The United States U-23's have their first three points of the 2015 Toulon Tournament after a 3-1 victory over the Netherlands. A terrible opening game had many doubting this team's abilities, but they rebounded nicely against a talented, but much younger Dutch side. A horrible goalkeeping gaffe put the Americans in an early hole, but they showed resiliency in fighting back to get the win.
Once again, the U.S. found itself down early in the game. The Netherlands piled on the pressure early and were gifted an early lead in the 9th minute thanks to a terrible error by Cody Cropper. A long range shot by Brahim Darri hit a diving Cropper square in both palms and flew into the net. It was a very untimely gaffe by the American keeper considering he's currently a free agent after being released by Southampton.
It looked like the U.S. were headed for another disappointing result after being dominated in the first 15 minutes. The momentum finally swung towards them in the 19th minute thanks to Jerome Kiesewetter. After a scramble in the box, the ball fell to the VfB Stuttgart man, who smashed a near post shot past the Dutch keeper. With the game tilting towards the U.S.' half they took the lead just five minutes later. Julian Green's free kick deflected high into the air and Jordan Morris' knock down header found an open Alonso Hernandez, who slotted home from about eight yards. The U.S. took a 2-1 lead to halftime.
Just two minutes after the break, Will Packwood's header off of a corner from Green gave the Yanks a 3-1 lead. The last 30 minutes of action was evenly played with both sides missing several chances. In the end, the U.S. came away with the win in their second match of the tournament.
- If we have to give a Man of the Match award we'd probably give it to Jerome Kiesewetter. His goal gave the U.S. the confidence it needed to continue its high pressure attack. He also was a thorn in the Netherlands' side down the right wing all game long.
- A close second for the award would be Fatai Alashe, who was inserted into the starting lineup at defensive midfield for Daniel Metzger. His physical presence and interceptions in the midfield helped the U.S. regain their foothold in the game.
- The U.S. made three changes to the lineup that started against France. Alashe for Metzger, Alonso Hernandez for Marc Pelosi, and Dillon Serna for Juan Pablo Ocegueda.
- It appeared they lined up in a flat 4-4-2 formation instead of the previous 4-3-3.
- Julian Green showed a few individual flashes of brilliance on the left wing after being held quiet in the first game.
- Overall it was a much better performance. Chemistry among the side seems to be an issue with these slow starts. Once they get settled into the game they look a lot more comfortable playing with each other.
- Again, this is the U.S. U-23 team playing against U-20 teams so they are at an advantage from the start.