'America's Got Talent!' - U.S. media

ByIan Holyman ESPN logo
Friday, July 4, 2014

The United States press was full of hope for the future despite its team being knocked out of the World Cup at the hands of Belgium on Tuesday.

The U.S. looked down and out after falling behind to goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku in extra time, but rallied superbly in the second period and after Julian Green halved the deficit they came close to taking the game to penalties.

They were also hugely indebted to goalkeeper Tim Howard, who made a World Cup record 16 saves to keep his team in the game.

"America's got talent: Klinsmann's youngsters provide hope for USMNT" read the front page of the USA Today website. The article went on to say "After a riveting 120 minutes, the United States' 2-1 loss to Belgium seemed to validate Klinsmann's roster gambles and reaffirmed his vision for the future," referring to the coach's decision to leave more experienced players and hope in favour of looking to the future.

The Los Angeles Times followed the same theme, leading with "It's over for U.S. at World Cup, but America hopes it's just the start." The article spoke of how soccer could really take hold in the U.S.: "For the past two weeks, for the first time ever ... soccer showed its power to unite this country of different colors and cultures like no other sport."

The New York Times followed the theme of the growing popularity of the spot in the United States. With a headline "Wild Ride by U.S. Comes to End, but Soccer Is the Winner", the article went on to say "Television ratings in the United States blasted through ceilings, surpassing those of the N.B.A. finals or the World Series. Watch parties popped up in places far more varied than just craft breweries in Brooklyn, with fans gathering everywhere from Hermosa Beach in California to a library in Birmingham, Ala., to the Tulsa Drillers' minor league baseball stadium in Oklahoma. A gathering at Grant Park in Chicago was moved to Soldier Field to accommodate a crowd reported to have exceeded 25,000."

And the Washington Post went with "Cup hopes dashed, but not all is lost." It said of Howard: "They came flying in from all directions, and minute after minute, shot after shot, Tim Howard had something for every ball that came his way, a foot, a knee, his hands."

Meanwhile, the Belgian press were left catching their breath following their side's victorious, action-packed last-16 encounter.

'Tintin eats America' stated La Derniere Heure above a large picture of the Wolfsburg star, while also looking ahead with optimism to Saturday's last-eight date by using Wilmots' own words, "If they watched our game, they are certainly going to start being scared" as their headline, adding: "The next meal for the Devils will be an Argentine steak."

Ironically, having beaten the U.S., La Libre leads with '"The American dream continues." It continued with reference to the nerve-jangling extra time: "The Devils are in the quarterfinals, and will play Argentina not without having scared themselves. What a crazy game! The Red Devils managed to climb into the World Cup quarterfinals but not without having made a whole country tremble."

"The Red Devils were held up for a long time by an incredible Tim Howard," Le Soir said of Howard.

Accompanied by a picture of samba dancers in Belgium's colours, RTBF focused on the fervour back home in an article headlined, "Brussels, the beating heart of the party that swept through the whole country."

Some 15,000 fans packed into the Roi Baudouin Stadium in the Belgian capital to watch the game on a big screen, and -- according to RTBF -- "after the demonstration of the possibilities of the Red Devils' play during this match, the Belgian fans fervently expressed hope for the upcoming matches at this World Cup."

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