International friendly or not, Team USA's 4-3 victory over Germany on Sunday in Washington, D.C. was a jolt of confidence for Jurgen Klinsmann's side.
It was basically Germany's "B" team, and it was basically Team USA's "A" team, but any time you defeat a world power like Germany, it has to feel sweet.
Not only that, the Americans posted their most goals in a single match this season. And while Germany did score three goals, two of those came late—in the 79th and 81st minute.
Clint Dempsey, as per usual, was the difference-maker for Team USA on Sunday. He scored two goals, both in the second half, as the Americans widened the lead to 4-1 less than 20 minutes following the break. Dempsey's curling 20-yard shot in the 64th minute was particularly impressive.
Keep in mind, Team USA has now defeated Germany and Mexico in friendlies this season. Sure, that doesn't mean the Americans are going to defeat a superpower when it matters, but it's nonetheless an encouraging sign. After all, Team USA did draw with Mexico in 2014 World Cup qualifying play in March.
Klinsmann took some heat in May when he decided to leave Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan off USA's roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches in June, citing the fact that he hasn't been part of the developing chemistry on the team after taking a short sabbatical from the game.
Not only does the performance by Team USA on Sunday build confidence for the side, it alleviates the pressure placed on Klinsmann's shoulders.
The United States faces Jamaica, Panama and Honduras in World Cup qualifying matches in June. You would think that would be no problem for the Americans, but they've gone a combined 1-2 against Jamaica and Honduras in qualifying play so far this season. Then again, Team USA appears to be playing better now.
The Americans' victory over Germany may seem rather insignificant at the moment, but it could turn out to be huge if they can build on the momentum headed into the next string of qualifying matches, especially with Donovan absent.
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