~~US soccer fans can now rejoice as the US Mens National Team has officially advanced to the knockout stage of this year's World Cup. Despite losing to Germany, who won the Group, the US still managed to escape the Group of Death. At the beginning of the tournament, many would have guessed that it would be Portugal and Germany advancing, but the US shocked the world and proved that they deserve to be in the round of 16.
In today's match, the US didn't end up victorious, but they still have a lot to cheer about. US soccer fans like me can watch our team at least one more time, if not more. Today, we learned a few things:
1. Jurgen Klinsmann's decision to leave Landon Donovan off the squad has had its benefits
2. The US deserve to advance
3. Jermaine Jones has been the so called MVP for the US
Unlike last Sunday, Jurgen Klinsmann left the stadium with a smile on his face. He did the impossible by guiding his team through the Group of Death. I would be smiling too if I was him. We thought Klinsmann's decision to leave Landon Donovan off the team was bone-headed, but it has proved to be brilliant. Instead of including Donovan, Klinsmann built his team around young talent and veteran leaders, which has payed off.
One of those stars has been Jermaine Jones, who scored an electrifying goal against Portugal in last week's match. He's been the main ingredient to the US' success in this year's World Cup. Clint Dempsey may have scored two of the US' goals, but Jones is the one who has orchestrated it all. Jones has been excellent and his effort on every play is worth applauding.
Although Tim Howard allowed the game's only goal to Thomas Mueller, Howard broke the record for most starts by a goalie in US history, surpassing Kasey Keller. Howard was brilliant and the goal he allowed wasn't even his fault. Thomas Mueller couldn't have unleashed a better strike. Howard has been a symbol of USA's success in this tournament.
We may be celebrating now, but the US still have more matches to play. They need to plan for their next match and execute their game plan against the winner of Group H. For now, we'll just have to sit and wait for their next match. Go USA!
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