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Kiesewetter leads U.S. U-23s past Netherlands




Down a goal early and entering on the heels of a lackluster performance, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team was in need of a major turnaround.

That’s exactly what the U.S. got in what ended up as a dominant performance, culminating in a 3-1 victory over the Netherlands behind goals from Jerome Kiesewetter, Alonso Hernandez and Will Packwood.

After goalkeeper Cody Cropper allowed a 10th minute shot from Brahim Darri to slip through his hands, the U.S. took control, highlighted by goals from Kiesewetter and Hernandez.

Kiesewetter, who dominated the Dutch defense throughout the afternoon, provided the equalizer in the 20th minute, as the U.S. forward followed up on a blocked shot to pounce. After chesting the ball down, Kiesewetter struck on the volley, smashing a shot past the near post to level the scoreline at one apiece.

Hernandez’s go-ahead goal came just five minutes later, as the U.S. capitalized on the Netherlands’ inability to clear their lines.

After a Julian Green free kick struck the top of the wall, Jordan Morris was able to put the ball on a platter for Hernandez. The 21-year-old midfielder tapped a shot in from close range, giving the U.S. the lead going into halftime.

The second half started much like the first, with the U.S. adding yet another goal via the head of Packwood.

The centerback’s finish came from a corner kick, as Packwood rose above the Dutch defense to head home Green’s cross to give the U.S. a 3-1 lead in what turned out to be a powerful performance.

With the victory, the U.S. picks up its first win of the tournament after dropping a 3-1 contest to France last time out.

The U.S. will take the field for the third contest on May 31 and face Costa Rica, who fell, 3-2, to the Netherlands in their opening game.


  1. US U-23s side beats Holland U-21s in an 80 minute friendly. Wasn’t that expected? First, let’s qualify for the Olympics, please.

  2. Besides, Kiesewetter, IMO, Cropper, Green, Morris, Hernandez, Falashe and the CB pairing of Packwood and O’neil all looked very solid today. Even the outside backs, Okwuonu & Serna looked good, though the Dutch wingers gave them problems at times.

    Besides the horrible fluff in the first half, Cropper looked outstanding for the rest of the game making a batch of really good saves. The defense managed to cope with the pressure the Dutch were putting on them very well especially in the second half.

    Morris was a handful all game. His runs at the opposing defense were really superb. Hernandez was able to link up Morris and the wingers, Julian Green & Jerome Kieswetter all game and was his trailing runs in the box were there all game.

    Green and Kieswetter were exceptional all game. Really stood out with their runs on and off the ball.

    Benji Joya was pretty invisible and I think Marc Pelosi, who even though was pretty disconnected with the frontline his time on the field, showed a lot of promise with his runs into the box and the ideas behind his passes and his positioning in general.

    Jalen Robinson was able to hold his own on the left side after coming on for Okwuonu.

    Metzger cleaned up really well in the middle during the last 15 minutes or so he was on, while Alfred Shams wasn’t too visible on the left side after replacing Green.

    All in all, we looked really well throughout the game. The second half after the 60 minute mark we seemed to have trouble dealing with the Dutch’s attack. They were just dominating in our half. But defensively we were able to cope well.

  3. Now we just need whoever plays France in the next game to beat them. Then USA would be right back in it with a chance to win the group with 2 games to go in group play.

    • well, seeing as they’re playing qatar (and up 1-0), i’d say that’s a long shot. guess it’ll come down to how bad we can beat costa rica and qatar.

      • Should be easy, though the commenter did note this has been the most promising class of Qatari U-20s

      • In that case we really need Holland to beat France, and we must win our games vs Costa Rica and Qatar.

        Only the group winner advances. Group winners from each group play each other in the final.

      • Runners up from both groups meet in a 3rd-4th place decider, which would be a nice consolation if we don’t come out on top

  4. When we lose to a team we’re supposed to lose to, there are immediately dozens of comments on how terrible we are and how we need to fire everyone in the whole program. Then we beat a team on a completely different level than us and the comment section is silent. Why is it that US fans would rather lose and complain than win and celebrate?

    • That’s because we weren’t “supposed” to lose to France. We lost because our team played horrible, and therefore they were criticized. Today they played better and won.

      Also you keep making the same mistake most people are making which is, “Team A’s senior national team is better than Team B’s senior national team – So that means Team A’s youth team is better than Team B’s youth team”. It doesn’t work that way. Holland barely beat Costa Rica 3-2 in the first game, and Costa Rica should have tied many times in the second half. Also this is Hollands u-21 team. For you to say they are “a team on a completely different level than us” is ridiculous.

      • Also, there were already a few posts above you celebrating the victory John, and there would have been more had you waited before making your comment.

      • UclaBruinGreat –
        you may not realize this, but the US Squad was a U-21 team as well since they are all age eligible to play in the next Olympics….same as the players fielded on the Netherlands Squad.

