Against an incredibly strong German side, the United States Men’s National Team showed the grit to belong in the Round of 16. And, with a little help from Cristiano Ronaldo and our friends in Portugal, that’s exactly where the Yanks are heading.
It wasn’t pretty but the US held Germany to a single goal with Jurgen Klinsmann making two personnel changes to the starting XI used against Portugal, swapping Omar Gonzalez for Geoff Cameron at center-back and Brad Davis for Alejandro Bedoya.
So with their third and final match of the group stage in the books, here’s how each US player fared on a scale of 1 to 10.
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USMNT player ratings vs. Germany
Tim Howard – 7
Rock solid goal-keeping from Howard, who faced a number of probing first-half crosses from Lukas Podolski and Jerome Boateng as well as a Mesut Ozil hammer that Howard deflected with a brilliant leg save. Fair play to Muller on the goal, Howard stood no chance.
DaMarcus Beasley – 5
Struggled early on with Boateng’s overlaps and Ozil’s trickery but put in some solid tackles as well as an explosive 25th minute weaving run that helped advance play out of the American’s end. Had some nervy second-half moments with Miroslav Klose but fought his way through valiantly.
Omar Gonzalez – 7
Brutal scuff on an early Boateng cross had American’s trembling but the Galaxy big man settled in nicely, making two notable slide tackles including one on Muller, who was in on goal. Proved very strong in the air, especially on Boateng’s 47th minute cross that had Ozil clear in on goal.
Matt Besler – 7
Besler kept his focus on the primary objective – keeping Muller quiet. And despite the Bayern forward scoring, Besler held the tricky Muller well in check. Key second-half tackles on Schweinsteiger’s attempted through-ball to Klose and Muller’s late ball to Ozil are proof positive why Besler will soon be hunted by European clubs.
Fabian Johnson – 6
A menace going forward but defensively had some worrying moments in the first-half, getting pulled in too far centrally and allowing Podolski too much space. Stepped it up in the second-half managing a few notable clearances that helped settled the back line during times of distress.
Kyle Beckerman – 6
Lock-down defending, sharp passing, positionally sharp and fiesty in the challenge, Beckerman was a rock. Started to lose composure immediately after Muller’s goal but regained it and went on to put in some key tackles, particularly on Ozil.
Jermaine Jones – STAR MAN 8
An absolute warrior, Jones was all over the park in the best way possible. Playing in a more advanced role than usual, Jones presented the German defense with problems on a number of occasions. Defended well, was a nuisance and somehow managed to avoid being shown a yellow card, which would have kept him out for the Round of 16.
Brad Davis – 2
Boateng’s overlapping runs and five first-half crosses forced Davis to swap sides with Graham Zusi to relieve the pressure. Unnecessarily conceded the 54th minute corner that led to Muller’s goal and was promptly substituted for Alejandro Bedoya. A tough World Cup blooding for Davis.
Michael Bradley – 4
Always needed to see more of the ball but failed to find a way to do so. Looked tired. Played three fantastic outlet passes but struggled keeping possession.
Graham Zusi – 6
Strong work rate with movement all over the park. Maintained possession in tight spaces and unleashed a fierce 22nd minute shot that curled mere inches over the bar.
Clint Dempsey – 6
Struggled to see much of the ball but the work-rate and attitude was there. Wasted two key second-half opportunities that would have spread the German defense and opened up space. Nearly scored on a last second header.
Alejandro Bedoya – 6
On for Brad Davis in the 59th minute Bedoya brought some good energy and could’ve been a hero in extra time if he had taken his chance better.
DeAndre Yedlin – 6
Yedlin worked hard, on for Graham Zusi in the 82nd, producing a phenomenal extra time run that nearly resulted in a Bedoya goal. Danger man. A must-play in every match moving forward.