Practice makes perfect. It’s the typical mantra that applies to nearly everything, and in the case of Bobby Wood and Jordan Morris, it led to a memorable game-winning goal against defending World Cup champions Germany.
Knotted 1-1 late in Cologne on June 10, a hard-hit pass from Brad Evans opened the door to a sequence the young pair of attackers had worked on heavily in training the day before. Since the U.S. coaching staff informed them they’d get minutes on the field together, they put in the extra work.
“Bobby and I were trying to come together as forwards a little bit, doing some pattern work towards goal on Tuesday,” said Morris.
The 88th minute ball from Evans cut straight toward Morris, who played a decoy for his marker and, dummied the ball to let Wood collect near the top of the penalty arc. With German defender Shkodran Mustafi at his back, Wood made a masterful touch-and-turn towards goal and blasted a bouncing effort into the lower left corner.
“I let it run to him,” continued the Stanford striker. “He had an unbelievable turn and great strike. All credit to him and a great ball from Brad.”
While not the same type of play, the practice that went into the historic goal might remind some of another memorable U.S. goal from June 5, 2002. On that day, Brian McBride dove to head home a pinpoint cross from Tony Sanneh in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 3-2 World Cup upset of Portugal.
In reference to the goal, McBride said he and Sanneh had practiced that play “100 times” during their days with lower-league side Milwaukee Rampage.
Apparently it took the young attackers a little less time to perfect their move for Wednesday’s friendly.
“I think we did it 20 times in training,” said Wood. “It’s kind of funny that it happened that exact way. I’m happy that it worked. It was awesome.”