Former German Uber-striker Jurgen Klinsmann may have physically taken on the role as US national soccer team manager back last July, however his reign will, in time, be considered to have started last night. The United States took a notable scalp with a hard fought 1-0 win over European soccer giants Italy.
The goal was a well worked team effort, with a crisp, efficient finish by Clint Dempsey.
That’s a lovely touch from Jozy Altidore to set it up. Dempsey is fast becoming not just a great player, but one of the most successful players to have worn the USA jersey. Or, that odd-ball, high-school style jersey they had on last night, either! Dempsey’s goal makes it 25 in 83 Internationals, not a shabby haul for a midfield player, and not bad for International level either. Dempsey is already the all-time leading scorer amongst US players in the Premiership with 43 goals, and at only 29 years old he has plenty of time to add to that impressive haul.
To put the win in perspective, this was the first time the USA have ever beaten Italy. Furthermore, Dempsey became just the fourth American to score against Italy, joining Buff Donelli (1934), John Harkes (1992) and Landon Donovan (2009). If you want to be picky you can include the own-goal Italy scored against themselves in 2006.
The States continue to go from strength to strength under Klinsmann, with last night’s big win they have now won four straight under the German.
There are still plenty of ignorant doubters out there in the US sporting media, but one undeniable fact is the US sporting public loves a winner, and if US soccer continues to produce results, it is only a matter of time before soccer breaks into the cartel that is NFL, NBA, MLB and to a lesser extent NHL.
For now, those loyal US soccer fans there is can enjoy a tremendous win against a famous opponent.