So popular was his update from last week that Mr. Team USA is back for his view of the game last night, live from New York, New York.
1. Achilles Heel – What worried all US fans coming into this tournament became a reality as the typical slow start was capped off by Geoff Cameron’s 6th minute miscue, with Nani calmly slotting home the game’s first goal. The team looked shaky and appeared to be on the ropes before being able to right the ship a few minutes after the goal.
2. Settling in nicely – Once the initial shock wore off, it felt as though the US was controlling the pace of play. With each minute that went by, it felt as though Klinsmann’s side was destined to find the next goal. That goal came on a cracker from Jermaine Jones about 25 yards out. Clint Dempsey once again showed why he is the player the US can rely on with his clutch goal in the 81st minute which felt like it could be the one to propel the team out of the group.
3. Michael Bradley – His performance has certainly left something to be desired. The US’s most skilled and important midfielder had a dreadful opening match against Ghana, which most fans wrote off because of the victory. The spotlight is firmly on Bradley after giving away the ball rather easily in the midfield in the final seconds of stoppage time. Which brings us to…..
4. Last gasp – For the entire match, one could see that Cristiano Ronaldo was not fit. Opportunities that he would normally put in the back of the net went sailing high. Ronaldo’s trademarked explosiveness and ability to take on defenders were limited due to a knee injury. But there are few players in the world that can change everything in one instant (See: Messi) and Cristiano took full advantage by sending a beautiful ball onto the head of Silvestre Varela. Valera’s goal was the latest goal ever scored in regulation in World Cup history. To say it hurt would be an understatement.
5. What does it mean? – The draw means that all four teams in Group G still have the ability to advance. With Germany and the US both needing a tie or win to go through, many are wondering if Klinsmann will have a gentlemen’s agreement with his home country, bringing many people back to 1982. With the US at 4 points and goal differential on their side, many sites have their chances of advancing anywhere between 75-85%. Portugal has put itself in a -4 goal differential hole, and will need something special on Thursday to have any dreams of advancing.
The Beer World Cup
The Sagres at Nando’s stands up tall, but could not compete with the Goose Island IPA.
USA 3 Portugal 1