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German B-Team no match for Klinsi´s US Squad
Does German-American friendship include heated German-American battle? Yes – if that battle is fought on green grass with eleven men on each side. In celebration of their 100th Anniversary, US Soccer had only one worthy foe in mind: Germany. Possibly inspired by their magnificent German coach, Jürgen Klinsmann, the federation flew in the German Men´s National Team for a meet at the sold-out RFK Stadium in Washington, DC – so, in a way, no matter the outcome of the 90 minute match, Germans were sure to celebrate: either a win by their team, or a win by Klinsmann, who had coached Germany to the World Cup semifinals in 1996 before crossing the Atlantic to help establish the United States on the soccer world stage.
Filled with excitement, most German-American soccer fans took bad news in stride: Due to bad timing, the Germans would travel with 19 of their best players missing. Star players from the rosters of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart were still busy in the Champions League and German Cup finals (both of which Bayern would win. The German no-fly-list included celebrated super goalie Manuel Neuer and fan favorites Özil, Khedira, Boateng, Lahm, Müller, Schweinsteiger, and Gomez. Fans were wondering: who would actually play at RFK? Then again, three days earlier, the Germans under Coach Jogi Löw had beaten Ecuador 4:2 – certainly an indicator that the B-Team would be up to the task.
For a great day of soccer, the German-American Committee of Greater New York brought 100 fans to the nation´s capital to cheer. Of course, the cheering started long before the buses were even close to RFK: thanks for generous donations from Hofbräu, Krombacher and Erdinger, the soccer fans were kept happy – certainly the Jagertee and Stroh provided by Niche Imports helped, too. With ample time before the game, an excited crowd of New Yorkers filed into the stadium, proudly wearing the only fan scarf to support both teams, the US and Germany, an exclusive item for the German-American Steuben Parade.
Unfortunately, for most of the game fans used their scarves to cover their faces, desperately trying to blend out an abysmal performance by the Germans. They fell behind rather fast, surprised by an unusually coordinated US team. It seems, that under Jürgen Klinsmann the team´s strategy has vastly improved. Helped by a ridiculous own-goal scored by German keeper ter Stegen and buoyed by a double from Clint Dempsey, the American team celebrated a 4:3 win over Germany – reminding the author of a friendly in 1998, when the US beat Germany 3:0 in Jacksonville, at a time when the United States stood far from being a serious competitor. They certainly are now.