The United Stats looked lively early, and Altidore in particular looked great from the start. He played with an illness against Belgium on Wednesday and struggled, but was much more active in the first half against Germany. He had a chance saved in the 2nd minute off a ball over the top by Brad Evans and just failed to connect on a header from an 8th minute Graham Zusi free kick.
A hilarious size mismatch in the U.S. box nearly resulted in Per Mertesacker scoring the opener. The 6'6" defender pushed aside the much smaller DaMarcus Beasley in the box and had Tim Howard beaten with a shot, but his effort went just wide. Two minutes later, the tables turned completely when the United States scored their first goal.
Clint Dempsey started the move with a great run from inside his own half to the edge of the penalty area. He sprayed the ball out wide for Zusi, who delivered a brilliant cross into the center of the box. Altidore created space for himself by halting his run quickly, leaving Mertesacker in no-man's land as he struck an impressive volley into the top corner.
As good as the United States' first goal was, the second was an absolute gift. The USMNT pressured well off a short goal kick to put Germany under pressure, but there was no excuse for goalkeeper ter Stegen's error. He completely miscontrolled a back pass from Benedikt Höwedes and let it slip behind him into his own net.
From that moment forward, Germany were much better. Beasley and Matt Besler were both made to look foolish on a run into the box by Andre Schürrle, who left both of them in the dust before he missed a shot wide of the far post from 12 yards. Miroslav Klose thought he had a goal in the 24th minute, but it was correctly called offside. Eight minutes after that, Tim Howard had to make his first save of the game, punching away a header by Julian Draxler.
However, Die Mannschaft failed to find a goal to get back into the game. It's just one half of football, but on the evidence of these 45 minutes, Jogi Löw won't ever want to face the prospect of a game without his Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid players ever again.