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US vs. Netherlands Live: World Cup Updates



Dec. 3, 2022, 7:59 a.m. ET

Dec. 3, 2022, 7:59 a.m. ETCredit…Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Of their most vital match since facing Iran 4 days ago, the Americans draw a team with a stingy defense, possession-hogging midfield and forwards struggling to convert scoring probabilities. No, they aren’t practicing against themselves.

Consider the Dutch a more experienced and, perhaps, more talented version of the US, though in Qatar they, glaringly, have lacked the panache — a classy, daring edge — that defines their national team as much as their orange kits.

Plodding along in Group A, the Dutch looked vulnerable — but please don’t confuse that for diminished or unimposing. Virgil van Dijk stays the most effective center backs on the planet, and Frenkie de Jong stays certainly one of the higher midfielders on the planet, and shortly Cody Gakpo, who has scored three goals this tournament, could possibly be the most effective strikers on the planet, too.

Call it a hunch, however the Americans aren’t intimidated by any of this — the Dutch, the pressure, the atmosphere. One among the youngest teams within the World Cup, the US emerged from a bunch loaded with land mines and allowed only one goal, on a penalty.

Needing a victory in a match fraught with geopolitical ramifications, the Americans won that, too, on a goal that left Christian Pulisic, after colliding with the Iranian goalkeeper, writhing with an injury later characterised, in some quite euphemistic nomenclature, as a “pelvic contusion.”

Credit…Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Against the Netherlands, the condition of Pulisic’s, umm, netherlands will dictate how well he can turn, sprint and feint, which we hear are all quite critical actions for a soccer player. Complementing him, though, is certainly one of the more fearsome midfields in Qatar. Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah played an infinite role in neutralizing England and driving play in all three matches. Still unclear is how, if in any respect, Gio Reyna, perhaps the Americans’ most creative player up front, will feature against the Dutch.

For this generation of Americans, after enduring the indignity of failing to qualify in 2018, Qatar projected as a springboard for 2026, when the US could be expected to actually shine in a contest staged on its soil. 4 years early, they’re equipped to succeed in what could be only their second quarterfinal.

All they must do is beat themselves.

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