The Americans fell 2-1 to Belgium Tuesday night to end their roller coaster World Cup run.
After 90 scoreless minutes, the U.S. and Belgium went to extra time. In the first period of extra time, the impenetrable force that was Tim Howard, had to pluck two balls out of the back of his net. Down two goals with one fifteen minute period it looked bleak for the Americans.
Jurgen Klinsmann then went to the bench and called on 19-year-old Julian Green to make a difference. The move to bring Green to Brazil over the likes of Landon Donovan put Klinsmann under fire from the public. However, the young German-American rewarded his coach’s confidence with a goal on his first touch of the match. With new life the Americans pushed numbers forward and started peppering the Belgium goalkeeper. The United States’ best chance to find an equalizer came off of a free kick that found the foot of Clint Dempsey right in front of the goal. His shot ricocheted off the goalkeeper and out of harms way.
When the World Cup draw came out in December many people around soccer thought the Americans were doomed. They had to go through one of the top teams in the nation in Germany. They had to go through the player of the year in Potugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who flashed his brilliance with a last second cross that denied Team USA’s advancement for a match. And lastly they had to go through their World Cup kryptonite in Ghana, who had eliminated them from the previous two World Cups.
Team USA brought the nation together through their difficult journey to the knockout stage, and a heart-pounding last 15 minutes of their World Cup. We thank you Team USA for exceeding our expectations and making us at home proud!