The United States of America were knocked out of the World Cup by the hands of Belgium in a game that took 120 Minutes to find a winner. The Americans defied (The group of) death, they defied the odds, outplayed a top 5 side and kept the Germans to one goal and held Belgium scoreless for the full 90 minutes thanks to a God-like performance from goalkeeper Tim Howard. This tournament was a great one for the Americans, in more ways than you might realize.
Jurgen Klinsmann in his first World Cup as America’s manager already showed why he should be the leader of the free world’s soccer team for years to come. He came under a ton of scrutiny selecting youngsters like DeAndre Yedlin and Julian Green, while leaving off former captain Landon Donovan, but all those decisions he’s made have been all the right ones.
The John Brooks sub in the USA-Ghana game was brilliant as Brooks scored the winning goal with minutes to go. Yedlin against Portugal was great, running past defenders with ease as he led the attack to put the Americans up one goal in the second half, capping the comeback before Portugal equalized. When Green was subbed on in the Belgium game the very first time his foot touched the Brazuca ball, it went in off a great volley from Michael Bradley. Everything Jurgen has touched upon this team has turned to gold.
This team is incredibly young. With phenoms like Aron Johannsson, Green and Yedlin, and Brooks, the USA is here to stay. Not to mention Jozy Altidore is only 24 years old as of right now, and the USMNT might have Howard give it one more go in four years. The USA performed above expectations in this World Cup, but when 2018 comes around, the USMNT should be at least the quarterfinals, if not the semis. USA fans have no reason to be anything but optimistic for the future.
Many have said it before and I’ll echo this same sentiment when I say that the USMNT will win the World Cup before England wins another, and for one reason, and two words: Jurgen Klinsmann. Klinsmann is the best thing to happen to American soccer since David Beckham, and under his watch, do not be surprised if in 4 or 8 years, the USMNT are on to win the World Cup. The journey my friends, has just begun.