Preview: USMNT set to face Netherlands on Saturday in 2022 World Cup
The United States men’s national team will play their biggest game in arguably a decade when they face the Netherlands in the World Cup round of 16 on Saturday. The mighty Dutch enter as the favorites, but the United States has been efficient after finishing the group stage undefeated with a win and two draws.
Injuries were the big concern leading up to this game, but things seem to be headed in the right direction ahead of the 10 a.m. kickoff on Fox as the likes of Christian Pulisic (pelvis) and Josh Sargent (ankle) trained with the team on Friday.
The same cannot be said for the Netherlands, however. While there aren’t big injury concerns, there are reports of the flu hitting the Dutch camp and potentially preventing some key players from playing. The biggest name is that of Frenkie de Jong, the Barcelona midfielder tasked with creating the attacking opportunities for Louis van Gaal’s side. The manager hinted that all of his players will be available for the match, but it is surely something to watch.
While their histories are very different, both teams will enter this game with a ton of hunger. The Dutch have been runners-up in this tournament three times, most recently in 2010. The Americans last made a good run in 2002, advancing to the quarterfinal. But these are two proud national teams that failed to qualify for Russia 2018, adding a bit more urgency and importance this time around to rid themselves of the sour tastes of failed qualification for global respect on the biggest stage. Only one team can advance, and the odds-on favorites are the touch with young talent Cody Gapko in the running for top scorer with three goals.
As for the U.S, making it to this point is a big success, and anything that comes after is a cherry on top. But fans of the red, white and blue will be hoping that their journey on Qatar has just starting getting good