5 Things for USA to Look Forward to Following Loss to Germany
Although the United States men's national team lost to Germany 1-0 on Thursday, the narrow defeat combined with a 2-1 victory by Portugal over Ghana was enough for the U.S. to advance to the round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup.
Now that the team is moving on to the next round, here are five things U.S. fans can look forward to.
The Round of 16!
Although the U.S. fell short against Germany, its win against Ghana in the opening round of group play coupled with its draw against Portugal was enough to get the Americans through to the knockout round.
The U.S. will now face the winners of Group H, Belgium, on Tuesday.
More Jermaine Jones
For years, Jermaine Jones' performances with the USMNT ranged from nondescript to downright bad. Yet, through it all, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann stuck with the German-American midfielder.
Occasionally—like against Mexico last fall—U.S. fans would get to see a glimpse of Jones' potential, only to have it overshadowed by a series of lackluster efforts.
However, in the three group matches in the World Cup, Jones has been one of the team's best players. His effort has been fantastic, and Klinsmann has finally found a system that can take advantage of his rampaging runs forward without exposing the U.S. defense.
Jones' goal against Portugal was outstanding, and he suffered through a broken nose in Thursday's match against Germany.
He's simply been one of the U.S.'s most important players in the tournament.
Higher Blood Pressure
Say what you want about Klinsmann's men, but they surely aren't boring. After going up against Ghana in only the first minute of play, they conceded the lead late, only to then find the winner in the 86th minute.
Against Portugal, they rallied from a deficit to take the lead, only to draw when giving up a goal in the 95th minute of play.
Against Germany, the U.S. lost 1-0 and relied on a favorable result in the Ghana-Portugal match to assure advancement to the round of 16 that wasn't secure until the final whistle blew in both games.
Make sure to take your blood-pressure medication before Tuesday's match.
More Surprises from Jurgen Klinsmann
Trying to predict the lineup, formation or tactical choices of Jurgen Klinsmann has become a fool's errand.
First, he cut several veterans from the squad before the team left for Brazil. He then radically changed the team's formation.
When it has come to personnel, Klinsmann has constantly surprised fans as well. He started Kyle Beckerman in all three group games, dumped Geoff Cameron after Portugal for a recently shaky Omar Gonzalez and used DeAndre Yedlin as a midfielder in the last two matches.
No one knows for sure what surprises Klinsmann will have in store for U.S. fans against Belgium, but there will surely be more.
The Return of Jozy Altidore
Jozy Altidore's return to the lineup against Belgium is not a guarantee. He hasn't played a single minute since injuring his hamstring against Ghana in the team's opening match.
When the U.S. plays Belgium on Tuesday, it will have been 15 days since Altidore first went down. If he can make it back, it would be a major boost to a U.S. attack that has just not been the same without him.
Lacking a true target forward, the U.S. has found it difficult to get out of its own end for long stretches in all three games. Clint Dempsey is doing his best at the position, but without a like-for-like replacement on the U.S. roster, the return of Altidore could do wonders to boost the attack.
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