It's do-or-die time. The US men’s national team are in the Round of 16!
The Netherlands, a historically soccer-rich nation boasting stars all throughout their roster, stand in the way. They're vying for a spot in the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday morning (10 am ET | FOX, Telemundo).
The European side claimed Group A's top spot, while the USMNT reached the knockout round via Group B's second spot.
While it may seem the Netherlands have an edge going into the match, there is a firm sense of belief in Gregg Berhalter's group. They could be the first USA squad to make the World Cup quarterfinals since 2002.
How will it all go down? Here is what the experts had to say:
I think the United States will frustrate the Netherlands enough to grab a winner.
It will be a 2-1 win.. because this team is awesome... America is awesome... and I am awesome.
Pre-tournament I picked the US to make the quarterfinals (on the other side of the bracket actually), so I still think they will get there.
This is a good Dutch side, but one that's there for the taking. Led by another dominant midfield display, the US will get by them. They're onto another knockout game, with Tim Weah getting his second World Cup goal and Gio Reyna getting one off the bench.
1-1 after extra time. Then Matt Turner shuts the Netherlands out on penalties and it's into the quarters for the US.
Brenden Aaronson with the winner in extra time!
The USMNT have defended well throughout the tournament and the midfield trio of Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah and Tyler Adams have dominated the group stage. If they can once again dictate the tempo, it will be a tight match. The Netherlands are a squad that takes their time when in possession, and they’re not loaded with dynamic attackers.
World Cup fever finally got me. The anxiety of the group stage and not feeling entirely sure about what we’d see from the US had me in a state of uneasiness that sadly made it hard for me to feel confident in our ability to advance. But by God, the boys did the thing! And I am fully embracing optimism right now.
It hasn’t been perfect from the United States, far from it. I still worry about where goals are going to come from and shaky second halves, but this team believes they can beat Holland. So do I.
I fully believe the US can take down the Netherlands, but they’re still at a bit of a talent disadvantage. Cody Gakpo is on another level.
USA at 50.1%. I'm obviously going to pick a US win, but to set the baselines first: The markets seem to think that the US have a 35-ish% chance of winning (including PKs); the Netherlands will probably gain more xG, as models have them around 70% higher than the US, in the range of 1.35 to 0.8. Fortunately, though, the USMNT have been good defensively through the tournament, and a lower xG total caters more to an upset! And the modeling doesn't accurately weigh pre-tournament vs. in-tournament performances.
The USMNT have looked better than they had leading into the World Cup, while the Dutch have looked worse. So a generally tight, controlled game with a more confident, in-form USMNT will allow the US to keep the chances limited and ultimately outperform their chance quality to win 1-0.
The Dutch can be had. Tyler Adams is a cheat code and Matt Turner is a match-winner. They just need enough to contain Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay.
The USA's group stage performance has me "believing"! That has been the mantra of the USMNT, but I (and many US fans) needed to see it to believe it. And I saw it. It will be a Weston McKennie game-winner right off that red, white & blue head!
I’m picking this team to win until I’m wrong. Maybe 1-0 is this team’s Dos a Cero, a famous scoreline that changes the perception of the program. Tim Weah scores again, Matt Turner picks one or two out of the corner and Messi (most likely) awaits.