The US men’s national team must win, but will they?
Gregg Berhalter's men will close Group B of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday in what promises to be a wild affair against Iran (2 pm ET | FOX, Telemundo).
A tie will not be enough for the USMNT, who have collected two points after draws with Wales (1-1) and England (0-0). The Stars and Stripes will need to find a way to break down an Iranian side sitting on three points after defeating Wales 2-0 last Friday.
With so much on the line, we contacted the experts covering the USMNT at the World Cup so they could weigh in ahead of the crucial match.
Who will win and how? Here is what they said:
Walker Zimmerman wins it for the US at the 90+ minute mark off a corner kick.
I think the boys will find their scoring touch when they'll need it most and get the result to take them to the Round of 16.
If there's one thing I believe in with this sport, it's heartbreak.
Iran will play very defensively and look to counter the USA. I think USA’s sustained pressure will find a breakthrough. It will be Weston McKennie on a set piece.
Iran are better going forward than we're giving them credit for, having scored four goals in the tournament so far. However, I think the hunger, desire and heart of this young team shine through and they earn their way into the knockout stages!
The US will get a goal in the first half, which forces Iran to change their tactics and take more risks. The US get another one before Iran pull one back.
In a cagey match in which Matt Turner makes one or two world-class saves to keep us in it when we're pushing up late to grab the winner, Walker Zimmerman will dunk on Iran with a header at the back post with five minutes left to go and send us, not only into ecstasy, but into the Round of 16!
It’s do-or-die for the US in their final group-stage match against Iran. I don’t see them squandering this opportunity in a game I think is absolutely winnable. While they couldn't find a goal against England, what I loved about that performance was the heart and the fight they showed, which is what we've come to expect from US World Cup teams. They outplayed England for several stretches, and I think against Iran we'll see them come out on the front foot, meet the moment and get a couple of early goals. Final score: USA 3, Iran 1. See you in the knockouts.
I'm nothing if not an optimist. The US have been building up to this moment for years under Gregg Berhalter. One game. Win and you've got a chance to make history. One game. The Americans must break down an Iran team content to defend in a low block from the run of play. I think they'll find a way to do it, but it'll be nervy.
The USMNT have been rock-solid defensively, so I’m expecting another good performance and a clean sheet. We know the US have trouble breaking down opponents that sit down in a low block and stay compact like Iran will do, but I trust that the individual superior talent will be enough to have a magic moment, maybe on a set piece, to get that winning, clinching goal.
I think the US are able to score in the first half in the run of play, then when Iran open up they hit again to seal things.
I'll say 51% chance USMNT wins, which is slightly higher than most markets have US right now. If the USMNT wins, the main conversation point will be Tyler Adams in possession (either releasing pressure if/when Iran steps high or clipping the far post pass against a deeper block).