I am exhausted. Watching games as a fan is fun but also very draining. Now I know how you feel when you attend our Sounders games.
Each guy left everything on the field. I thought we had stolen the game in the dying minutes on Chris Wondolowski’s chance that he put over the top. What a finish that would have been!
• DeAndre Yedlin came in early and was our most effective attacking player for large parts of the game. When not effective he was relentless. He will grow on this World Cup experience and enjoy more to come.
• I do not think Clint Dempsey got a touch in the first 20 minutes or so. When Wondolowski came on and Dempsey dropped behind him, then Dempsey had much more of an effect and saw much more of the ball. That was a positive move. Dempsey needs to get the ball for the USA to be effective. The team certainly felt the loss of Jozy Altidore in this game.
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• The change to Geoff Cameron from Kyle Beckerman allowed us to match up in the air with Belgium, but it hurt our ability to possess the ball. Tough assignment for Cameron because he does not get to play midfield at all since he went to England and Stoke plays a direct style of soccer.
• Romelu Lukaku changed the game for Belgium. He came on against tired defenders and used his physical strength to impose himself on the game. Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez were tired and no match for the beast from Everton.
• Kevin De Bruyne was their best player all night and ended up with the first goal. He was constantly open and caused problems for the USA midfield. We never seemed to get him under control and figure out where he would pop up on the field.
• Tim Howard: What a performance. His heroics Tuesday rank with the best of any USA goalkeeper ever. He kept the team in the game and kept hope alive, first at 1-0, then at 2-0 and then at 2-1.
• Goals are funny. Wondolowski has a clean look and misses. Julian Green makes a great run and with a slight mis-hit scores to renew our hope. Great debut for the kid from Bayern.
• The soccer for us was not pretty at times yet there was a lot of grit and determination. But let us leave that discussion for another day and applaud the effort of team USA.
The drama in this World Cup has been superb. We still have many games to go. I know the United States is out, but let’s enjoy the soccer, football, futbol, fussball — or whatever you call it in your language.
The world comes together every four years, and the USA has played a big part in that gathering. Be proud of what we accomplished. Soccer will continue to grow. Congrats to our boys, especially Clint and DeAndre. We are most proud.
Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid is writing about the World Cup for The Seattle Times.