      • Our Man of the Match is 22, he is pretty much the oldest possible player to play at the Olympics, with a February birthday, cutoff is January 1993. I don’t know if the Dutch really have an under 21 team or not, but ours is not.

      • The reason all the European teams have U-21 teams is because they are using this tournament to get ready for this summer’s U-21 European Championship.

        Teams like Mexico/Costa Rica/USA are using this tournament as Olympic prep, so our teams are U-23.

      • Lost in Space, you are incorrect. While some players might be U-20 age eligible (like Julian Green), most of our players are 21-22. Most of the European U-21 players are 19-20.

        Now if you want to tell me that 1 or 2 years in age doesn’t make a difference, that’s a whole other argument. I would actually agree with that, but I know others don’t.

    • there are 2 reasons bro.

      1) most of the people commenting after a loss are trolls and aren’t real fans. So don’t be fooled by that.

      2) The USA is in a no-win situation. If we lose, then it shows how terrible we are as a country. If we win, then it’s only because we brought an older team, or that the other team is missing all its stars and whatever else.

      The true fans watch the game, read the recaps, follow the team and can see the growth and appreciate the wins. Considering they only practiced for a day and a half, I thought they rebounded well in the 2nd half against France.
      Lets go USA!

    • i think your analysis to the reaction is a bit off. after two days, there are about 60 comments on the post about the loss to france. and after only an hour, there are about 20 comments on this post.

      if your point was that soccer fans (and fans of any sport) overreact in general, well then i’m with you.

    • Speaking for myself, as one who criticized them severely after the loss to France, it depends. Sometimes I defend the US after a loss and celebrate after a win. In this last case, I criticized them severely because they played so poorly and I felt they should have done much better. If you watched that game, they basically gave France all 3 goals through horrible giveaways. I am usually more concerned about how well they play compared to how well they can play than I am with the actual result. And you have to also consider the quality of the opposition. I would rather see them play real well against a top team and lose than poorly against a weak team and win. Of course, that applies only to friendlies and tournaments that don’t really count. With tournaments like WC qualifying, the Gold Cup, and the WC, only results matter. I think that is how most knowledgeable fans look at it.

    • John,

      How many people actually comment on SBI? A couple of hundred?

      It’s not fair to say”US fans would rather lose and complain than win and celebrate?”

      It is fair to say the ones who post on SBI do but I would be very hard pressed to say that they represent the majority of how the entire USMNT fan base feels about things.

  5. dont let this one game fool you!!!! julian green will never be half the player that landon is and klinsmann needs to be fired!!!!

    • Odd, I never heard of Landon Donovan and the US beating the Netherlands in a U23 tournament game. Maybe it did happen. Please enlighten me with your superior knowledge.

      • Hmmm, well LD did score a goal in the second round of the World Cup, which wrapped up a QF appearance for the USMNT. He was also player of the tournament at the 1999 U-17 WC. And he played 157 times for the USMNT, scored 57 goals, most all-time.

        But yeah being in a U-23 side that beats Holland U-21s in an 80 minute friendly is just as impressive.

      • It’s still a good sign. Why must we root for Green to fail? I know I’m rooting hard for the kid. Maybe it’s just sentimentality, but I like 19-year-old guys who seize the moment and score in World Cups on their first touch. Love to see him grow to his potential…which, I will admit – and obviously Jurgen would admit, seeing as how Green’s with the U-23’s right now – is still a work-in-progress.

        But that’s just me.

      • the reason Green gets hate is because people are still bu++hurt that he went to the World Cup in LD”s place (he didn’t…Wondo or Davis did).

        i’m not saying those questioning the decision to bring him shouldn’t ask that question…but there is a decent chunk of US fans that flat out want Green to fail. makes no sense. and Slow, i’m not saying you fall into that category. was just branching off the question by quozzel.

  6. Didn’t get a chance to watch the game but good to hear the boys bounced back strong. Anyone know about formation?

  7. Damn, when and where was this game on? I didn’t see any listing in my local paper which is usually pretty good about that. My main problem with the last US game was how poorly they played which was obviously less than their abilities. It would seem off of this result, the main difference was they got their heads out of their a$$es and into the game. Looking back, it would seem that when the US travels to Europe, they need to get there early enough for the players to adjust to the time change and environment and have enough time to practice together. Consider how the national team looked against Denmark vs. how they played against Switzerland. Now we see a vast difference with the U-23’s after having a couple more days to acclimate and play together..

  8. Outstanding!
    Strong work gentlemen!
    Glad to hear Julian Green is getting into the fray and providing good service from the wings.
    Games like that will do wonder for his, and the team’s overall confidence.
    Way to go!

