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Christian Pulisic scored a stunning goal to give the U.S. an early lead but the visitors stormed back through Ilkay Gundogan, Niclas Fullkrug and Jamal Musiala.

Michael Dominski

How USMNT fell to 3-1 defeat against Germany after leading on early Pulisic goal in international friendly

(Photo: Getty Images)

Significance of Reyna's return


This international window is the first camp in which Gregg Berhalter and Gio Reyna were back in U.S. men’s national team camp together. Berhalter said he no longer wanted to look back and “I think it's about talking about the future.” This game provided a first opportunity to do that.

One way in which that happened: Reyna starting as a No. 10.

After playing mostly as a winger who came inside the pocket to find the ball in a 4-3-3 during the last cycle, the 20-year-old played in the No. 10 role in Nations League games under interim managers Anthony Hudson and B.J. Callaghan this spring and summer. Berhalter clearly liked what he saw in those games. While Reyna was on a minutes limit – he had played just 26 minutes for club or country since injuring his leg on June 18 in the Nations League final – he started the game in that spot.

The new shape allowed Berhalter to test out a formation change when the team is missing captain Tyler Adams, who is out for an extended period of time with a hamstring injury. Yunus Musah dropped into a lower role in midfield, and Weston McKennie played in a No. 8 role behind Reyna. Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah started on the wings.

Reyna had some good moments in the first half, at one point playing Folarin Balogun through on a chance where Pulisic was in alone on goal and went down looking for a penalty after taking a touch past Marc-Andre ter Stegen. It was an overall positive outing for Reyna, who was subbed at halftime as he works back from his injury.

The U.S. will likely look to build on it on Tuesday against Ghana.

USMNT missing Adams


With Tyler Adams out due to a hamstring injury, the U.S. started with Yunus Musah as the No. 6. Germany, though, found far too much space around the edge of the Americans’ penalty box, and Adams' ability to step in, make tackles and kill off attacks was clearly missed.

The outing will likely give Gregg Berhalter some headaches as he thinks through how to best set up this team when Adams is out. He could opt for a player who is more of a traditional defensive midfielder, like Johnny Cardoso or Lenny Maloney, or he might be forced to play with two more-defensive-minded midfielders in a double pivot.

A good afternoon for Nagelsmann, Germany


Germany looked dangerous. More to the point, Germany were actually fun to watch and that has not been the case for a long time.

It matters, too. Julian Nagelsmann is facing a technical challenge, because there are areas of his team in which the depth of talent simply is not there, but he is also – in effect – having to remarket this team to its own country. The German public has grown disinterested and disillusioned with the national team, but performances like this, that possess vibrancy and life, will hopefully start to reverse that process.

This was a good afternoon for Nagelsmann and for Germany.

Flawed but successful German performance


Germany’s flaws remain much as they were. Their defence is still porous and continues to look fragile against the counterattack. A more ruthless opponent might have built a bigger lead than the U.S. managed.

Nevertheless, this was still a success. One of the long-term issues that new manager Julian Nagelsmann inherited was an inability to create chances. It was heartening, then, to see the Germans so potent with the ball. Nagelsmann’s gegenpress seemed well-oiled and it created opportunities, but he will also have been pleased by how much movement there was ahead of, and around the ball in the attacking third. Germany manufactured plenty of scoring opportunities through the quick, intricate passing that has been so absent from their games in 2023.

Leroy Sane really should have scored at the end of a slick second half move. Niclas Fullkrug might have more than just one goal.

Nagelsmann: 'Football-wise it was very good'


Julian Nagelsmann alluded to Germany's recent struggles while speaking after the win: "We came back very well after falling behind. That wasn't so easy after the last few months and being behind. Football-wise it was very good."

European woes for U.S.


The USMNT has now won only two out of nine matches against European sides under Gregg Berhalter.

The wins came against Northern Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina in friendlies.

Pulisic: 'These are games that we want to start finding ways to win'


Christian Pulisic spoke to TNT after scoring the U.S.' lone goal in their loss: "Of course it hurts. We had a good start to the game. I felt like we hurt them in a lot of moments. Just little mistakes here and there, defensively we can be a lot better. Obviously we have to give them credit, they have some unbelievable players. These are games that we want to start finding ways to win."

On his goal: "A great goal. I don't know if I was offsides as well on the other one (in the fourth minute). Felt like there were a few calls today that weren't great. At the end of the day it's nice to score but it doesn't really mean much, obviously we want to win these games.

"We did some good things, we have to take the positives, obviously learn from some of our mistakes. We have another opportunity against Ghana in a few days and we just have to go out and turn it around there."

Bright start for Nagelsmann


Julian Nagelsmann has become only the second Germany manager to win his first match after trailing.

He joins Otto Nerz, who did so in 1926 against the Netherlands.

Fullkrug making his mark


Fullkrug making his mark

(Photo: Getty Images)

With his go-ahead goal in the 58th minute, Niclas Fullkrug has now scored eight goals in his first 10 matches for the German national team.

In the last 45 years, only Serge Gnabry (9) has scored as many or more goals in his first 10 appearances for Germany.

Germany enjoy American trip


This result makes the fourth time that Germany have scored at least three goals against the USMNT on American soil.

The only country that has done so more times is Mexico, with six instances.

Muller demonstrates Germany's depth


It's absurd how, at the age of 34, Thomas Müller can still come into a match and immediately become the biggest thorn in the backside of the opposition.

This German side is one in transition with its plethora of young attacking players, but still having Müller to bring on is such an embarrassment of riches.

FT: USMNT 1-3 Germany


The U.S. players orchestrate a lot of movement as Aaronson takes his shot, but he hits the top of Germany's jumping wall.

The final whistle blows shortly thereafter and that's that.

U.S. win free kick in dangerous position


90+2' USMNT 1-3 Germany

Aaronson draws a foul from Rudiger and wins a free kick right in front of the German box.

He will likely be the one to take the shot, having scored from a free kick against Oman last month.

Second-half stoppage time


90' USMNT 1-3 Germany

Dest breaks forward and looks to slip Aaronson into free space, but his pass is just a bit too powerful and the German defense ends the danger.

Two minutes are added on to the end of this one.

Germany in control


86' USMNT 1-3 Germany

It's all Germany at the moment as they press for a fourth.

A long spell of possession by the visitors around the U.S. box ends with Sule firing a volley just over the crossbar. What a goal for a center back that would have been.

A word for Fullkrug


81' USMNT 1-3 Germany

Muller replaces Fullkrug, while Fuhrich comes on for Musiala. Muller receives a warm reception from the Connecticut crowd.

It was another good performance for Niclas Fullkrug. Such has been the melodrama around the national team in Germany that his story has been drowned out a bit.

From playing 2.Bundesliga football just two years ago, he’s now scored eight goals in ten games for his country. Pretty remarkable stuff.

Pepi forcing the issue


79' USMNT 1-3 Germany

Pepi makes a great play to steal the ball from a defender in Germany's box. He skips past another in an effort to find room to shoot, but the defense does just enough to scramble the ball away to safety.

Pulisic comes off


75' USMNT 1-3 Germany

Pulisic is replaced by Paredes, while McKennie comes off for Cardoso.

Disjointed play


73' USMNT 1-3 Germany

The USMNT look like they haven't played in a meaningful match together in a very long time.


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