Wood lifts U.S. past Germany
COLOGNE, Germany — Five days after beating the Netherlands for the first time, the United States defeated Germany in Germany for the first time.
The Americans could not be more confident heading into next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup.
"It makes us world champions, right?" goalkeeper Brad Guzan joked after Wednesday night's 2-1 victory over the Germans.
Bobby Wood, whose 90th-minute goal Friday gave the U.S. a 4-3 win in Amsterdam, scored in the 87th minute for the improbable victory in an exhibition against the nation that won last year's World Cup.
U.S. captain Michael Bradley passed to Brad Evans, wide on the right flank, and Evans made a 25-yard diagonal pass to Wood, who had entered in the 74th minute. Wood trapped the ball just outside the arc, swiveled, took a touch and sent a 23-yard shot on a hop past goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.
"I think we did that like 20 times yesterday," Wood said. "It's kind of funny that it happened that exact way."
It was just the second international goal for the 22-year-old from Hawaii, whose German club, Erzgebirge Auehas, was relegated to the third division during a season in which he was slowed by injury.
"Bobby Wood is a work in progress," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "He had a very difficult season."
The U.S. had lost its previous two games against the Germans in Germany: 4-2 in 2002 and 4-1 in 2006. The Americans survived a scare in injury time, when Sami Khedira bounced a header off the crossbar.
"It's such a monumental win for us as a country and a federation," Guzan said. "It's important that we build some momentum going into the Gold Cup. We know ultimately this summer is about us winning the Gold Cup. That's our No. 1 goal."
The Americans won the 2013 Gold Cup title and would earn a berth in the Confederations Cup if they win this year's tournament. If another nation wins, it would meet the U.S. in a playoff for the Confederations Cup spot.
"We should feel like as we head into big, important games in the Gold Cup that we have nothing to be afraid of, and we can step on the field against any team and can cause anybody trouble and can beat anybody," Bradley said.
Mario Goetze put the top-ranked Germans ahead in the 12th minute off a pass from Patrick Herrmann, who was making his national team debut and left three defenders in his wake.
Mix Diskerud tied the score for the 27th-ranked U.S. in the 41st minute when he ran into a precise 20-yard pass from Bradley, and with the laces of his outstretched right boot kicked it in from about 6 yards. That culminated a 30-pass, 90-second sequence for the Americans.
"Just a regular kind of half-American, half-Norwegian volley. A little extra jump there," said Diskerud, whose mother is from the U.S. and whose father is from Norway.
Klinsmann, who sang both national anthems before kickoff, won against the country he led to the 1990 World Cup title as a player and coached to third place in 2006. Germany is coached by Joachim Loew, Klinsmann's assistant from 2004-06.
"We should have scored a second. We lost pace through a lot of substitutions in the second half. The result is frustrating, but we can live with that," Loew said. "The Americans have improved a lot over the past couple of years."
NOTES: Germany plays a European Championship qualifier against Gibraltar on Saturday. No. 1 goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was left off the roster, along with Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos, as the stars were rested after their club seasons. ... The U.S. had not beaten the world's No. 1 team since upsetting Spain at the 2009 Confederations Cup. ... The Americans scored multiple goals in consecutive games in Europe for the first time since 1979, the U.S. Soccer Federation said.