USA defeats Germany 4-3 on Centennial

Published Thursday, June 13, 2013 10:12 PM by William Montero

Happy 100th Birthday US Soccer.  The celebration welcomed Germany to Washington DC for a Sunday afternoon friendly in front of a monster crowd.

Last week the Americans were shredded by a very talented squad from Belgium.  Today needed to be different with three important World Cup qualifiers on the horizon.  It was not a full strength Germany, but nonetheless more was expected from the red, white and blue.

The US pressed early on and Germany were on the back foot.  It didn't take long for the home side to strike as a perfect cross from Graham Zusi found Jozy Altidore who got free in the German penalty area.  Altidore steadied himself and volleyed home the opening goal.  The good start was needed and a confident US side kept the pressure on.

Minutes later the pressure forced a horrendous mistake in the back from the visitors and the ball ended up in their own net as young goalkeeper Marc-Ander ter Stegen failed to handle a pass back.  A real howler.  2-0 USA.

Germany forced their way back and started putting some better soccer together as the half wore on.  A poor American defense was on display once again, but keeper Tim Howard was relieved to see a couple of prime chances slide just wide of the US goal.  The match went to halftime with a surprising 2-0 USA lead.

Everyone expected a solid push from Germany to open the second half and that is exactly what we got.  It only took the visitors a few minutes to get a goal back as substitute Heiko Westermann got away from Omar Gonzalez and headed home a corner kick.  Credit to the US though as they didn't buckle.

It was Clint Dempsey to the rescue from there as he scored a pair of goals to put the match away.  Or so it seemed.  The first goal came on a nice cross from Altidore that Dempsey blasted home.  The second goal was a true work of art.  Dempsey cut past Podolski and curled a perfect left footed shot into the corner of the net from 25 yards out.  A great goal.

As I said.  4-1 and comfortable yes?  Well no.

As the waves of substitutes entered the match flipped and the soft American defense was once again exposed.  Max Kruse and Julian Draxler both scored and suddenly it was 4-3 with ten minutes to play.  The Americans stiffened though and held on for the 4-3 victory.

All in all a great day and a great win.  The defense is a MAJOR concern though as three massive qualifiers begin on Friday.  Bring this level of defense to Jamaica and it will not be a good result next week.