ANDREW MINTZ - Tuesday, June 9, 2015
A young American team stunned the Netherlands in the dying minutes of an action-packed friendly to win 4-3.
Holland, the third Place team from the 2014 World Cup, displayed a near full-strength team against a heavily inexperienced US side. Even against the heavy odds, the Americans were resilient, scoring three straight unanswered goals, with the last two coming in the final minutes.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke frequently before the match about the opportunity for the younger players to relish opportunities like these-certainly his players did not let him down.
It was a promising beginning 25 minutes for the Yanks. Michael Bradley nearly bagged a goal in the 20th minute as his half volley just missed and smashed the post. Moments later, Brek Shea was set loose in the box, but his shot went right at goalkeeper Jasper Cillessan.
Despite the impressive start to the match for the US, Holland struck first as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar tallied his 40th career international goal in the 27th minute. Winger Memphis Depay made one quick move and sent a whistling cross into the box as Huntelaar easily held off defender Ventura Alvarado to steer his header past Brad Guzan.
As the Dutch seemed to be taking ahold of the match, against the run of play, Gyasi Zardes found an equalizer in the 33rd minute. Fabian Johnson sent a searching cross towards the far left post and a sprinting Zardes managed to get just enough of his toe on the ball to poke it in, 1-1.
The game remained wide open for the rest of the first half as both sides shared possession of the ball and generated a few opportunities as well. Holland looked dangerous in the final seconds, but the US benefitted from a late foul called to nix a goal and then a near miss by Memphis Depay to head into halftime tied.
The US began the second half with just one change as Ventura Alvarado made room for Puebla defender Michael Orozco. But Orozco was unable to deal with Huntelaar as well, as the burly Dutch striker again split the center backs to head in his second goal of the match in the 49th minute.
Just minutes later Holland tallied its third. After a reflex save by Guzan, Huntelaar received the ball at the top of the box and his deflected strike found its way into the net, with Memphis Depay being credited for the goal.
Javier Morales and Brek Shea were swapped in favor of Mix Diskerud and DeAndre Yedlin in the 56th minute. And Danny Williams and then Bobby Wood came on for Kyle Beckerman and Aron Johannsson, respectively.
The Yanks pulled one back in 70th minute with the goal coming from an unlikely source. After forcing a giveaway in the Dutch midfield, John Anthony Brooks sprinted towards the box, while Michael Bradley and DeAndre Yedlin orchestrated some beautiful linkup play. Eventually Brooks found himself unmarked at the back post to easily smash home the Yedlin pass, 3-2.
The game was wide open as both teams swapped chances, but neither finding the finishing touch. Klinsmann tried to shake things up by bring in college star Jordan Morris for Gyassi Zardes in the 80th minute. As the Yanks searched for the equalizer Holland began to look dangerous on its counters until in the 89th minute Danny Williams shocked the Amsterdam Arena as his deflected shot found its way into the goal.
The surge was not over though, as just one minute later the US found itself on the break and Jordan Morris smoothly linked up with Bobby Wood who slotted home his first ever US goal, 4-3.
The US win is the first result against Holland in five matchups for the Americans. The Yanks will look to continue their winning ways in a friendly against Germany next Wednesday in Cologne.