1. Archive

U.S. loss isn't as close as 4-3 score

Maybe the United States can play soccer, after all. Especially with all these new Americans.

The United States isn't good enough yet to compete with the best in the world. Still, the Americans lost just 4-3 Sunday to defending World Cup champion Germany in the U.S. Cup tournament before an announced crowd of 53,549.

"That is definitely the most difficult team I've played against," U.S. goalkeeper Tony Meola said. "I can't see a soccer team getting more difficult than that."

The game wasn't nearly as close as the score. Germany outshot the Americans 28-7, including 18-4 as it took a 3-1 halftime lead. Karlheinz Riedle had Germany's first three-goal game in 11 years and Jurgen Klinsmann scored his third goal of the tournament.

"We made two to three mental mistakes that cost us two goals," Riedle said. "But the real mistakes were made up front, where we could have scored seven or eight."

No one born on U.S. soil scored in the first soccer game ever between the countries. Thomas Dooley, a dual German-American, scored twice for the United States and Dutch-American Ernie Stewart scored once.

"We're lucky to end up 4-3," Stewart said. "Let's put it that way."

Dooley, who obtained U.S. citizenship last year, played despite a sprained right ankle.

"Playing against the country where I've lived 32 years and having friends in Germany who were watching back home on television paying attention to my performance was a funny feeling," said Dooley, who was not asked to play for Germany's national team.

Stewart lived in the United States from ages 2-7 before moving to the Netherlands. His goal was his first for the American team.

"In the last 20 minutes of competition, the U.S. showed itself fully capable of taking those chances to come forward," Germany coach Berti Vogts said. "It showed itself a team to be reckoned with at any time."

The Americans have a 2-6-9 record. But more importantly, it left them with confidence.

"They're not a vastly better team," Meola said. "They were a better team, for sure. They can be beaten."