Created on 2014-07-16 at 08:30 AM
Seven Bayern Munich players featured in Germany’s World Cup squad and in total, 14 Bayern players represented their countries in Brazil, more than any other club in world football. But Germany’s World Cup contingent was not the only one that impressed at the tournament this summer. The United States, coached by former Bayern player and coach Jürgen Klinsmann, also had a memorable tournament, propelled by the team’s Bundesliga players.
Of the USA’s 23 players in Brazil, five either play or have played for Bundesliga clubs. Players like Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, John Brooks and Timothy Chandler are all familiar faces for Bayern supporters, having watched their team play against them multiple times over the years. Along with Bayern’s own Julian Green, many of them played a significant part in the team’s World Cup campaign.
Despite being eliminated in the Round of 16, the USA defied the odds and advanced out of the so called 'Group of Death' at the expense of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Ghana, the team that had beaten them in consecutive World Cups. Klinsmann’s team started their World Cup campaign in a gritty and tense match against Ghana that was decided by Hertha Berlin’s John Brooks with four minutes to go.
Their second match against Portugal was arguably the team’s finest performance of the tournament with former Eintracht Frankfurt and Schalke 04 player Jermaine Jones scoring one of the goals of the tournament with a long-range effort. Only a last-minute Portugal equalizer denied Klinsmann’s team six points from their first two games, but it was enough to go through despite a loss to Germany in their third match. Jones and Hoffenheim’s Fabian Johnson were two of the better performers of the first round in their position and played every minute in the group stage.
Of course, the most surprising impact of all came in the Round of 16 against Belgium. Two goals down, 19-year-old Julian Green made his World Cup debut in extra-time and scored a one-time volley with his very first touch. It was not enough to go through but Green and the team’s performance made a lasting impression that will not soon be forgotten.