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?