So what to do? Flying over the Indian Ocean meant I couldn’t see this game, so eagerly anticipated after their warm up games last week. But I knew a man who could help so step forward Andy Mac writing live from NYC today….
1. Slow start no more! On a packed rooftop in NYC (with only domestic beers allowed) the stage was set for a very anxious first ten minutes. The USA team is notorious for their slow starts, proven by Ghana’s 5th minute goal in the 2010 round of 16 match. The sentiment of the crowd watching was, “if we can weather the first 15 minutes, we have a good chance.” And then there was Dempsey. 30 seconds into the match, Duece proved he can be the leader we desperately needed.
2. Hamstrung by Altidore’s inury – What could go wrong with Klinsmann’s plan of leaving beloved Landon Donovan at home? If Jozy Altidore’s early first half hamstring injury keeps him out of the rest of the group stage, Jurgen is left with no proven forwards on the bench which could prove to be an issue, should the U.S. be fortunate enough to advance.
3. Ghana’s goal was well-deserved – The excitement of Dempsey’s goal quickly turned into anxiety as Ghana felt to be controlling 70% of possession for most of the match. Once Ghana figured out that sailing crosses into the box wasn’t the best game plan against a massive back line, Andre Anew slotted home a beautiful goal that had many U.S. fans now hoping to hold onto a draw.
4. John Brooks? Just when things appeared bleak, John Brooks was able to power a beautiful header home from Graham Zusi’s corner. Klinsmann proved to pull all the right strings, as both players came off the bench to provide the U.S. the spark it needed to survive. John Brooks, who only has five caps for the U.S., told reporters that he had a dream in which he would score the game winner vs Ghana in the 88th minute. Can you even make this stuff up?
5. Timing is everything – With the US having survived, the door is now wide open for them to advance. The earlier Portugal/Germany match could not have played out any better for the U.S. Pepe’s red card, Ronaldo’s health, and a massive goal deficit have given Tim Howard and company an unbelievable spot heading into Sunday’s match against Portugal. With the Germans likely having top of the group in their grasp (assuming a win against Ghana), the U.S. may even have hope for their last match should they need a point to advance. Timing is everything, and Jurgen Klinsmann’s team could not be happier with how the schedule has set them up.
The Beer World Cup
Budweiser? Miller? Coors? Pah! The trend these days is for IPA craft beers and so the Thirsty Dog IPA from Ohio is the weapon of choice for this game and easily handles the challenge of Ghanaian Club Lager, which was too warm and looked passed its sell-by date.
USA 3 Ghana 0
The Kit World Cup – Day Five
adidas – 13pts
Nike – 12
Puma – 12
Lotto – 3
UhlSport – 1