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5 posts from June 17, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Miami teens carry U.S. flag at Ghana game

Gulliver students may have noticed a pair of familiar faces on the field during the flag ceremony before the USA v. Ghana game in Natal.

Brothers Alexander and Christopher Joch were selected to carry the American flag into the stadium and during the anthems as part of a global Coca-Cola promotion. Alexander, 16, and Christopher, 14, are the ones on the left side in this photo. The boys got to spend the day at the stadium, get behind-the-scenes tour, and help prepare the locker rooms and training sessions for the two teams.


Postscript from Natal...

It was a long night after that thrilling US win over Ghana. The US media had a midnight bus to catch to the Natal airport, where we caught at 2:45 a.m. flight back to Sao Paulo. The airport was JAM-PACKED with US fans. People sleeping on the floor, eating at the snack bars, buzzing about the game. Felt a lot like the train stations in France "98 and Germany '06. Great atmosphere, and fun to see so many US fans make the trek to this farflung beachtown. Feels like our team and fans are all grown up! 

Landed in Sao Paulo very early..


Then took hour and a half bus ride to hotel, rest, and off to US training at 2:30 p.m. (I plan to post video)

Some thoughts on the win, the day after...

- Jozy Altidore limped really badly after the game and it appears doubtful he'll be able to play anytime soon. Feel awful for him, as he was really fired up to do well here. "I was crushed,'' he said of the injury. "I knew right away I wouldn't be able to continue.''

- Matt Besler also had hamstring issue, but his seems less severe and it's possible he'll be back for Sunday's Portugal match.

- Alejandro Bedoya, our Weston local, started and worked hard every minute he was on the field. He seemed to pull something on his hip area, but is expected back for Sunday.

- Clint Dempsey's nose (likely broken) was still bothering him after the game. He said he had trouble breathing. Klinsmann brushed it off, saying he broke his nose 3-4 times in his career and it should not affect Dempsey's ability to play. As long as you have legs, Jurgen figures you can play.

- Jurgen Klinsmann is looking smart for putting John Brooks in there to replace Besler. The 6-4 kid was the unlikely hero with his 86th-minute header.

- The U.S. won with its American fighting spirit. Ghana dominated possession and took 21 shots to 8 for the U.S., but Ghana's shots were errant and the U.S. capitalized on the few chances it got. The win will give the Americans a boost of confidence and energy, but expect Portugal to be tougher than Ghana, especially coming off a 4-0 loss to Germany. "They're going to be angry, and we all know how Cristiano Ronaldo behaves when he's angry,'' Klinsmann said.

What are your thoughts on the US win? Curious to hear what you think back home....



Poll: Who will win? Russia or S.Korea?

Poll: Who will win? Brazil or Mexico?

Poll: Who will win? Belgium or Algeria?