USMNT Breakdown: vs. Germany World Cup Group G, Game 3

So close, yet so far away for Timmy (www.concordmonitor.com)

So close, yet so far away for Timmy and the Yanks (www.concordmonitor.com)

T.J. Zaremba breaks down USMNT’s 1-0 German beat down…

There are times when FIFA’s rankings make no sense. An example? The United States was inexplicably ranked fourth prior to the 2006 World Cup. Portugal’s inflated number four ranking at the start of this year’s tournament is yet another.

Germany, however, is certainly deserving of its number two ranking. Jogi Loew’s team put on a clinic against a worn-down American side on Thursday. The numbers show American fatigue.

Numerical domination by Ze Germans

Numerical domination by Ze Germans

For the United States, you cannot score if you do not have the ball.  Germany made sure they didn’t.

Germany owned the ball (mlssoccer.com)

The Germans completed twice as many passes as the United States did, and over 250 more than either of the Yanks’ previous Group Stage opponents.

750 completed passes is insane (mlssoccer.com)

German Engineering

Looking at the metrics the obvious question is, “How did USMNT keep their defeat to a single goal margin?”

For starters, the back four of Beasley, Gonzalez, Besler and Johnson were forced to stay home and compact, which meant they could rarely move forward.

All out defending by the Yanks (squawka.com)

All-out defending by the Yanks (squawka.com)

This is because Germany owned the middle half of the field.

Way too much attacking presence for Germany (squawka.com)

A dominant attacking presence by Germany (squawka.com)

Just look at the Americans’ desperate defending (left)…

Defend, defend, defend (fourfourtwo.com)

USMNT battening down the hatches

Event Key for FourFourTwo maps

Tim Howard was everywhere. 

Having more than one Timmy helps (unknown)

American cloning technology

Finally, the Germans took a lot of shots from distance, but couldn’t convert from close range.

Off the chart shooting by the Germans (squawka.com)

Off-the-chart shooting by Die Mannschaft

Because the Yanks expended so much energy defending and chasing the game, they struggled to take advantage of the few chances they had.

Way too much fail in the US attack (fourfourtwo.com)

Too much failure in the US attack

Event Key for FourFourTwo maps

Once again, Michael Bradley had a tough time getting involved in the US attack.

Next to nothing going forward for Bradley (fourfourtwo.com)

Next to nothing going forward for Bradley

If the US stood any chance in this game, Bradley needed to make an offensive impact. Unfortunately, that did not happen for the USMNT’s midfield talisman, and it hasn’t thus far this tournament.

It appears Bradley’s struggles lie in the amount of work he’s expected to do. Bradley is tasked with defending in a flat four midfield, as well as creating at the top of a diamond in attack. Leading this transition required a tremendous amount of energy.

Expectations put upon him have resulted in Bradley covering over a kilometer more than any other tournament player in the Group Stage, and over five kilometers more than his next highest US teammate, Kyle Beckerman.

Over 23 miles in 3 games for Bradley (fifa.com)

Over 23 miles in three games for the General

Thursday’s was not a bad performance by the Stars & Stripes, just a tired one.

Despite much optimism heading into the third match in Recife (after such a strong performance against Portugal in the Amazon) a let-down was likely expected.

But, despite more travel, and having one less day to recover than the Germans, USMNT kept the game within striking distance, which shows just how far the team has come under Jurgen Klinsmann’s leadership.

With the knockout rounds upon us, I like the Yanks’ chances. Bring on the Belgians!

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Need more USMNT chatter? Follow @OTFSoccer on Twitter

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T.J. Zaremba was BarnBurner #110 and 1998 second-half season ticket holder in Section 8 of pre-mothership Soldier Field. After over a decade on walkabout, with a handful of guest appearances, he returned in 2011 and has been a regular (when his commitment to Uncle Sam allows it) at Toyota Park with his wife and the Hamster. Follow T.J. @TJZaremba

*infographics courtesy of mlssoccer.com,fourfourtwo.com, fifa.com, and squawka.com

 

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