Tag: world cup

Germany Finishes What Klinsmann Started

There’s universal agreement that Germany was the best team at the World Cup and deserved to win it. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was absolutely superb, giving up only four goals in seven games. Of course, it helps that the defenders in front of him, Jerome Boateng and Philipp Lahm in particular, were air-tight, thus making things a touch easier in what is considered the zenith of the national team’s decade long journey to get here.
A journey that began in 2004 with the hiring of Jurgen Klinsmann. The current U.S. Men’s National Team manager came in and shook the very foundation of German soccer to its core, changing the joyless, stringent approach often associated with the team for a more progressive, attacking style of play.

Klinsmann needed to establish young cornerstones to see his vision through: Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker. That’s 4 players on the current roster of this year’s World Cup winning team, although the latter two were reserves. Mertesacker was quick to give Klinsmann credit saying they were only continuing what he started, but not everyone agreed as evidenced by the German media’s brutal treatment of him. Perhaps with time and now signature hardware, Klinsmann will be judged differently. He certainly deserves it.


Why USA Should Feel Good vs Belgium

The U.S. Men’s National Team is playing with house money right now. This is not too say that they should feel content to just make the knockout stage of the World Cup. No, they’ve proven to be rugged, gritty and determined enough to get through the Group of Death, a reality nobody expected to come to fruition in Brazil. That’s why if the Americans fail to get past Belgium on Tuesday, it shouldn’t be seen as a failure, but rather a positive step forward to where it wants to be: an upper echelon soccer power. Now to the actual game versus the Belgians. This was a side considered to be a darkhorse to win the World Cup. A young, talented yet inexperienced bunch. They’ve started off slow in games only to crank things up later. Belgium has relied heavily on Chelsea star Eden Hazard, who has not disappointed, but he is just one player.
Romelu Lukaku has struggled, failing to score in this World Cup. If you’re the U.S., you hope this pattern continues. The defense has been solid, but could be missing Vincent Kompany, who’s doubtful with a groin issue. Kompany is considered a world-class defender. As for the Red, White and Blue, forward Jozy Altidore could be back on the pitch for the first time since sustaining a hamstring injury early on in the win over Ghana. Boy, is his scoring punch sorely needed. Clint Dempsey is up front as the lone striker and needs the midfield to do something. So far, Michael Dempsey has not gotten the job done despite his tireless energy thus far. Even he admits that he must step up for the U.S. to have a chance to advance. Still, the outlook is bright for the USA, no matter the result on Tuesday. That’s what happens when you play with house money.

(CBS News)