John Brooks Impresses in US Men’s National Team’s 2014 World Cup Opening Win over Ghana

John Brooks leads USMNT to victory

photo via Sports Center’s Twitter @SportsCenter

The US Men’s National Team was coming into the 2014 World Cup facing a familiar foe in Ghana. They looked to put past heart-breaking losses against Ghana in the last two World Cups behind them.

They did just that.

Behind a Clint Dempsey first-minute goal and a late goal from John Brooks off a corner kick, the United States started their 2014 World Cup on the right foot. They found a 2-1 victory over Ghana that sent the American fans into jubilation after being on an emotional roller coaster for most of the game. Brooks impressed throughout the second half and proved why he deserved a call-up to the United States’ 23-man roster.

Coming on for Matt Besler, who was experiencing right hamstring “tightness”, at the beginning of the second-half, Brooks had a tough test in his first competitive game for the United States. Immediately, Ghana looked for the equalizer and continually tested the defense. For the most part, Brooks looked cool and collected as he prevented any dangerous chances from occurring. When he did get beat, he recovered well to force the ball away from Ghana’s attack.

Ghana eventually found the equalizer on a nice display of composed passing and an accurate blast. As the game was inching closer and closer to stoppage time, the United States pressed for another goal. They earned a corner kick and Graham Zusi stepped up to take it. Zusi’s corner kick landed precisely in the center of the box and Brooks headed the ball home in textbook fashion.

Brooks’ eventual game-winner sent the Jurgen Klinsmann into celebration mode and had the American Outlaws jumping up and down. No one expected Brooks to be the game’s hero, but that is exactly what he was. On both offense and defense, Brooks shined and showed why Klinsmann was so high on the young German-American.

When other USMNT players were disappointing on the pitch, Brooks gave America hope as they now focus to face Portugal. In fact, Brooks’ performance could earn him a starting spot in the United States’ next match. Until then, U.S. soccer fans can cherish the moment as their team finally beat Ghana and look to have a decent chance of advancing to the knockout round.

Phil Naegely is a writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. Follow him on Twitter @PNaegelySTS.

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