USA Through to Brackets Despite 1-0 Loss to Germany
It's not that often Americans cheer when their team loses.
But, in standard players' parlance, they covered, and that's all they had to do.
The USA joined Germany in advancing to the bracket stage after holding one of the tourney favorites to a 1-0 result, giving the Americans an edge on goal difference over Portugal, 2-1 winners against Ghana.
Thomas Müller, jack of all trades at Bayern Munich but always lethal for Die Mannschaft, hammered home a rebound after a brilliant save by 'keeper Tim Howard momentarily prolonged the inevitable:
The strike was Müller's fourth of the competition, matching Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar for the tournament tally lead.
Klinsmann perturbed poobahs in USA Soccer by following through on the obviosity that other nations had better youth training programs and thus recruited dual citizens. Five German-Americans made the 20-man World Cup roster -- including the exciting Julian Green, who's in Brazil for seasoning -- and poise from the likes of Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones made him look like a genius with their calm demeanor under pressure and steady play.
And if anyone tried to sniff a conspiracy with the Germans and other Germans agreeing to arrange draw, consider the run of play vis-à-vis this closet-Canadian chick -- wait for the oot instead of out -- describing match-day conditions in Recife:
So it's on to the brackets. Germany gets the Algerians in what could be a tricky test for them. The USA draws a Belgium side in transition, blending in the next wave of international regulars to combine with its current core. If ever there was an opponent ripe for Klinsmann's tactics with his athletic squad, it's them.
After all, any culture that puts mayonnaise on their fries has got to be vulnerable.