It's true that the U.S. was missing Michael Bradley, but Belgium was missing Axel Witsel. Jurgen Klinsmann could have called in Landon Donovan, but Belgium would have had Eden Hazard healthy. Simply, the U.S. doesn't have a single player who would start for Belgium and it showed.
Kevin Mirallas scored just six minutes in when the U.S. defense went to sleep and Tim Howard was slow off his line. Geoff Cameron scored on a set piece to equalize and send the Americans into halftime level, but they were always on the back foot. Cameron showed why he isn't a right back, Clarence Goodson was an all-around disaster and Jozy Altidore stood around and watched ... a lot.
And to think, that was the good half for the Americans.
Goals by Christian Benteke, Marouane Fellaini and then another by Benteke put Belgium on top 4-1 and they could have had many more. Omar Gonzalez took his turn on the merry-go-round and Sacha Kljestan did little to warrant another start. Brad Davis and Graham Zusi ... played. DaMarcus Beasley was the Americans' best player despite being out of position at left back and, of course, he finished the match hobbled.
Clint Dempsey showed that he was actually on the pitch by converting a penalty, but the U.S. couldn't be too happy about that considering it was an undeserved penalty granted to them by their best friend, the referee. The only time the referee pointed to the spot was in favor of the U.S., and it was a horrendous call, while Belgium twice appealed for penalties of their own only to be turned away despite some pretty good shouts.
In the end, the U.S. just wasn't good enough. Surprise!