Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Spain. Just a few of the world class teams on show at the World Cup. Mouth watering levels of talent promise to make it a real spectacle. However, we know that these teams are full of amazing players, but one of the best things about this tournament is that lesser known players have the chance to shine on the world stage.
This was perfectly displayed in the game between USA and Ghana. The game was very entertaining and saw standout performances from some players that are certainly not household names in Europe.
The Americans are very solid, clearly benefitting from the experience and tactical knowledge of Jurgen Klinsmann, but are also exciting on the break with players like Clint Dempsey. Several players did their reputations the world of good against Ghana, showing that they deserve to be playing on this stage.
Kyle Beckerman gave an incredibly assured midfield display and gave an increase in credibility to the MLS having played in the US his entire career. He controlled the midfield in front of his back four with confidence and a great presence, breaking up play and building counter attacks.
He was ably supported by Jermaine Jones; the former Blackburn player being a little more experienced with long spells in Germany and now playing for Besiktas. He got into the game more in the second half, covering a lot of ground and throwing his body on the line for his team.
Geoff Cameron showed that he has learnt a particular style of defending since being at Stoke City and that paid dividends against Ghana. He stood strong throughout the game despite losing his central defensive partner to injury.
Between Cameron and Tim Howard in goal, Ghana were kept to long range efforts and luckily for the USA, Ghana were woeful with their end product. Exciting new Chelsea player Christian Atsu being the worst culprit, scintillating runs being ruined by poor decision making.
Although technically it was not the best game, it was played with spirit and heart which made for an entertaining 90 mins. The moment that John Brooks scored the dramatic late winner was the best moment in the world cup so far. That magic is what we expect and hope for and sometimes it does not get delivered by the big guns.
There isn't the same level of expectation on some of the lower profile players, as a result they can play with a level of freedom and just enjoy the once in a lifetime experience of playing in a world cup finals. Maybe we should learn from this and let our players do the same, Rooney could achieve a lot more if he wasn't having to explain why he was doing extra training on Facebook.
To see the USA players running to the point of exhaustion and then get up and keep going was exceptional to watch, and they have done themselves proud with the win. If anyone wants to see what it means to them, watch Brooks' celebration after his winning goal.
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