  9. So much for the notion that the USA can’t compete against the world’s best U-23 or U-20 squads…the Dutch development system is considered among the top 2-3 in the world. They were clearly giving away a lot to the USA in terms of speed and athleticism. I didn’t think the USA looked as good once they dropped off and started bunkering, but I guess when you have a two-goal lead you protect it.

    Julian Green was man of the match today…the Dutch had problems with him until he was subbed out. Technical, and much faster than you realize because he doesn’t look like he’s going that hard…until you realize how much ground he’s covering. Dunno if he’s a wunderkid or the savior of US Soccer or anything like that, but he surely does look like he’s got the tools to be a fixture even on the senior team before much longer, so Klinsmann may yet win this argument.

    Team looked a world better today, and it was hard to not notice how much more physically talented the US team was than the Dutch, especially up top. That is going to be a recurring theme, I suspect, both now and in the future.

    • You are way off. Kiesewetter was the man of the match. Julian Green had some moments (the corner kick assist, the pass to Morris that was flagged offside), but he was not close to being man-of-the-match.

      • I will cede Kiesewetter could certainly make a case.

        Still thought Green looked good. His quality was obvious. At the U-23 level, anyhow, he was giving the Dutch a lot of problems…which is definitely a promising sign from a 20-year-old. And Morris was definitely onsides and could have walked in…unless he fluffed it, it probably should have been 4-1 at that point.

        Green’s got some ability, whatever. And as they say, talent tends to trump experience, when you are willing to give talent experience…I’d say Green’s in the right place right now, and I still think by Russia 2018 – if there even is a Russia 2018, which is looking less likely today than it was Tuesday evening – Green could be a deserved regular in the 23. In which case Jurgen’s much-lamented flyer would have paid off.

        Let’s see if he can keep it up, in both Toulon and the Olympics. Be nice to see. We could use some quality on the wings.

      • Kiesewetter really was the man of the match. The Dutch couldn’t handle his physicality combined with his speed and technique. There was a point in the second half where was almost disposed on the break and then properly fouled outside the 6 yard box, yet still managed to offer a pass to a trailing Hernandez that was just behind him.

        As good as Green was, and we was exceptionally good, Morris I believe was just as good. He was able to hold the line very well the entire game. He was great holding up the ball and making runs off of it and He shouldn’t probably had another goal in the second half, where he was called offside as you noted.

        Being that there’s a 3-4 year age gap between Green and Kiesewetter though, I would say that Green did just as well given his lack of physical maturity compared to Kiesewetter.

        Both very good prospects though

      • Yeah, Morris. Interesting cat. That speed and that aggressiveness…if he keeps playing like this, I don’t think Seattle will ever get him. Jurgen put him in the shop window by starting him against Mexico…he took his moment, got his goal, and he’s been money for the U-23’s ever since.

        Guarantee a lotta Euro scouts are eyeing him there in Toulon. Could be we see a very interesting, and very big offer come down for him in the next little bit. The Dutch in particular like to develop and then sell on young players and he gave the Dutch’s top-shelf young guns a world of trouble today…it wouldn’t shock me in the slightest if somebody like AZ or Utrecht came in for him, and they can certainly beat (by a bunch) any rookie contract the Sounders – who have his rights – could offer.

      • These were my thoughts exactly. I haven’t looked into the dutch defenders that he was playing against, but I’m guessing their some of the most promising ones the Eredivisie has to offer and he certainly held his own against.

        It would be terrific if an AZ or Ajax took a chance on him. If not some other team in Europe for sure. You don’t play like that and go unnoticed at tournaments like these as you pointed out.

      • Sounders were offering 200k (ish) for him on an HGP deal which would break Zardes record by a bit.

        Please remember Morris’ is close to his family and his dad is the Sounders team DR. Plus the Sounders have proven they can help a player progress to the step of going abroad with Yedlin.

        He will be a Sounder

      • Trolltossin,

        I’m no expert on MLS player contracts. Is anyone?

        I get the impression that if Morris signs with the Sounder he will be tied up for all eternity and will need to sell his soul and that of his firstborn child if he wants to ever transfer to another team.

        If I were him, and I’m not, then if I found a very good situation with a team the way Jozy did at AZ or Holden did at Bolton, then I would prefer to sign with them just to have a bit more flexibility of movement and control over my own career.

        Of course, besides his dad, none of us are aware of what emotional attachments he may have to the Sounders. Maybe he grew up thinking he would die happy if he ever signed a Sounder’s contract.

      • People need to lay off Green. It’s idiotic to expect someone that young to hang the moon. Ridiculous.

    • Elsewhere, I read most the other teams are U-20 teams? Is that true our 23’s are playing U20’s? Kind of dampens the accomplishment if that’s true… our 23’s are mostly all professionals with regular playing time and 3 year age difference if that’s true.

      • All the teams are like this, it is based on the year they were born with all players being appropriately aged to be eligible for the Olympics.

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