Wrapping up Brazil 2014: Team USA World Cup Highlights
The United States faced great expectations and high hopes coming into the World Cup. While the US was not a favorite to win by any means, the team had a diverse group of returning veteran players along with new fresh faces accompanying them. We’ve provided quick recaps and highlight videos for each of the games Team USA played in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup below.
USA vs Ghana | (2-1) | Highlights
The sixth fastest goal in World Cup history, scored by USA captain, Clint Dempsey, took the early lead in the US match against Ghana. Although the US had the lead, Ghana dominated possession and took 21 shots (8 on goal) compared to the USA’s 8 shots (5 on goal). After many crosses and opportunities, Ghana scored a late equalizer in the 82’ from André Ayew. With a late corner kick in the 86’ from Graham Zusi, John Anthony Brooks of team USA came through with a clutch header taking the win for team USA.
USA vs Portugal | (2-2) | Highlights
Team USA slipped up early in the game against Portugal when Geoff Cameron miscued while clearing a cross allowing the ball to fall straight to an unmarked Nani 5 minutes in. Nani fired into the top of the net, leaving Howard on the ground. Two miraculous saves were made in one possession at 44’ by team USA’s goalkeeper Tim Howard. It wasn’t until 64 minutes in that team USA tied it up. Jermaine Jones fired a right-footed shot into the right corner following a corner kick, leaving Portugal goalkeeper Beto flat-footed. Soon after, USA’s Michael Bradley capitalized when given an open cross-cage pass to Clint Dempsey, who bumped it in using his stomach (81’). The game looked headed for a team USA win until Cristiano Ronaldo found Silvestre Varela with a perfect cross resulting in a game tying header with just seconds remaining.
USA vs Germany | (0-1) | Highlights
After a disappointing tie with Portugal in the previous game the US faced Germany needing a draw to ensure they moved on to the next round. Even though Germany was heavily favored to win the game, it was extremely close. During the first half both the USA and Germany had chances to score, but by halftime the score was 0-0. Shortly after the second half Thomas Muller from Germany scored on a rebound from USA goalie Tim Howard. This was the only goal of the match. Although Germany had beaten the USA 1-0, both sides advanced to the next round because of the result in the Portugal vs. Ghana game.
USA vs Belgium | (1-2) | Highlights
After a stalemate the whole match, Belgium struck quickly in extra time as Kevin de Bruyne scored a few minutes in. In quick succession, Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku added another at the 105’ mark. Suddenly, it appeared as if the United States had no chance after not being able to score the whole match. That was until the United States’ Julian Green employed a masterful finish from a Michael Bradley chip pass. It appeared as if the United States had momentum from that point moving forward, as the United States came very close to scoring multiple times. The United States’ goalie, Tim Howard, cemented himself in World Cup History as he made more saves in one game than any World Cup goalie in more than 50 years. Despite the United States’ great opportunities to score and Tim Howard’s historic game, the team was not able to capitalize and Belgium outlasted the US 2-1.
It is bittersweet for US soccer fans that have potentially seen the last of their favorite players on the field; but, it’s important to recognize this USA team completely surpassed expectations coming into the World Cup. Following up with a Round 16 appearance from the 2010 World Cup was a tough act to follow, however, Team USA made consecutive appearances for the first time in US history.