was the greatest goalkeeping display I have ever seen at the Would Cup. A once in a generation performance! Bravo!

  28. Dimidri says:

    Tim Howard is not only the best American goalkeeper of all time, he, along with Landon Donovan, is one of the two best American players of all-time. Full-stop. It was a privilege watching in in the 2007 Gold Cup final, and a privilege watching the way he helped carry American soccer forward over the past 7 years.

    • BamaMan says:

      There is absolutely no comparison between Tim Howard and Donovan. Howard is light years better.

      • Gary Page says:

        Yeah, because Donovan is an outfield player and Howard is a GK. Donovan holds more team records than Howard. Most career US national team goals, most career US national team assists. Donovan also has more caps than Howard. Fact is , you can’t really compare field players with keepers as their roles are completely different and they even play by different rules.

    • SuperChivo says:

      Agreed, while he hasn’t officially retired yet my guess is that he goes out with this incredible performance.

  29. Dennis says:

    Howard had more saves than any WC keeper since 1966!

  30. Chris Doyle says:

    Here are the stats for distance covered and top speeds of all the players through the round of 16.

    link to fifa.com

    • Gary Page says:

      Some very interesting data there. Among other things, Fabian Johnson is one of the fastest runners measured and many US players (Jermaine Jones, e.g.) were faster than I expected.

  31. McCallumKnights says:

    Well done Timmy

  32. Hush says:

    Well deserved! He was disgusting today. Best goalkeeping performance so far in the World Cup period

  33. Andy says:

    Our football would have looked much much better if Jozy hadn’t gone out after 20 minutes of game 1. People underestimate how much that impacted how the team played.

  34. Cockfosters says:

    I’ll be the first to say Zusi had a bad game, but all this hate is clearly coming from people who didn’t watch a second of qualifying.

    • David says:

      Is it “hate” or just nitpicking after a tough loss? I thought he was a revelation during qualifying, esp during the Sabbatical. That said, De Bruyne seemed to be running him and sometimes Bedoya ragged all day yesterday. My bigger issue w/ Zusi was more just the poor set pieces. Outside the Brooks goal, seemed like many of the corners didn’t give our guys a chance.

  35. Citronomics says:

    Beast. Thanks Timmy for your lights-out performance. Was amazing to witness.

  36. beachbum says:

    Thank you Timmy! amazing

  37. Mr_A says:

    Yeah, Howard didn’t deserve to lose this match. And he put on a show for the whole world to marvel at. Unfortunately, the front half (front office?) didn’t do enough for anyone to say they deserve the win. But, yay Howie! Da man!

  38. Raymon says:

    So is it true they “random” drug tested Timmy after last night’s game? The only drug he needs is ‘Murica.

  39. peterprinciple says:

    Every time I see highlights of the game, I just think “We were supposed to win” this was Tim Howard’s night. We were outplayed at all but one position. This was supposed to be the night Howard earned the praise and satisfaction of a win by himself for the team. Wondo blew it. Then Dempsey did in ET. Damn, I cant watch Wondo kick it into the stands or Dempsey into the stomach anymore. I just cant.

    • Only Results Matter says:

      Dempsey at least scored twice in WC. Why was Wondo on the team? He owes it to Timmy, he knows it, but there will be no second chance. Just terrible. Unexcusable.