Tantalizingly close to advancing, US lets opportunity slip away

Sunday's tie with Portugal isn't Geoff Cameron's finest moment. (Getty)
Sunday's tie with Portugal isn't Geoff Cameron's finest moment. (Getty)

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Simply put, when the manager gets the subs and tactics right and the US fights so hard and deserves to win the match despite difficult circumstances … and one center back is dead set on giving the match away, well, I give up.

That was impossible to swallow.

I'm sure Geoff Cameron feels terrible. His middle-school miskick gifted Portugal the first goal and his shocking inability to cut off service literally in the final seconds of the match gave Portugal a free header to tie the match, where it finished 2-2 seconds later. Simply put, that can't happen at this level.

Most of what I wanted to see happen did happen. The US won the midfield and created more chances, and Michael Bradley was so much better. Fabian Johnson came to life and through the run of play the US should have persevered. Alas, it wasn't to be.

Jurgen Klinsmann's wicked cra‎zy hand in terms of subs was rewarded again. DeAndre Yedlin's pirating run helped set up the go-ahead goal, and he had his team more than well positioned to advance from a group of death after just two matches. But he can't account for individual breakdowns the likes of which Cameron fell prey to Sunday. It's truly sickening. He had been our best central defender for quite some time but he lost the plot today.

Otherwise, as much as I loved Bradley today, and as much as I think he might go down as the best player this country has produced, his lackluster attempt inside the 18, with the keeper already disposed of, for a guy who normally attacks the ball like a whale, was troubling.

OK, time to stop now, but a little perspective: Bottom line is four points after two matches in this group is decent. Hopefully Portugal plays with some moxie next week -- and not like a bunch of sad-sack floppers -- and gets a point or three from Ghana.

Because the US is going to have to produce the match of a lifetime to get even a point from Germany.


Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday during the season on The NFL Today.
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