Three takeaways from USA-Germany

Not once, but twice. In the space of five days, the USA came from behind to beat two of the greats of European soccer. On Friday, it was Netherlands 4-3 in Amsterdam. On Tuesday, it was Germany 2-1 in Cologne. Here are three takeaways from the victory.

1. Bobby Wood raised his stock, just a little.

On Friday, Bobby Wood said he was so shocked when he scored the winning goal to beat the Dutch that he didn't think of celebrating. On Tuesday, Wood did it again, turning on his defender, Shkodran Mustafi, and rifling a left-footed shot inside the post from 25 yards for the winning goal in the 87th minute.

The ones who were shocked this time were the Germans. Bobby Wood? The same player who was in the doghouse at second division 1860 Munich and whose most recent club, Erzgebirge Aue, was relegated to the German third division?

The USA's provisional Gold Cup roster was released on Tuesday, and Wood is not on the 35-player list. U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann wants him to square away his club situation.

Wood will get a few contract offers, you think?

2. Confidence shows all around the park.

Wood's reaction after the game? "It helps my confidence," he said.

Just a little.

Credit to Klinsmann. He's got his players playing with confidence, and it shows. Just like the win in Amsterdam, this victory was no fluke.

It's easy to poo-poo Klinsmann's favorite buzzword -- proactive -- but that's just what the USA was in Amsterdam and Cologne, creating chances even against the run of play. Yes, Germany dominated for the first half hour and should have put the game away. But the USA equalized on a 30-pass sequence led to the tying goal, finished off when Michael Bradley's cross-field pass found Mix Diskerud, who karate-chopped the ball into the goal past keeper Ron-Robert Zieler.

3. So, about those late-game collapses ...

Just three months ago, all the talk was the USA's late-game collapses. In a string of seven games, it gave up eight goals in the 75th minute of later, turning two leads into ties, two ties into losses, a 2-1 lead over Denmark into a 3-2 loss and a 2-1 deficit into an embarrassing 4-1 loss to an Irish team of reserves.

In the last five days, the USA has turned a 3-2 deficit in the 88th minute into a 4-3 win and a 1-1 tie in the 88th minute into a 2-1 win. The USA also came from behind to beat a second-string German team, 4-3, two years ago. That win was the start of a 12-game winning streak that took the USA to the top of the Hexagonal and a fifth Gold Cup.

How will the USA build on this win?
12 comments about "Three takeaways from USA-Germany".
  1. Mark Konty, June 10, 2015 at 8:57 p.m.

    Klinsmann sucks! He clearly doesn't know what he's doing and his players are unmotivated to play for him. It was obvious that they were all out until dawn at a biergarten rather than preparing of the game. Bring back Landon Donovan!!! (wink-wing, nudge-nudge, know what I mean?)

  2. Santiago 1314, June 10, 2015 at 10:16 p.m.

    "A nod is as good as a wink, to a blind Bat" Got to love Monty Python, but I digress...Looks like JK is learning to Coach, American Players... 2 forwards against Germany, the whole game...High Press...Winning Goal was Quick and Creative... Nice to have 2 forwards...Actually 4 used during the game...

  3. Joe d. Shaw, June 10, 2015 at 10:37 p.m.

    Time will tell if Klinsmann is a madman or a visionary , the genuine article or a sham. His public statements, like the team's performances, have ranged from the preposterous to the sublime. And while many, myself included think he's a crackpot , we love the US team enough that we're willing to run the extra mile with his offbeat methods. While I enjoyed the game today I don't think it proves much. But if Klinsmann can win the Gold Cup and at least begin to display some self awareness regarding his 600 hp German engineered motor-mouth, I suppose we could do a good deal worse in terms of the program's leader.

  4. P Van, June 10, 2015 at 11:44 p.m.

    Team has looked pretty good of late. Beating Holland and Germany in the last week, however you want to qualify it--and you know you do, is impressive, Klinsmann doubters.

  5. Vince Leone, June 11, 2015 at 12:03 a.m.

    Two things that JK has done more than any previous USMNT coach: 1) Play high-quality opponents more often. 2) Give younger, unproven players a chance. I think that both are essential for U.S. improvement.

  6. Thomas Hosier, June 11, 2015 at 3:09 a.m.

    ...and which previous coach was better than Klinsman? You all loved Bradley, right? And Arena ??? Klinsman's team is currently ahead of Arena's winning percentage .... granted K has only managed the team for 63 games while A managed for 130 .... personally I like Klinsman's energy during the games. I agree with Vince Leone ... K has put the Team up against high quality opponents and has given younger players a serious look. I'm willing to see how goes the Gold Cup but getting a comeback win against the Dutch and Germans not too shabby ... you think maybe the players are motivated and are willing to play under his leadership ... GO USA!

  7. Paul Lorinczi, June 11, 2015 at 8:16 a.m.

    Weird. I am sure there are a lot of countries out there that are envious that we have our "crackpot" coach. I know a lot English friends look at the USA differently now.i agree with Mark and Vince.

  8. Tim Gibson, June 11, 2015 at 8:23 a.m.

    Where's all the JK Haters Now!?! How come no Kraut racial slurs today or references to Non-Americans in the line-up. Are the Infidels, non-believers finally drinking JK's Kool-aid now?
    GO USA!

  9. Amos Annan, June 11, 2015 at 9:26 a.m.

    The team looked good and did not give up when the Germans seemed to dominate early. I think previous teams would have folded and felt fine loosing to the best team in the world. JK must be doing something right.

  10. Santiago 1314, June 11, 2015 at 10:04 a.m.

    I still say that JK is A JERK, and he screwed up the last World Cup with his Roster Selections and Line-ups, BUT... He can be as big a Jerk, Prick, Wierdo as he wants, as Long as the Players play like they are right now...May be Because of him or may be InSpite if him, but this is working... Don't fix what ain't Broken...

  11. William Anderson, June 11, 2015 at 12:35 p.m.

    Vince Leone, after all is said and done, this is what the US needed and what the establishment was unwilling to do.

    That is why they hate him so much.

  12. Raymond Weigand, June 11, 2015 at 1:44 p.m.

    Lightning Strikes! (Not once but twice)...our coach is doing just fine. That last goal had so many well coordinated aspects: starting with the Guzan distribution (the other 27 passes were nice, too) Jordan Morris did a wonderful job with the timing of his speedy and intense decoy checking to unbalance the defense and Brad Evans hits a wonderful strike to the recent sub Bobby Wood who looked like he rehearsed this so many times. The turn so smooth - right into the rhythm of shooting - that was just executed perfectly! Very motivating to watch our group of players come together as a team and get a positive result for all their efforts. Well Done!

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