The time has come to start thinking about the future.


And the USMNT’s is certainly bright thanks to the silver lining in their 2-1 defeat Tuesday against Belgium provided in the stunning appearance from 19-year-old Julian Green.


His first goal for the Yanks – coming on his first touch just seconds after his first World Cup appearance in the 107th minute – made him the youngest scorer in the tournament since a certain someone named Lionel Messi opened his account in 2006. Things have since worked out pretty well for Messi, who scored 12 years ago in Argentina’s 6-0 win over Serbia and Montenegro for his first World Cup goal also as a 19-year-old.

Green silenced, if only briefly, some of his detractors – exacerbated by Landon Donovan’s exclusion – with an athletic and ruthless run by the Bayern Munich product. He ran onto a chipped through ball by Michael Bradley and one-timed a finish, mis-hit or not, in a parallel-to-the-ground, flying-karate-kick style.


There was also the near-complete-game performance of 20-year-old Seattle Sounders outside back DeAndre Yedlin, who injected a dose of confidence into the mostly conservative US attack after he came on for Fabian Johnson in the 32nd minute and impressed in Group G appearances against Portugal and Germany. And then there was 21-year-old defender John Brooks, who had a fairly large contribution in his only appearance of the tournament against Ghana.

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