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The 2022 FIFA World Cup round of 16 is officially here for Gregg Berhalter and the United States men’s national team as they get set to take on the Netherlands in what promises to be a tough matchup Saturday in Qatar. The American defense has not conceded a goal on open play, but it will have to be on its toes to , who has three goals in the World Cup thus far.
Everyone will be holding their breath to see , as the trio have been critical in making the United States tick during the World Cup so far. if healthy and . Pulisic himself, , said he’s still feeling soreness from his pelvic contusion and on Friday the team announced that he’d been cleared to play on Saturday.
“I mean, it’s a pelvic contusion. … I didn’t, like, get hit in the balls,” Pulisic said during Thursday’s press conference in Qatar. “I’m all right. It was very painful. That bone is there for a reason, to protect you, I think. I hit it well. It was sore, but like I said, I’m getting better.”
This is Netherlands team that is patient in possession, which means that the recipe for an upset is there if the Americans come into this one with a somewhat clean bill of health. The USMNT will have a chance to press and unsettle them, which would make this a truly memorable World Cup run. . The winner of this match will face the winner of Argentina vs. Australia in the quarterfinals.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more — and while you’re at it, sign up for our new newsletter covering the beautiful game in all its glory, including daily updates about the World Cup, here.
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USA starting XI: Matt Turner, Sergino Dest, Walker Zimmerman, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Weston McKennie, Tim Weah, Jesus Ferreira, Christian Pulisic
Netherlands starting XI: Noppert, Timber, van Dijk, Ake, Dumfries, de Roon, de Jong, Blid, Klaassen, Gakpo, Depay
United States: With only two goals scored during the World Cup thus far, everything starts with defense for this battle tested United States back line. Tyler Adams has been everywhere and his anticipation will be critical in controlling the midfield. With Pulisic initially an injury doubt, this could be the game to see Gio Reyna if Pulisic can’t play a full 90. The talented youngster has only logged eight minutes during the England game so far but will need to be ready if called upon.
Netherlands: Expected to thrive at the World Cup, the Netherlands have been shaky defensively despite only conceding one goal. They were able to come out on top of Group A with an unbeaten record (2W, 1D, 0L) despite some of the concerns. Memphis Depay has been in and out of the lineup with fitness issues but should be good to go to lead the line. He’s one to watch outside of Gakpo, who leads the way in scoring production.
The United States will start the match strong but the experience in the Netherlands squad will eventually win out as they dominate the second half of the match. Pick: United States 1, Netherlands 3
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