Today’s match between the US Men’s National Team and the Netherlands is one of the more intriguing clashes in the first knockout round of Qatar 2022.
The two teams meet at 10 a.m. ET in Khalifa International Stadium outside Doha.
Though the bookmakers have the Netherlands as the odds-on favorite, this matchup feels closer than that, and both teams will feel confident of booking a place in the quarterfinals.
Of course, the main concern for the US is the fitness of star man Christian Pulisic.
The forward, dubbed “Captain America” by some US fans, suffered what he called a pelvic contusion while scoring the winner in the team’s crunch match against Iran. He will play today, according to the team, but fans will watch anxiously for any signs his injury is affecting his performance.
While Pulisic is undoubtedly the star of the USMNT, captain Tyler Adams has been the team’s engine and heartbeat. Watch for him to command the field Saturday.
Surrounding the talented midfielder is a strong US squad that gave England real trouble in its group stage match and earned a solid win over Iran in a high-stakes face-off. They’ve looked clinical and sharp at many points in Qatar.
The Netherlands side can be dangerous, but it hasn’t put it all together yet in Qatar, with its most complete performance coming against a struggling squad from the host nation.
While the Dutch mustered just eight shots on target in its three group stage matches, the team was able to score five goals, thanks largely to star youngster Cody Gakpo.
The 23-year-old has scored with his right foot, left foot and head to lead the 2022 World Cup golden boot race alongside Kylian Mbappé, Marcus Rashford, Álvaro Morata and Enner Valencia.
This team struggled against an athletic Ecuador squad, a threat the USA youngsters will also pose. The Netherlands will need Gakpo at his best – along with defender Virgil van Dijk and midfielder Frenkie de Jong – to progress past a stern test against the Americans.
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