I sat in my rain gear in the perfect mood to watch the wet U.S.-Germany encounter. The field played well considering the amount of rain — sand-based fields usually drain well.
The U.S.’s lineup changed quite a bit. I was a bit surprised that Omar Gonzalez started in place of Geoff Cameron. Unless Cameron was injured, coach Jurgen Klinsmann is telling us that he was not happy with Cameron in the last game. I expected Alejandro Bedoya to be on the bench, and Brad Davis was a logical replacement.
Here are some other thoughts on the match:
• Early on, Davis struggled against Jerome Boateng getting forward. Zusi Graham switched over and that helped the U.S. on defense. Bringing on Bedoya helped in the second half.
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• The U.S. started seven players from MLS. Job well done.
• Jermaine Jones was an animal in terms of work rate. You could tell this game was emotional for him.
• Jogi Loew should have opted for function over style. His second-half change helped him and his club. But come on, put on the rain gear and save that shirt!
• Bastian Schweinsteiger played well off the bench for Germany and Sami Khedira needed a rest, so that was logical. Lukas Podolski for Mario Goetze was a little bit of a surprise.
• German possession was very good. It took the U.S. some time to get possession as Germany was very dominant early on. Germany completely dominated the second half. They are the best team in the group.
• The U.S. is the second-best team in the group. However, it took us 92 minutes before we seriously threatened the German goal. Our Seattle boys, Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin, were very involved in those attacks.
• Michael Bradley’s best game is still ahead of him. I always feel he looks best when he is playing deeper and then comes forward late. His passing is better from there because he is a good long passer. We need him to play well in the next round.
• Kyle Beckerman was an unsung hero. He is consistent, holds possession and is nasty when he needs to be. The yellow card was deserved, but that is part of Beckerman’s game.
• Dempsey was starved up front for most of the match. He was often going up against two and sometimes three defenders. The U.S. lacked possession and Germany never allowed the U.S. to get the ball to him on a consistent basis.
• It took me 80 minutes before I could relax. Once Portugal scored the second goal against Ghana, I was able to breathe. I have to admit, I switched to that game to relax my nerves when I saw that Portugal was playing well. Ghana losing Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari helped us and Portugal.
• The U.S. looked gassed in the second half, running on fumes and attitude, but not possession.
All that matters is that we moved on. Anything can happen in the knockout round. It is one game at a time. Belgium is talented, but not that experienced on the World Cup stage. Not a bad matchup for us. But at this stage of the tournament any game and opponent is difficult. Relax a bit, chill out and we can crank up the nerves on Tuesday. Enjoy the weekend, and go, Sounders!
Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid will be analyzing key matches for The Seattle Times throughout the World Cup.