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SBI Thursday Rewind: USMNT loses but advances as Belgium awaits; Suarez banned; and more

Tim Howard, Jermaine Jones


The U.S. Men’s National Team has done it. For the first time in team history, the USMNT clinched berths to the knockout round in back-to-back World Cups. It wasn’t the prettiest road — a slow and soggy loss to Germany on Thursday pushed them through in the end — but now, “Group of Death” is just an empty phrase as Ghana and Portugal head home. Jermaine Jones won SBI’s Man of the Match honors for the third straight game in a row as he again served as the dominant force on both sides of the ball.

Up next, the U.S. must face Belgium, who pulled out an impressive against-the-odds win Thursday over South Korea. Down to 10 men in a scoreless deadlock, Jan Vertonghen saved the day with a late rebound goal, which was enough to seal Belgium’s spot at the top of Group H. Elsewhere, Algeria advanced over Russia to face Germany next Monday.

Luis Suarez’s peculiar on-field bad habit come back to bite him — again. For the third time in his career, Suarez was punished for biting opponents after FIFA handed down Thursday a four-month ban from all soccer-related activity for Uruguay’s star striker. The punishment also includes a nine-game international ban, meaning he will be out of the World Cup as Uruguay advances to the Round of 16 Saturday.

Here is a rundown of all the stories featured on SBI today:

USMNT advances to Round of 16 despite falling to Germany

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Jermaine Jones

USMNT celebrates second straight World Cup Round of 16 berth

World Cup: USA vs. Germany (SBI Live Match Commentary)

FIFA hands Suarez fine, suspension for bite

Ghana suspends Boateng and Muntari indefinitely

Portugal downs Ghana, but both teams eliminated from World Cup

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Cristiano Ronaldo

10-man Belgium scores late winner to take down South Korea, top Group H

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Jan Vertonghen

Algeria comes back to draw Russia, advance to Round of 16

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Islam Slimani

World Cup Day 15: A Look Ahead

Packwood signs extension with Birmingham City

Adu plays for Stabaek in friendly match



  1. I haven’t heard this mentioned anywhere, but 7/11 of our starters yesterday were current MLS players and another two were groomed in the MLS. Yesterday notwithstanding, we are getting 5+ current MLSers in every game and we just escaped the group of death featuring rosters stacked with Champions League players… and Ghana’s backline.

    Your counterarguments eurosnobs?

    • MLS is much better than people give it credit for. The real reason MLS does not seem as good as it is, is because the talent is spread pretty evenly across the 19 teams. If you concentrated the talent into 2-3 teams (like pretty much every other league in the world) it would be dramatic how good the top teams are. They would probably be better than teams like Celtic, Anderlict, and Ajax or at least comparable, they would crush their mexican counterparts on neutral fields.

      • I wholeheartedly agree. If MLS talent were concentrated in a few top teams, they would dominate CONCACAF Champions League.

      • Another HUGE +1. Great point.

        Folks always miss the fact that the talent is spread out – unlike other league in the world – when they make their comparisons between MLS and other leagues. Well said!

      • bigger reason is lower payroll imo but MLS better noticeably every year over the past 5 or so and spending $$$ on players and increasing payrolls part of it to create the depth think we’re discussing here

      • Plus your point holds true for the BLP as well. Take away the foriegn talent and I am sure you won’t be waking up at 3 AM to watch long-balls and vomit inducing tackles.

        Every team benefits from bringing in better talent, but the better ones can balance that with developing thier own as well and that is why MLS is succeeding and many of the older leagues of the world are either stagnating or floundering.

    • Europeans historically don’t do well in South America. Costa Rica also has players on not so great teams and topped a group with Italy, Uruguay, and England. So perhaps it is not the best barometer of where MLS stands.

      • Costa Rica has a decent number of MLS players too though, so there performance is a feather in MLS’ cap as well.

    • It depends every team in our group besides Germany struggled to put together 3 consistent games in all phases of their game. If Ghana played like they played against Germany they could definitely beat Belgium, If Portugal is at full strength they could as well because Reinaldo can simply create something out of nothing. The US is the type of team that can get a result off of anyone because we fight for 90 minutes and play to our strengths (shutting down the middle of the field and hitting with speed on the flanks and set pieces). Germany is much better than belgium because they have shown consistently they can break down and score against teams that are parking the bus, which Belgium struggled with against worse opponents. Belgium also didn’t have to run the gauntlet of playing 3 very good teams in 11 days in the hottest and most humid venues in the world cup.

  2. I wish the midfield able hold the ball and create chances So far, USNT doesn’t looked better from 2010’s USNT, maybe Bradley goes back old position.

    • I think this team is better than the 2010 team. The 2010 team played a much easier line up of group games in much better conditions with much better travel arrangements. Compare the way the US played against portugal to UMNT team in 2010, You really think Bocanegra would have been able to stop Reinaldo?

      Ok so the US couldn’t hold the ball against Ghana but that was likely due to the fact that the US psychologically was on the defensive from the early goal, Ghana was pressing, our hold up striker was hurt, and Ghana is probably one of the most athletic teams in the World Cup (and it was the first game so they had the energy to press like crazy). The Us also could not hold the ball in the Midfield against Germany. What team can win the midfield battle with Germany? Ghana had success flying down the wings against Germany’s slower left and right backs. Besides the Germany team being really good the US also knew that a tie or even a close loss likely put them through, the natural tendency in a situation like that is to play cautious with numbers behind the ball. Add into it they played in the amazon 72 hours before.

      Now against Portugal, the US pretty much bossed the game for very long stretches and did control the midfield. Portugal tied that game by capitalizing on 2 huge unforced errors by the US (by the same player no less). If the US plays like they did against Portugal without bone head defensive lapses They will ahve a great chance to beat Belgium.

      • + 1

        Also consider the fact that every team that played in Manaus lost the following game. Considering the condirions (from Manaus to the poring rain of Recife), the tavel and the effect of that last min. Ronaldo gut punch – I’d say the guys did very well in that Germany game.

        People want us to play fancy soccer and as the Portugal game showed we can, if given space, but we simply do not have the personelle right now to dominate teams of the calibre we had in our group for long periods. We are getting better but we are still a work in progress. Good things are coming.

  3. Belgique, Argie,, shoot, maybe Suisse. That puts us in the final four against possibly, ticos, or maybe old mexicos. Beating the Dutch to advance to the finals would be doable, and Jozy might be back by the semis, and that my friends puts USA right in the finals of this here World Cup. Wow!!!!

  4. sometimes when you win you tie and when you lose you win and when you bit someone you get a four-month vacation- this sport crazy is


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