RECIFE, Brazil (June 26, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 1-0 to Germany to conclude Group G play at the 2014 FIFA World Cup but combined with a 2-1 Portugal victory against Ghana in the other group match, it was enough to send the Americans to the Round of 16 for the second consecutive World Cup.
The USA will now face the winner of Group H – likely Belgium or Algeria – on July 1 at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision and Univision Deportes. The USA finished the group tied for second place on points with Portugal at four each, but the U.S. goes through to the knockout round and Portugal is eliminated based on a superior goal differential. The U.S. finished Group G play with four goals scored and four allowed while Portugal scored four, but allowed seven.
The lone goal of the game came in the 55th minute from German forward Thomas Muller and soon after at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Asamoah Gyan scored for Ghana to equalize at 1-1 against Portugal in a match that was being played concurrently.
Thus started a span of 23 nerve-wracking minutes in which another Ghana goal would have put the United States out of the tournament on goal differential and put Ghana through in second place. Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo gave the USA some breathing room with a goal in the 80th minute to put his country ahead 2-1.
The match was played steady rain on a soggy field which stood up well despite rain that had been falling for hours before the match, causing serious flooding in Recife.
The USA had two chances to equalize in stoppage time of the second half (and a tie would have also put the USA in the Round of 16 regardless of the Portugal-Ghana result), but Germany defender Phillip Lahm’s sliding block of Alejandro Bedoya’s shot deep in the penalty box kept the U.S. off the board. Shortly after that, Clint Dempsey put a short-range header just over the bar. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard played a clean match making several safe grabs on low crosses.
For full standings and results, visit ussoccer.com’s 2014 FIFA World Cup homepage.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
GER – Thomas Muller, 55th minute: The goal came off a corner kick taken short from the right side. A cross was sent into the penalty area and towering center-back Per Mertesacker sent a powerful header on frame. It was well-saved by Tim Howard with a dive to his right but the rebound bounced out to Thomas Muller at the top of the box on the left side. Muller hit a perfect first-time shot with the inside of his right foot from 18 yards out that flew just inside the right post. GER 1, USA 0
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Omar Gonzalez, 14th minute: The Germans found some early space down the right side and Jerome Boateng crossed hard on the ground. Omar Gonzalez beat the German attacker to the ball and cleared away the dangerous cross that was skidding on the wet ground across the face of the goal.
USA – Omar Gonzalez, 14th minute: Gonzalez had another crucial clearance second later as Thomas Muller got through on a quick pass into the box and would have had a clear shot on goal from close range had Gonzalez not slide from the side to knock the ball out of danger, avoiding a foul that would have resulted in a penalty kick.
USA – Tim Howard, 35th minute: Mesut Ozil worked his way loose in the penalty box and had a good look at goal, shooting between the legs of the closing Matt Besler, but Howard stood his ground and knocked away the low, hard shot to keep the game scoreless. Omar Gonzalez swept away the rebound.
USA – Omar Gonzalez, 47th minute – On a dangerous curving cross from the right, Gonzalez was able to retreat quickly and jostle Mesut Ozil just enough to make him head the ball over the crossbar.
USA – Matt Besler, 83rd minute – Mesut Ozil popped free deep inside the U.S. penalty area, but took a touch that was a bit hard and Besler was able to sweep the ball away on a tackle.
GER -- Phillip Lahm, 90+3rd minute – A nice U.S. attack down the right side saw the Americans work the ball across the penalty area to the left side to Alejandro Bedoya. The U.S. midfielder momentarily had a look at goal, but a last-ditch slide by Lahm knocked the ball away.
- It is the first time in the history of the U.S. Men’s National Team that the team has advanced out of the group phase in consecutive FIFA World Cup tournaments.
- Clint Dempsey’s was held scoreless, but his next World Cup tally would be the fifth of his career and match the record set by Landon Donovan
- DaMarcus Beasley played in his 10th FIFA World Cup game, tying him for fourth all-time with Brian McBride and Claudio Reyna. Beasley is now one cap behind second-place Cobi Jones and Earnie Stewart (11 caps each in the FIFA World Cup).
- Tim Howard made the seventh start and appearance of his World Cup career, which ties the U.S. MNT record among goalkeepers with Tony Meola.
- Howard earned the 103rd appearance of his international career, breaking the goalkeeping record of 102 held by Kasey Keller. Howard ranks 11th on the all-time U.S. MNT appearances list.
Next on the Schedule:The U.S. MNT faces the winner of Group H in the Round of 16 at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 1, at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil.
Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision, Univision Deportes and ESPN Radio
- The USA is now 8-18-6 all-time in the FIFA World Cup while Germany moves to 62-20-20 all-time.
- The USA is 3-7-0 all-time against Germany.
- The 13th-ranked USA faced a top-10 FIFA-ranked opponent for the 59th time in its history. The USA is now 16-34-9 all-time against top-10 teams in FIFA’s ranking system and 9-23-3 against top-5 teams.
- The U.S. MNT moves to 5-2-2 in 2014.
- The USA is now 2-5-1 all-time in games played in Brazil.
- U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s starting lineup featured Tim Howard in goal and one change to the back line from the Ghana match as Omar Gonzalez got his first start of the World Cup, lining up at center back next to Matt Besler along with left back DaMarcus Beasley and right back Fabian Johnson
- The USA’s 4-5-1 formation included holding midfielders Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman, along with Graham Zusi on the left, Brad Davis (who made his first start and saw his first minutes of the World Cup) on the right and Michael Bradley in the center.
