According to the leading statisticians over at WhoScored, two U.S. players performed well enough against Belgium to make the “team of the last 16” at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Everton’s Tim Howard (obviously) got the nod in goal as he scored a perfect 10 in the rankings with his record breaking 16-save performance, while Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron made the central midfield spot after he was moved from central defense to holding mid in favor of Kyle Beckerman.
Putting Howard in this squad was an obvious choice, but seeing Cameron’s name in the XI certainly makes Klinsmann’s decision to drop the incredibly popular Beckerman seem like a good one. Time and time again Cameron won the ball back for the U.S. and provided a vital shield in front of the back four. Imagine how much worse the attacking onslaught would’ve been if what was virtuall a ‘third center back’ wouldn’t have been deployed by Klinsmann? Yeah. Cameron had more touches (113) than any player on the pitch, completed four dribbles, made five tackles and eight clearances.
Other players named in the “team of the last 16” were Argentine trio Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Pablo Zabaleta, playmakers Mesut Ozil and Arjen Robben, plus the Belgian duo of Kevin De Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen. Algeria defender Essaïd Belkalem and Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Congrats to Tim and Geoff, who will now both take a break before heading back to England to prepare for another season in the Premier League with their club teams.
You, of course, can watch every single one of their PL games live on NBC Sports Live Extra online or via the app.