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US advances to World Cup's 2nd round despite loss

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 27, 2014 at 12:17 am •  Published: June 27, 2014

Across America, youngsters and athletes are turning into avid soccer supporters. San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum wore a U.S. jersey Wednesday after his no-hitter against San Diego, and Adam Wainwright had the American flag painted on his face when he went out to stretch with his St. Louis Cardinals teammates last weekend. Actor Will Ferrell came to Recife for Thursday's match, and the Empire State Building was illuminated in red, white and blue.

"It translates into more fans, more casual fans, more kids that get turned onto the sport and may turn out to want to play," Gulati said.

Because of the heavy rain, the Americans' bus trip to the stadium took 50 minutes, twice the time needed to reach Saturday's training session. And because of the tropical downpour, both teams weren't allowed to warm up on the field.

Some of the players' family and friends stayed at their hotel. Others' vehicles couldn't reach Arena Pernambuco, where rain fell throughout much of the game and there were scattered empty red seats.

U.S. captain Clint Dempsey said it was "in the back of your mind about your family not being able to make it to the game because of the traffic and everything. You just want to make sure that they're safe."

Germany scored when Mesut Ozil took a short corner kick, received a pass back and crossed to Per Mertesacker. His header was parried by Howard into the path of Mueller, who curled a right-footed shot from 18 yards inside the far post.

Germany had 63 percent possession and nine shots on goal to one for the U.S.

Klinsmann hugged Germany coach Joachim Loew — his assistant on Germany's 2006 World Cup team — and Brad Davis raised both hands after the final whistle and led the applauding U.S. team to the side of the stadium where the majority of American supporters sat.

The outcome was especially satisfying for a pair of U.S. players: Midfielder Jermaine Jones played three games for Germany in 2008 before switching allegiances, and right back Fabian Johnson started for Germany in the 2009 European Under-21 Championship final.

Jones thought back to a Times Square rally last month when former national team players Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman, now ESPN broadcasters, predicted the Americans would not advance.

"We showed some people," he said, "people that were talking like we have no chance to come through to the next round."