- As he did against Portugal, Clint Dempsey played up front, and of course wore the captain’s armband.
- The USA is 9-4-3 in games with Dempsey as the team captain.
- The USA is now 32-12-9 all-time under Klinsmann.
- Thursday’s game against No. 2 Germany marked the sixth occasion in which the U.S. MNT played top-5 FIFA-ranked teams in back-to-back games.
- U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made two subs in the match, sending on Alejandro Bedoya for Brad Davis in the 59th minute and DeAndre Yedlin for Graham Zusi in the 84th minute. It was the second game in a row in which Yedlin has come on as a sub.
- The USA played without forward Jozy Altidore (hamstring).
USA Disciplinary Notes:
- All U.S. players are eligible for the Round of 16 match.
- Jermaine Jones (caution on June 22), Omar Gonzalez and Kyle Beckerman (who both picked up cautions against Germany) carry yellow cards into next match. Another caution during in any game through quarterfinals for the trio would result in one-game suspension.
- Yellow cards clear heading into the semifinals.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Germany
Date: June 26, 2014
Competition: 2014 FIFA World Cup – Group G
Venue: Arena Pernambuco; Recife, Brazil
Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET
Weather: 73 degrees, rainy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
GER 0 1 1
GER – Thomas Muller 55th minute
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 15-Kyle Beckerman, 13-Jermaine Jones; 14-Brad Davis (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 59), 4- Michael Bradley, 19- Graham Zusi (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 84) 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.)
Subs Not Used: 6-John Brooks, 10-Mix Diskerud, 12-Brad Guzan, 16-Julian Green, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 20-Geoff Cameron, 21-Timmy Chandler, 22-Nick Rimando, 23-Aron Johannsson
Not Available: 17-Jozy Altidore
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
GER: 1-Manuel Neuer; 4-Benedikt Howedes, 5-Mats Hummels, 17-Per Mertesacker, 20-Jerome Boateng; 7-Bastian Schweinsteiger (19-Mario Gotze,76), 16-Phillip Lahm, 18-Toni Kroos; 8-Mesut Ozil (9-Andre Schurrle, 89), 10-Lukas Podolski (11-Miroslav Klose, 46), 13-Thomas Muller
Subs not used: 2-Kevin Grosskreutz, 3-Matthias Ginter, 6-Sami Khedira, 12-Ron-Robert Zieler, 14-Julian Draxler, 15-Erik Durm, 21-Shkodran Mustafi, 22-Roman Weidenfeller, 23-Christoph Kramer
Head coach: Joachim Low
Stats Summary: USA / GER
Shots: 4 / 13
Shots on Goal: 1 / 6
Saves: 5 / 0
Corner Kicks: 2 / 3
Fouls: 15 / 9
Offside: 2 / 7
GER - Benedikt Howedes (caution) 11th minute
USA - Omar Gonzalez (caution) 37
USA - Kyle Beckerman (caution) 62
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abduxamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Alioum (CMR)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Kyle Beckerman
On Feb. 9, 2013, the U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off the new year with a 4-1 victory against Scotland in Jacksonville, Florida. Christen Press, then 24-years-old, was responsible for two goals that day, scoring in the 13th minute and adding another in the 32nd to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead at halftime.
The early goal was Press’ first for the USA, coming in a match that was also her first cap.
Becky Sauerbrunn hugs Christen Press in the aftermath of Press scoring on her WNT debut.
Earning that first cap is special for any player, but a debut and a goal in the same game? That’s a rare feat. In the 30+ year history of the U.S. WNT 21 players have scored in their first caps.
NOTHING TO LOSE
Press’ path to that first game three years ago was an interesting one. In early 2012, she made the decision to move to Sweden after U.S.-based Women’s Professional Soccer folded. Press thought leaving the country might negatively impact her hopeful National Team career, but little did she know, it was only just beginning.
“I think just because I always thought that the National Teams would be watching the American league, I thought that going abroad was kind of like saying goodbye to my dream of playing for the National Team,” recalled Press. “I left around this time, in February, and I thought I would not get a call, I sort of thought that I would fall out of U.S. Soccer’s radar.”
As it turns out, head coach Pia Sundhage kept tabs on players in Europe, especially in her native land of Sweden. Press got off to a hot start with her new club, and it wasn’t long before she was on her way back home.
Press returned to the U.S. and joined the WNT in Florida in April during the final stretch of what had been an intense fitness camp. She kept to herself and tried to quickly learn as much as possible despite only being there for five days.
“I had nothing to lose,” she said. “It was my first camp, it was warm and I was so happy. I don’t think I spoke to anybody. I was not nervous, I was just happy to be in Florida and my dream was coming true. I’m always quiet when I don’t know my surroundings, so I just kept to myself trying to learn the rules, how to behave; it was all so quick.”
That short stint turned out to be the only one for Press before she was named an Olympic alternate in 2012. The following February, Tom Sermanni took over as WNT head coach, and it was then Press learned she would start against Scotland. Her chance had arrived.
“I went on the field, the crowd was so much bigger than I’d ever played in front of, and for me it was so much bigger than life,” said Press. “But I kept telling myself, ‘I’m not nervous, I’m confident, I’m a good player and I believe in myself.’”
Years and multiple goals later, plus one Women’s World Cup title to her name, the dream is alive and well for Press.
Press celebrates scoring her first World Cup goal against Australia in the USA's opening match of the 2015 Women's World Cup