USA vs. Germany: Final score 4-3, Happy centennial, America


It was sometimes gorgeous and sometimes shambolic, but in the end it was a 4-3 win for the U.S. as they celebrated their centennial in style.

It looked like the United States would celebrate their centennial with 100 goals. Instead, they settled for four goals and a late game panic, but they still held on for a 4-3 win over Germany at a sold out, red and white filled RFK Stadium.

Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore stole the spotlight in the nation's capital, as Dempsey scored a pair of goals and Altidore added one of his own, but the real star for the Americans was Michael Bradley. The midfielder returned to the U.S. team and showed the calm, confidence and quick play that makes him the Americans' best player as the U.S. gave Germany midfield fits all match.

It took just 13 minutes for the U.S. to go in front as Dempsey sparked an American attack with a long run before feeding Graham Zusi on the right. Zusi then played a perfect ball into the middle for Altidore, who was all alone and made a difficult volley look simple with a clinical finish.

Three minutes later, Jermaine Jones' high pressure caused problems for the Germany back line as they tried to work the ball out of the back, but nobody could imagine just how badly the Germans would handle it. Benedikt Howedes hit a backpass for Marc-Andrew ter Stegen, who panicked, let the ball run and then watched it roll into his own net for a hilarious own goal.

Germany got back in the match after the break when Omar Gonzalez completely lost Heio Westermann on a cornerkick. It left Westermann a simple free header to cut the U.S. lead in half and it looked as if the German onslaught was coming.

But the U.S. fought right back through Dempsey with help from Altidore. Altidore brought the ball down on the left, took the ball to the endline and then hit a cross that found Dempsey alone from 10 yards. Dempsey made no mistake with his shot and the Americans were back up by two goals.

That goal paled in comparison to Dempsey's next goal, though. He got the ball from 25 yard, cut back onto his left foot and his an absolute beauty that curled into the top corner for a sublime goal.

Up 4-1, the U.S. looked well on their way to an emphatic win, but they made things interesting in the final 20 minutes. Edgar Castillo was a disaster on the left, Brad Evans had no idea where he was supposed to be, Gonzalez continued his horrendous match and Matt Besler wasn't much better as the U.S. has no idea how to defend Germany. Max Kruse scored in the 79th minute to cut the lead to 4-2, then Tim Howard elft a fat rebound for Julian Draxler to bury as Germany made things nervy for the Americans, but in the end, it wasn't enough.

The U.S. may have made things a little more dramatic than they wanted against Germany's C team and the back line may still be a mess, but under a clear blue sky in the nation's capital, they celebrated U.S. Soccer's centennial with a win.

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