Germany and the USMNT met for an international friendly in Julian Nagelsmann’s first game in charge. Here are the awards for the back and forth match that ended in an ultimately comfortable win for the Germans:
Jersey Swap: Christian Pulisic
It had to be him. As the USA’s lynchpin, Christian Pulisic had another bright performance today. Particularly in the first half, he would consistently find pockets of space to pick up the ball while leaving Germany’s defenders chasing shadows. His goal, of course, was also a thing of beauty. Few players can run at full speed with the ball and maintain the composure and technique to bend the ball so well into the top corner. True to his slightly inconsistent nature, he did fade somewhat in the second half, but this was still a great overall performance.
Honorable mention: Chris Richards
The former Bayern Munich boy was decent on the day, consistently winning his tackles and challenges while also being a consistent threat from the USA’s many corners. He showed impressive growth from his Bayern days, as his passing was clean, concise and nearly flawless. He did get caught somewhat flat-footed for Germany’s second and third goals, though.
Der Kaiser: Nobody
Each one of Bayern’s defenders and goalkeeper was fine, but no one was outstanding. Rüdiger was uncharacteristically passive today, Tah struggled in his hybrid right-back/center-back role and Ter Stegen did the simple things exceedingly well — though perhaps he could have done better with the goal conceded. Hummels may have been a contender on his return to the Germany national team, with his cool composure vital at the heart of Germany’s defense, but he struggled somewhat with the USA’s speedy attackers. He was booked in the first half and then hooked at the hour mark.
Der Fußballgott: İlkay Gündoğan
The veteran FC Barcelona midfielder has been criticized relentlessly for not bringing his strong club form to the international stage very often, but İlkay Gündoğan was phenomenal today. His passing was tidy, keeping the midfield ticking along nicely, and his experience was crucial. Gündoğan’s forward runs caused the USA real havoc, leading to Germany’s equalizer in the first half. He did nearly gift the USA a goal in the second half, but then dealt with the situation himself. Ultimately, a composed performance from the captain.
Der Bomber: Jamal Musiala
One of the major headlines of Germany’s starting lineup was that Florian Wirtz and Jamala Musiala, Germany’s two greatest young talents would finally be starting together for the first time. While Wirtz did not live up to the occasion, fading badly after a bright first ten minutes before getting hooked early, Musiala proved his quality with some very typical otherwordly dribbling. The USA’s defenders simply could never get a handle on the supremely talented 20-year-old, who crowned his performance with a deserved goal before coming off.
Meister of the Match: Leroy Sané
It had to be him. Though Leroy Sané did not reward himself with either a goal or assist and missed some big chances in this game, he ran the show so well for Germany. Sané’s opponent, Sergiño Dest, did not play too badly but nothing short of defensive brilliance would have been enough to shut down Sané tonight. He would consistently find space where there seemed to be none with beautiful changes of pace, twisting and turning past defenders so elegantly. Musiala and Sané at times found themselves in similar positions today and while that took some getting used to, by the end they were combining brilliantly. Sané came off for some deserved rest in the second half.
Looking for more analysis of the game? Check out our newest podcast episode where we break down Nagelsmann’s first win with Germany, Tuchel’s potential loss of the dressing room, and more! Listen to it below or on Spotify.
As always, we appreciate all the support!