2014 World Cup John Brooks Header Lifts Team USA Over Ghana

The Americans now stand in second place with three points, behind Germany in Group G on goal differential. This is theoretically a very strong position going into the next critical match against Portugal.

But the win was a Pyrrhic one. Jozy Altidore, one of only two forwards on the team with World Cup experience, pulled a hamstring in the 21st minute and is likely lost for the tournament. Without Landon Donovan on the cheap FIFA Coins, Jurgen Klinsmann will be forced to go with Dempsey as the lone striker or start Aron Johannsson against Portugal. Remarkably, this was the first goal by a U.S. forward in a World Cup since 2002, since Brian McBride scored in a second-round match against Mexico.

After that, however, the Americans grew far too cautious, ceding the midfield as if they were facing Italy, Spain or France. Ghana retained possession for a full 60% of the first half, when it is known more for its vertical strikes. Michael Bradley was especially disappointing, never quite in the right spot or making the right pass. The back line kept its shape for the most part, though DaMarcus Beasley was caught roaming way upfield on occasions and there were a few glaring errors.

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