The scoreline made for quite the headline, and an epic fail of an own goal provided the comedy relief, but Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey both scored goals Sunday against Germany that should not be overlooked.
Four days after a disappointing 4-2 friendly loss to Belgium in Cleveland, the U.S. national soccer team celebrated the U.S. Soccer Federation's centennial with a confidence-boosting 4-3 victory over Germany on Sunday in Washington, D.C.
Dempsey scored twice—including a curling golazo—in the second half, and Altidore broke his drought with the national team with the opening goal in the first half. Heiko Westermann, Max Kruse and Julian Draxler scored for Germany in a busy second half.
The goals from Altidore and Dempsey were probably the picks of the bunch.
Altidore got in the act first, converting Graham Zusi's cross with a sweet, right-footed volley into the top corner in the 13th minute. That goal can be seen in this video clip, courtesy of U.S. Soccer.
It was Altidore's first goal for the U.S. since November 2011, and it gave him a visible boost of confidence.
“I honestly feel like I’ve been doing the right things. It was just a matter of being patient and waiting for the chances," Altidore told USSoccer.com. "Against Belgium, I was unlucky. I had a very similar chance. Today I had the chance and I just concentrated. I know that if I keep getting them I can be successful.”
Dempsey's goal came in the 65th minute and gave the Americans a 4-1 lead. After taking possession of the ball outside the box, Dempsey took advantage of Lukas Podolski's slack defending to curl a beautiful shot into the net with his left foot. German keeper Marc Andre ter Stegen, who had earlier allowed a shocking own goal, could only tip the ball with his outstretched fingers on its way into the goal.
The goal was Dempsey's third in his last two matches with the U.S. and it moved him past Eric Wynalda into second place on the national team's all-time scoring list with 35.
Dempsey's goal appears in the video clip above.
"With his game right now, Clint is right with some of the best players in the world and certainly the top player in the United States," U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann told USSoccer.com. "This is important because he sends signals on and off the field; you need someone to send those signals to the opponents."
As captain, Dempsey is the right man to send those signals. And with three World Cup qualifiers up next, both he and Altidore are hitting form at the right time.