Beasley delighted with U.S. progress
DaMarcus Beasley believes the 2014 World Cup has increased enthusiasm for football in America after Jurgen Klinsmann's side secured a place in the knockout stages.
Despite a 1-0 defeat to Germany on Thursday, the U.S. squeezed out of Group G on goal difference thanks to a 2-1 win over Ghana and a 2-2 draw with Portugal. They will now face Belgium in the round of 16.
U.S. INTO THE ROUND OF 16
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- Tactics Board: Organized U.S. restrict Germany
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ESPN has not yet released the viewing figures for the United States' final group match but they are expected to surpass the 18.2 million who watched the team draw with Portugal and the 11.1 million that saw the victory over Ghana.
Klinsmann retweeted a "get out of work letter" for fans to be given time off during the Germany game while president Barack Obama was pictured tuning in while flying on Air Force 1.
"People are going crazy back home," Beasley told FIFA's official website. "And look at these travelling fans. We're outnumbering everyone. People noticed us in 2002, but this is something different now.
"U.S. soccer has grown in big ways. We have depth now that we didn't have before. We like to keep the ball. We have players in Europe and playing at big clubs."
Beasley added: "When I'm done I still want to see U.S. soccer grow more, I want to pass something on."
The Unites States needed a draw to guarantee their progress from the tournament's group of death but the defeat proved enough as Portugal failed to make up the goal difference despite their 2-1 win over Ghana.
Klinsmann's side lost to Germany by the same scoreline in 2002 at the quarterfinal stage, which remains the furthest the United States have gone in a World Cup since the Second World War.
"It was the same score as the last time we played the Germans, but it turned out different for us today," Beasley said.
"Now that we're into the knockout rounds it's done. We want to take it to the next level now.
"You're getting a lot of weird results in this Cup. Anything can happen."