Welcome to your Mane Land open thread for freedom.
While we're still giddy about the United States' first win over the Netherlands last week -- as well as the fact that they had to come from 3-1 down to become the first visiting team to beat the Dutch on their soil in eight years -- it's time to get real. The Yanks are playing Germany this afternoon. You know the Germans, they're FIFA's No. 1 ranked team and the defending World Cup champions.
Germany holds a 7-3-0 advantage in the all-time series. You probably remember the last meeting quite well, a heartbreaking 1-0 U.S. loss in Recife, Brazil during the 2014 World Cup. Still, the Americans got out of the group of death and were one Chris Wondolowski howler from forcing a penalty shootout against Belgium in the knockout round. Sigh.
Oh well, we're not ruling out Orlando City defender/midfielder Brek Shea and his countrymen, after that improbable comeback against Holland just a few days ago. Germany will be without some key players (such as Manuel Neuer, Benedikt Howedes, Toni Kroos, Marco Reus, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller -- the only German to beat Tim Howard last summer), but even Germany's ‘B Team' is probably capable of getting through World Cup group play.
The United States is 0-2 against Die Mannschaft on German soil and 3-2 against them at home.
This is going to be another big-boy game for the U.S. and any kind of result, or even just keeping it a close loss, should be looked on as a favorable outcome. To get that result, the Americans will have to play much better defensively today than they did at the Netherlands. The defensive midfield was uncharacteristically leaky and the back four were...well, adventuresome, throughout the second half.
I'm guessing Jurgen Klinsmann changes up the lineup a bit today and he'll hope his attack can get at what should be a young German back line and a backup keeper.
Feel free to discuss all the action below in the comments as you secretly stream the game while at work and be sure to vote in our poll below!
U.S. Men's National Team (4-3-3):
Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan
Defenders: Brek Shea, Michael Orozco, John Brooks, Timmy Chandler
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Alfredo Morales
Forwards: Fabian Johnson, Juan Agudelo, Gyasi Zardes
Bench: Nick Rimando, Ventura Alvarado, DeAndre Yedlin, Mix Diskerud, Daniel Williams, Miguel Ibarra, Aron Johannsson, Bobby Wood, Jordan Morris, Brad Evans
How to Watch:
Match time: 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Venue: RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne, Germany
TV: FOX Sports 1, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network
Live Stream: FOX Sports 2GO, BT Sport Player
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