In a critical encounter against Germany, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann decided to mix things up in the final group match of the 2014 World Cup with two different starters from the previous Ghana and Portugal match.
After a botched defensive play in the first half against Portugal, center back Geoff Cameron was benched in favor of Omar Gonzalez. The Los Angeles Galaxy star performed well in the first 45 minutes. Gonzalez had a miscue early on, but came back and made a pair of fine defensive plays to deny Germany a good look at a shot on goal.
He is the highest paid defender in Major League Soccer and nearly played for Nurnberg, but suffered an injury before he can make an appearance. Gonzalez’s selection to the U.S. was somewhat surprising. Clarence Goodson was considered a possibility instead.
Left-sided midfielder Alejandro Bedoya was also held out of the starting lineup with Brad Davis getting the nod instead. Unlike Gonzalez, Davis’s contribution has been minimal.
Michael Bradley was in the starting XI despite some errors against Portugal, and a rather lackluster performance against Ghana. Bradley had some lapses in the first half. He has been given a more attacking role, yet hasn’t made a real contribution to any of the American goals.