Netherlands 3-4 USA: Takeaways


Well, nobody really saw it coming but the United States beat a strong Netherlands side despite at one stage being 3-1 down, and with no sign of getting any kind of result out of the game. All that changed when DeAndre Yedlin hit the gas pedal and simply destroyed Daley Blind on the wings and the US kicked into fight-back mode and came out with a historic first ever win over the Netherlands, widely believed to be the best national team never to have won the World Cup.

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Here are three things that we learned:

1) Zardes can produce the goods

The LA Galaxy man got his first international goal, and what a team to open the account against. Hopefully it is the first of many, but the main thing is that he looked sharp, he looked comfortable against top opposition.

There had been questions over how ready he was for the international stage, having lasted just an hour against Denmark. But any doubts were swiftly erased as he put away a Fabian Johnson cross to draw level with the Netherlands to make it 1-1.

He said after the game:

“[My comfort level] rises a ton scoring a goal in this game, on this stage,” Zardes said of the immediate mental impact of making his first goal a big one.

“Especially getting a goal like that, to get your team back in the game – it’s amazing.”

He didn’t try anything too fancy, he kept a level-head and doing that clearly got results. His first goal will surely be the first of many to come, and he has a bright future for club and country. Good on you, Gyasidinho.

2) Yedlin = supersub

There were calls for Yedlin to start the game against the Netherlands, but coach Jürgen Klinsmann opted to leave the former Seattle Sounders man on the bench. However just before the hour mark, the decision was made to stick Yedlin on and take Brek Shea off. Shea had been having a good game too.

The tactical change proved to be a good one, as Yedlin set Brooks up for the USMNT’s second goal. He had been really energetic and was proving a nightmare for the Netherlands to handle.

Indeed, he left Manchester United’s Daley Blind for dead on multiple occasions, something that could be repeated again with Yedlin looking to break into the Tottenham team.

Overall it was a great game for Yedlin and will give Klinsmann plenty to think about, whether he puts Yedlin as a starter in the upcoming Gold Cup games ahead of Brek Shea, despite Shea having more minutes on the field this year for Orlando than Yedlin has had for Spurs. Yedlin was used in this speed-freak role at the World Cup so that could be his job for a while, off the bench to burn holes in the tired opposition.

The main thing for the USMNT is that both players are versatile and extremely talented – so however plays, they will be able to get the job done.

3) There were some positives, and some negatives… but mostly positives

At half-time it all looked horribly wrong and questions were being asked. Stats were also being wheeled out as quickly as people could dig them up.

So although the result was positive, the first half performance must be analyzed. There is a trend of the US conceding goals either really early on, or really late. It used to be late on but now it appears to be the other way round.

At the end of the day, to use a cliche, a win is a win but it also highlighted the huge change coach Klinsmann has had for the USMNT, especially improving their record against European sides.

Brad Guzan was on decent form, but could not get his much sought after clean-sheet. He currently sits behind fifth placed Arnie Mausser for most clean sheets for the USMNT. He did not exactly have a great defense in front of him all night, hence the three goals conceded.

Chandler had a night to forget, and will be glad the win overshadows his poor performance. Brooks also will be glad he found the back of the net because his evening hadn’t been great either. Orozoco was at fault for the second Netherlands goal and looked off the pace during his time on the field.

The US did get a record at the end of the night though. Not only was it their first ever win against the Netherlands, but three USMNT players scored their first international goals. It was really a case of the USMNT defense (not including Yedlin) being bailed out by the attacking players.