USMNT Come from Behind to Defeat Germany 2-1


The USMNT have beaten the world number one team in their own backyard for the first time in history. Today’s historic 2-1 victory for the Americans gives them their first win in Germany in 12 chances with Die Mannschaft.

However, for the second straight game against a European powerd s, the US had to come back from an early deficit. After being pressured heavily by the Germans to start out, the US conceded just 12 minutes in. World Cup final goalscorer Mario Gotze opened the scoring when he got in behind the US defense and beat Brad Guzan to his left hand side. Once again, defending plagued the Yanks on the goal, as three defenders found themselves unable to stop recent call-up Patrick Herrmann on the buildup to the goal.

Germany had a golden chance to make it 2-0 twenty minutes later when Andre Schurrle was put through on a perfectly timed through ball, but his header was straight into the arms of Guzan and the US cleared the ball out of the danger area.

Counter attacking football once again paid off for the US on the equalizing goal late into the first period. After long periods of German blitzkrieging at the US goal, Michael Bradley finally led the charge on the counter, and placed a wonderful 35 yard diagonal ball to the chest of Mix Diskerud whose jumping, ninja-style kick placed the ball past Zieler in goal. At the half, the US were (arguably miraculously) even with Germany.

Jurgen Klinsmann brought on Brad Evans, DeAndre Yedlin, and Kyle Beckerman to start the second half, and his changes in personnel seemed to calm the game for the US, giving them much more possession than  they had seen in the first 45. The addition of Beckerman in the midfield, and Yedlin’s pace in the attack gave the US opportunities to pressure and play out of the back to streaking wingers with pace to beat the defenders.

The game opened up more for Klinsmann’s side in the second half, and he saw attack after attack finally begin to pay off with just a mere 7 minutes left. Captain, Michael Bradley, on his 98th cap today, had the chance to put the USMNT in front when his left footed strike was caught by the German ‘keeper. Bradley found Yedlin on the break, who made his way into the area, cut back for Bradley, but the shot was straight to the goalkeeper, a few inches either way and it would have surely sailed into the back of the net.

Nevertheless, the final 5 minute mentality seen with this US squad began to come to fruition a few minutes later. Brad Evans, playing out of the back, sent the ball forward, but it was a terrific dummy run from Jordan Morris that allowed the pass to reach Bobby Wood 25 yards from goal. Wood then turned on a dime to create space and unleashed a left footed shot that beat the goalkeeper and went into the back of the net. The United States had defeated the world champions in the 87th minute away from home, storybook stuff really.

Once again, Michael Bradley was arguably the best player on the pitch for the US, earning US Soccer’s Man of the Match award (and mine too). He had the license to roam through the midfield, search for channels, and find players making runs across the field. However, he would not have been able to do that if not for the critical understanding with the rest of the midfield as to when to go forward and when to stay back; Mix Diskerud was vital in this aspect of the game, as seen with his goal.

Klinsmann’s tactics in the second half were spot on in his substitutions and gameplan to give the Americans the edge they needed. DeAndre Yedlin’s pace was another difference maker in the match; by playing in an attacking position, he could get by German defenders to open up space for others to make runs into the box. It seems quite clear that Klinsmann is attempting to mold him into a winger, or even a wing-back, and not just a typical fullback.

The USMNT will have the rest of June off before starting up their Gold Cup campaign with a tune up match against Guatemala on June 3 in Nashville.