KYLE SCHNITZER - Friday, June 27, 2014
A tie to Portugal felt like a loss, when a loss to Germany feels like a win.
The US moves on from the self-proclaimed "Group of Death" with a 1-0 defeat against Germany. It was not the best game from the US, but it showed they could contain one of the most electric countries in the world.
Tim Howard, G: He came off his line when he had to and made a terrific save right before Germany's Thomas Mueller let off a rocket with flair to break the tie. Nothing wrong with Howard's performance, he kept the US in it. 6.0
Fabian Johnson, D: Johnson did not show the same type of performance as he did against Ghana and Portugal. He does well to run up the sidelines and for brief moments, you think he can create a breakthrough. But at the same time, his runs are often erratic and against Germany, he was caught out of position. He muffed the ball over a few times. 5.0
Omar Gonzalez, D: In his first start at the World Cup, Gonzalez looked shaky in the early moments of the game. He whiffed on a clearance inside the US box, but luckily Germany did not score. After that, Gonzalez settled in nicely, using his height to his advantage on balls in the air, and also had a few important tackles inside the box that helped stabilize the US. Most importantly, he was smart with his tackles, including a brilliant slide tackle on the far side of the box to break up a German attack. Some questioned the change of Gonzalez for Geoff Cameron because of the back lines stability and communication (same line started the past five games) but Gonzalez delivered a very strong, promising performance. 7.0
Matt Besler, D: He played another strong game on the back line and did well to shield off the German attack. His minor miscue was when Miroslav Klose broke by him, but he was saved thanks to a poor delivery. Quietly, this World Cup is a coming out party for Matt Besler on the international stage. 6.0
DeMarcus Beasley, D: He showed a lot of positives in this game. I questioned his agility after the Ghana game, but those questions have been answered. Beasley ran up and down the left flank, providing more than enough on defense when presented 1-v-1, as well as showing he can be a nuisance on attack. He seems to be in the right position at all times and makes the most of the match ups. 6.5
Kyle Beckerman, M: There is a lot to like about Kyle Beckerman World Cup performance. He seems to make the right decision every time, including the smart yellow card he picked up when Germany had numbers. His passes are often short, but he is serving as the metronome for the US. He slows the game down when he needs to and picks it up when the opportunity presents itself. Again, he remained strong on defense and has played every minute of this World Cup. Pretty incredible. 6.5
Jermaine Jones, M: He has been the best American player at this World Cup. He provides a max-effort mentality on every ball and has improved his runs as well. He had a great opportunity in the first half but came up a little short on the through ball before Germany's Manuel Neuer scooped it away. Most importantly, Jones plays hard but conservatively. His reputation for being a yellow card collector is floating away. There was one more opportunity late in the second half but Jones and Bedoya collided together, destroying that possibility. Still, he seems to be on a different level, sometimes a worldly level. Man of the Match again. 7.0
Brad Davis, M: In his first World Cup start, Davis struggled from the get-go. He started for Alejandro Bedoya and while I liked the initial change from Jurgen Klinsmann, I think Davis may be better suited coming off the bench. He was slotted out on the left side and failed to offer defensive support to Beasley, who stood his ground. He was then switched to the right side of the field and did not offer much either. A questionable start and probably his last. 4
Michael Bradley, M: Bradley looked much more comfortable slotting back in a defensive mind, where in my opinion he should be playing. He basically swapped positions with Jermaine Jones and looked to resemble shades of his former self, while at times erratic. He made a few important tackles in the first half and seemed to continue motoring throughout the game. However, his ball handling remains shaky. In the first half, he received a nice pass right outside the German box, but muffed his first touch, erasing any opportunity at a shot on goal. He still remains the most important player for the US. 5.5
Graham Zusi, M: Overall, this was not Zusi's best game. His crosses were sloppy, especially his corners, which were a problem against Portugal. When Zusi was slotted out wide, he looked more comfortable defensively, using his speed to harass the Germans but did not feature higher up on the pitch to create offense. 5.0
Clint Dempsey, F: His second game as the lone striker due to the absence of Jozy Altidore, Dempsey was contained by the German back line. Perhaps the pressure caused sloppy touches, but until injury time when Dempsey's header sailed slightly over the bar, he did not feature well against Germany. 5.0
Alejandro Bedoya, M: I would have liked to see Mix Diskerud here, but Bedoya seemed like a breath of fresh air after he came on for a struggling Davis. He did more with his time than Davis did. He played well in defense and showed a glimmer of potential offensively, when an outstretched Phillip Lahm deflected his shot from the near post. 6.0
DeAndre Yedlin, M: Played only a few minutes, but brought speed and created the only chance the US really had on the Bedoya blocked shot. He's a strong sub because of his ability to adapt quickly by using his agility. He does not qualify for a rating.
Jurgen Klinsmann: Overall, he knows Germany better than any other opponent. Although he said the US was not playing for a draw, it seemed as they were. And I said in the match report against Portugal that Klinsmann has made all the right moves, but starting Brad Davis against Germany is easily the worst decision he has made this World Cup. I liked seeing Omar Gonzalez starting over Cameron, not because Cameron had a poor performance against Portugal, but because Gonzalez proved he can be a very useful player going forward in the tournament. It instills confidence in Gonzalez and gives Cameron a much needed breather. The US had moments where they controlled, but I think it was their plan all along to let Germany run the show. Overall, I cannot get too down on a loss since the US advances. 6.0