United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann was thrilled to see his team produce a comeback for the first time since 2013, as they stunned Netherlands 4-3 in Amsterdam.
Ahead of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which starts in July, Klinsmann argued USA needed to prove their ability to “turn games around”, which can be critical in tournament play.
Netherlands led 3-1 in front of their home fans on Friday but John Brooks dragged USA back into the match from substitute DeAndre Yedlin’s cutback in the 70th minute.
Three more substitutes then played key roles in completing the visitors’ comeback victory, with Daniel Williams scoring his maiden international goal to make it 3-3 in the 89th minute, before Jordan Morris teed up Bobby Wood a minute later for the win.
It was the first time USA had come from behind to win in 23 matches.
Klinsmann’s men had last achieved that feat in a 3-2 triumph away to Panama in World Cup qualifying in October 2013, when Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson scored in second-half stoppage time.
“We need to learn to turn games around, to take games like knockout games,” Klinsmann said after the match, according to NBC Sports.
“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.”
But Klinsmann conceded that his side also need to be ready for less open encounters to begin their defence of the Gold Cup next month.
USA will face Honduras, Haiti and Panama in Group A in the continental tournament.
“Obviously it’s a good feeling now that we are growing,” the 50-year-old German coach said.
“We all know 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.”
USA will complete their Gold Cup preparations with friendlies against Germany in Cologne on Wednesday and Guatemala in Nashville on July 3.