Preview USA vs Netherlands: Survive and move forward

It looked like a gamble at several points in the group stage, but the USMNT made it to the knockout rounds of the World Cup. While some fans are still frustrated with the team’s inability to score goals, the USA got where they needed to go at the end of the day. Whether they did it by hook or by crook doesn’t matter now. It’s the knockout rounds. It’s time to switch to survival and progress mode. As long as they find a way to get ahead, that’s all that matters right now. And their Round of 16 opponent of the Netherlands figures to work for it.

Christian Pulisic resigns

The best players in the world take the biggest stage. Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey did it repeatedly for the USA at multiple World Cups. Christian Pulisic is the best player and the face of the USMNT. When the chips ran out and the US needed a win against Iran to go through, Pulisic risked it all and scored the only goal of the game. He also paid the price for it. A pelvic contusion necessitated a halftime replacement and a trip to a hospital for evaluation. Currently he is day to day. In his preview of the game against the Netherlands, however, Pulisic is determined to play in the game for the USA.

The rest of the team held up well despite Pulisic’s absence in the second half. Their lack of goals has been a hot topic. Even then, the defensive performances were excellent.

In fact, the USMNT has posted consecutive zeros at a World Cup for the first time since the very first World Cup in 1930. Matt Turner already has more World Cup nets than any other American goalkeeper. Gregg Berhalter threw Cameron Carter-Vickers to the lions against Iran. He held up well during his World Cup start. With the game in the closing minutes, Walker Zimmerman came on and redeemed himself after his penalty against Wales.

A taste of the Netherlands for the USA

The Orange has played well at this World Cup so far. That said, the performances are not dominant. This game is far from a foregone conclusion.

The Netherlands led Group A with seven points out of nine, but was not overwhelming. They defeated Senegal 2-0 in their opener, but made it wait until the 84th minute. They followed that up with a 1–1 draw against Ecuador. Their last group game was against Qatar, which now holds the dubious distinction of being the worst-ever World Cup host nation. Holland easily sent them in the 2-0.

Incredibly, the Orange has not lost since June 2021. Then they lost 2-0 against the Czech Republic in the round of 16 at Euro 2020. That result cost former boss Frank de Boer his job. In his place, the Netherlands again turned to Louis van Gaal, who had led them from 2000-2001 and then again at the 2014 World Cup. Since taking over from van Gaal, the Dutchman posted a record of 13-0-5 (WLD). They have an extremely talented squad with players like Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay.

But reports from the past 24 hours suggest that some of their players are fight against the flu. Only time will tell if that will spell trouble for them against the US.

Knockout fixture

The most recent meeting between the two teams would be in March 2020 in Eindhoven. The US 101st Airborne Division liberated the city during World War II. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has canceled the competition.

Therefore, the last time these two games played was also the only time the United States defeated the Netherlands. Overall, the USMNT has a record of one win and four losses on the European side. That one victory came on June 5, 2015 in Amsterdam. The United States won 4–3 with Danny Williams and Bobby Wood scoring in the 89th and 90th minutes respectively to give the Americans a win.

American defender Sergiño Dest was also born in the Netherlands. Still, he chose to play for the American contingent over the Dutch.

He will probably start against the Netherlands on Saturday, December 3 at the Khalifa International Stadium.

The game kicks off at 10am ET with coverage on FOX. There is also a preview coverage of the US vs Netherlands from 9am

PHOTO: IMAGO/Icon Sportswire

Guide to World Cup 2022

Here are some resources to help you make the most of football’s biggest event!

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