Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Germany answers its doubters in a big way
by Paul Kennedy, June 16th, 2014 5:19PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  germany, portugal, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

By Paul Kennedy
(@pkedit)

Germany has been knocking on the door of world soccer's elite club since Joachim Loew succeeded Jurgen Klinsmann after the 2006 World Cup, but there were a lot of questions surrounding Germany heading into the 2014 World Cup. I guess they were answered this afternoon in Salvador, eh? Here are some thoughts on the game, a 4-0 rout over Portugal.

Tip of the hat to Pep. None of the question marks was bigger than whom Loew would play in the two central midfield positions. Borussia Dortmund's llkay Gundogan was injured and didn't travel to Brazil. Longtime mainstay Bastian Schweinsteiger has been injured. Sami Khedira was coming off a knee injury, while Philipp Lahm missed the start of training camp with an ankle injury.

Loew went with Khedira and Lahm, and they along with Toni Kroos exerted total control of the game, never letting Portuguese midfield get in the game and feed Cristiano Ronaldo. Loew borrowed a trick from the playbook of Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, where the Spanish coach moved the German captain from his outside back position to midfield. Even if it meant Germany started four central defenders across the backline, Lahm's insertion in the middle gave Germany a huge advantage.

False No. 9 project works. Will Miroslav Klose, the lone out-and-out forward on the Germany roster, catch Ronaldo and his record 15 World Cup goals? It's more likely will Thomas Mueller catch him. His hat trick against Portugal gave him eight goals in only seven World Cup games.

Only three players have scored more World Cup goals in fewer games than Mueller: France's Just Fontaine (13 goals in six games), Hungary's Sandor Kocsis (11 goals in five games) and Portugal's Eusebio (nine goals in six games).



Portugal's misery. Portugal's 4-0 defeat was the worst loss in its history, but the debacle in Salvador is not the first time the Portuguese have started off badly. Remember Suwon, 3-2 for the USA over Luis Figo and Co., in 2002.

After an early chance saved by Manuel Neuer at the near post, Cristiano Ronaldo was nearly invisible. The only reason he likely stayed on the field was that Portugal ran out of subs. It got that bad.

Ronaldo will face the USA on Sunday in Manaus without defender Pepe, red-carded for head-butting Mueller, and likely without Fabio Coentrao, his other Real Madrid teammate, who went off with a groin injury. (Striker Hugo Almeida had also gone off in the 28th minute with an injury.)


1 comment
  1. ROBERT BOND
    commented on: June 17, 2014 at 10:43 a.m.
    DFB!!! Suspect Pep & Loew have been planning this all along, that Mueller & Kroos with new contracts + Lew made Mandzucich expendable, Bastien just too dinged up-still, wish they would patch it up with Kiessling. To the guy who said grueling Euro schedule would negate the conditioning of modern athletes, they all seem to be getting it done, will have no problem playing from 12mn-6a in qattr, when deserts typically get COLD! Ronaldo NOT in shape, but due to injury. Hope Hummel bounces back.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
MLS in Yankee Stadium completes New York City soccer tapestry    
Three days. Not much time to soak in a city's soccer culture. But this is New ...
Women's World Cup all primed to be prime-time hit    
You heard it here first: With a little luck, Fox will break the record for the ...
Orlando City staff sends right messages but lacks wiggle room    
Expansion team Orlando City SC finally won a game at home, and did so impressively by ...
College or pro? Soccer in America increasingly faces a choice of how to develop players    
The rusting, gray Commodore Barry Bridge overlooked PPL Park, wind whirled on the pitch, and patches ...
Keith Tozer: 'USA is ready for pro futsal'    
The Professional Futsal League (PFL) is slated to launch in November 2016. Keith Tozer, who has ...
USA grooms new goddess of the air    
As sports teams go, the U.S. women's national team is tough to break into. But once ...
New York derby exceeds Marsch's expectations    
If you ever questioned MLS's wisdom of putting two teams in New York, that was answered ...
The other Great Debate: how do you define a derby?    
New York City FC and the Red Bulls kick off their rivalry Sunday that some believe ...
MLS encouraged by growth in TV audiences    
Through the first nine weeks of the 2015 MLS season, total viewership is up on the ...
MLS teams San Jose and Houston in transition take on new identities    
The Quakes and Dynamo are linked by a common history and the return of Dominic Kinnear ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives