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USMNT: Offense, Not Defense Could Be a Problem in 2014 World Cup

Klinsmann USMNT

Wikimedia Commons

As the 2014 World Cup in Brazil edges closer, Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. Men’s National Team will be looking at their opponents in the so called “Group of Death,” and trying to figure out where they have favorable match-ups on the field. However, a theme that tends to be overlooked with the elite offense of Germany, the speed and athleticism of Ghana, and the talent of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo is that every team in the USA’s group has a fantastic defense.

Germany is the team favored by many to get out of the group and that’s largely in part to their talent on both the offensive and defensive half of the ball. Only allowing 10 goals in qualifying, the Germans are big (well except Philipp Lahm), physical and fast.

Ghana is perhaps the team that most believe the USMNT can gets points against, but they only allowed six total goals in World Cup qualifying, half of which were against one of the better teams in African qualifying, Egypt. Ghana is a physical defense that the American midfield could have a lot of trouble against.

Portugal is perhaps the team with the worst defense that the US plays, but even they allowed just 11 goals. However, the threat this team has on offense forces opposing teams to play conservatively on offense so that they aren’t ripped open by a Ronaldo led counter attack.

So, while the USA is trying to figure out what defense to start in the 2014 World Cup, they should be focusing on how the USMNT will be able to score against some of these defenses. Someone needs to step up and be the go to goal scorer, and, whether it’s Clint Dempsey, Chris Wondolowski, Aron Johannsson or Jozy Altidore, they’ll have to be spectacular to beat the elite defenses in their group.

Taylor Sturm is a Columnist for StoppageTimeSoccer.net. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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