AMSTERDAM — With the Gold Cup just over a month away, Jurgen Klinsmann couldn’t ask for a better result than beating the Netherlands in front of the Oranje faithful.
[ RECAP: Netherlands 3-4 USMNT ]
While the United States was outplayed for good portions of the match, they fought back relentlessly to score two late goals, shocking the crowd at Amsterdam Arena.
The turnaround for the U.S. came from the substitutes, as Danny Williams and Bobby Wood both tallied late, with DeAndre Yedlin adding some flair to the attack off the bench as well.
Klinsmann was delighted with the play of his youngsters, and credited the substitutes for making the most of their time on the pitch.
It’s a huge learning curve when you play teams like Holland, you can only benefit from that. It doesn’t matter what the result is.
We need to learn to turn games around, to take games like knockout games. We have to have that mindset that we can turn things around.
For all these youngsters, this is what they need to smell. This is what they need to see. They need to go to that tempo.”
Despite calling the match “an outstanding performance” from his side, Klinsmann admitted that when the Gold Cup rolls around in July, the matches will have a very different feel.
Obviously it’s a good feeling now that we are growing. We all now that the Gold Cup is a completely different ballgame for us.
When you come to Europe it’s a far more open game because they go at you. The first four to five games in the Gold Cup, they will play very defensively, and we will need to find other ways to score goals.”
The USMNT will play Honduras, Haiti and Panama in the group stage of the Gold Cup, as none of those teams even come close to the quality of the Dutch side they faced tonight. Klinsmann noted that the U.S. will have to focus more on breaking down tight defenses in those matchups, maybe going for a 1-0 win, rather than relying on the counter-attack as they did tonight.
A win’s a win, and this win was a big one. Taking down a team like the Netherlands away from home in the fashion that the U.S. did tonight, and fans should be excited for the Gold Cup to kick off in 32 days.