Friday, June 5, 2015

Orange Crushed, U.S. Stuns Netherlands 4-3

Well, I'll be honest with you. I didn't see that coming. Especially when we fell behind 1-0, and absolutely when we went down 3-1. But here we are, 4-3 winners over the vaunted Dutch. Beating them on their home field. The heroes were unlikely ones too. Goals were scored by Gyasi Zardes, John Brooks, Danny Williams and Bobby Wood. Yes, Michael Bradley was tremendous, but so was Jordan Morris. So a U.S. team without Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Jozy Altidore, Tim Howard, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Geoff Cameron or Alejandro Bedoya walked into Amsterdam and defeated the Dutch. Is this the type of result we can get used to seeing? I don't know if I'm ready to go that far, but it was definitely a positive and the world ought take notice. Three final thoughts:

1) As good as the offense was, the defense was not. The U.S. were destroyed by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (2 goals, 1 assist) and surrendered 27 shots. Yes, the U.S. rallied for a win, but the fact remains that they fell behind 3-1 in the first hour. That's not good enough, and comebacks of that magnitude come along once in a blue moon and are no way to live.

2) Why is it that the U.S. only seems to play well when they're losing? Tied or ahead, they always seem to struggle. But put them in a hole, and that's when things start to happen. Can you imagine if they scored three goals in the first 30 minutes instead of the last 30? Maybe it's superior fitness that causes us to surge late in games, but I think it's a mental issue more than anything.

3) I really like Jordan Morris. Yeah, Bobby Wood was the hero today, but Morris just seems to have a knack for being where the action is. With Dempsey getting up there in years and Jozy Altidore struggling with hamstring injuries, this is a great opportunity for someone else to take the reigns. Will it be Morris? Johannsson? Bobby Wood? Zardes? Someone else entirely? I'm not going to lie, I'm excited to see what these guys will do against Germany next week.

Here's the highlights of all four U.S. goals:

Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)

Danny Williams (Reading)

Bobby Wood (Erzgebirge Aue)

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