2. The Final Product
Check out this clip of John Brooks' winning goal against Ghana. While we give the big man who plays his club football with Hertha Berlin a tip of the hat, we're more interested in the sublime assist from Zusi:
Kids, take note on how to deliver the perfect corner. First, Zusi puts some pace on the ball and sends it over curling away from the goal. Note how the keeper did not have the option to attack the ball as it was too far away from him. Now, note the spot of the delivery. Zusi recognizes that Brooks will start his run from just outside the box. He crosses (to repeat) curling away from the keeper and at pace, but in the line of Brooks' run. Result? Brooks gets his chance to attack the ball at full flight and power it into the net to set off scenes of joy among all American sports fans.
None of that happens without good service from the corner, and that is where Zusi brought his talents to show again. The USA will probably be chasing Portuguese shadows for a lot of this game, much as they did against the Ghanaians, and taking advantage of every set piece will be crucial to their chances of getting something out of the game. Zusi has shown that in the moment of truth, he can deliver.
Zusi came off the bench to make an impact, and that is exactly what he did. Will it be enough to get him in the starting 11 on Sunday? He can't do much more to further his case, but if all else fails, check out our bonus reason…