Klinsmann can smile about the performance but not the result
Our own Kyle Schnitzer gives his take on the players performances in Manaus.
Despite dominating most of the second half, including a sensational curving strike from Jermaine Jones and a chest-fueled goal by Clint Dempsey, the US conceded a stoppage-time goal to Portugal's Silvestere Varela to draw 2-2 in Manaus, Brazil. Varela diving head met a tightly spun ball on near side of the field from Cristiano Ronaldo to tie the game in the stoppage time. Even with the disappointment expressed as Tim Howard's hand met his head, the US gained a crucial point and are now tied with Germany, who they face on Thursday.
The most important take from the United States 2-1 victory over Ghana is they secured three points.
Three vital points that places the US in a positive position, where two more points will likely advance them further into the World Cup. But they were exposed. The American counterattack was non-existent and questions again regarding the defense continue to surface, even if they did defeat Ghana. The problem for eighty or so minutes was that the US continued to drop back, trying to secure the win, without pushing the ball further and trying to create something offensively. It took tragedy (Ayew's goal) to motivate them to push forward, when in reality, they should have continued to press with all cylinders.
The United States national team does not play Group G rivals Portugal until June 22 at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus, but there is already talk about the condition of the field.
The first game to be played at the World Cup stadium located in the middle of the Brazilian rainforest will be a Group D ecounter between England and Italy on June 14, but there are increasing concerns that the condition of the grass turf will not be ideal for play.
It has been a rough couple of weeks for United States national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann as he and his staff have been working hard to get the team prepared for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
It all started with questions and intense criticism over his omission of Landon Donovan from the 23-man roster as well his selection of some untested players such as Julian Green and DeAndre Yedlin.
Rising up again all odds, the U.S. team defeated Portugal in its opening game of the 2002 World Cup.
The 2002 World Cup for the United States started with an extremely tough test in European power Portugal. Fernando Couto, Luis Figo, and the rest of the Portuguese team were ranked in the top 10 and heavily favored going into the game in Suwon, South Korea.
A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
Many situations could each play a role in the poor season, coaching changes, style of play, shaky confidence, and so on. All of those factors end up being subjective and ultimately do not tell for certain what could be causing the former New York Red Bull to shrink into the shadows.