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USMNT vs. Netherlands: 2022 World Cup Round of 16 preview, how to watch, predicted lineups, more

Weston McKennie USMNT
United States’ Weston McKennie (8) celebrates after teammate Christian Pulisic scoring a goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between Iran and the United States at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) is through to the knockout stage at the World Cup for the fifth time since 1994 after an intense 1-0 victory over Iran. The reward for their second-place finish in Group B (5 points, 1W, 2D) is a meeting with the Netherlands in the Round of 16 on Saturday.

USMNT vs. Netherlands viewing information

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 3
  • Venue: Khalifa International Stadium
  • Time: 10 a.m. ET
  • TV: FOX
  • Live Stream: Fox Sports Live

This is what comes with the territory of hitting new heights on the world soccer stage: Matches against some of the most traditional powerhouses on the planet.

The Netherlands is ranked No. 8 in the world by FIFA, a three-time World Cup finalist — as recently as 2010 — that has never been able to win it all. The Oranje have wiped away the disappointment of failing to qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia, much like the US, to win Group A. 

 

Style of Play

Van Dijk Netherlands
Virgil van Dijk of the Netherlands, right, and his teammate goalkeeper Andries Noppert of the Netherlands applaud at the end of the World Cup group A soccer match between the Netherlands and Qatar, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor , Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Defense is the name of the game for the Dutch. A resolute backline anchored by Liverpool star Virgil Van Dijk has allowed just one goal through the first three matches of the World Cup, built on the foundation of a pair of Nations League clean sheets against Poland and Belgium to build momentum heading to Qatar. 

But they also boast one of the top scorers of the tournament in striker Cody Gakpo, who is tied for the Golden Boot race with three goals alongside England’s Marcus Rashford, France’s Kylian Mbappe, and Ecuador’s Enner Valencia. 

The PSV forward has been one of the biggest individual surprises of the tournament, especially for a Dutch team that lacks attacking width.

This will be the first time ever that the United States plays the Netherlands on the World Cup stage — and with it brings their toughest opponent yet to try and break down. 

The USMNT only scored twice during the group stage despite displaying a marauding, free-flowing attack predicated on the elite wing play from forwards Christian Pulisich and Tim Weah, midfielders Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah, and defensive wingers Sergino Dest and Antonee Robinson. 

In theory, that will ask a ton of the Dutch defense given its lack of talent out wide. The overarching problem is that the Americans lack a clinical finisher to step into the No. 9 role and take full advantage of the brilliant wing play that headlines the side. 

We could see the Netherlands opting to sit back to keep their lines intact — meaning the US could see the majority of possession and chances as it did against England in the group stage — but hit back on the counter-attack through Gakpo. 

 

Predicted Lineups

Dest USMNT
Sergino Dest of the United States, centre, challenges for the ball with England’s Raheem Sterling during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and The United States, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

USMNT (4-3-3): Turner; Dest-Zimmerman-Ream-Robinson; McKennie-Adams-Musah; Weah-Sargent-Pulisic

The Americans are waiting to get official word on two of their forwards in Christian Pulisic, who suffered an abdominal injury on his game-winning goal against Iran, and Josh Sargent, who suffered an ankle injury in the second half on Tuesday. Pulisic said he’ll be ready while Sargent is undergoing a scan Wednesday on his ankle. 

In the meantime, head coach Gregg Berhalter doesn’t have much to change in his midfield and backline. The Americans have conceded just once at the World Cup so far while the midfield’s work rate has been second to none.

 

Netherlands (3-5-2): Noppert; Timber-Van Dijk-Ake; Dumfries-Berghuis-de Jong-Blind-Klaassen; Gakpo-Depay

Andries Noppert is acting as the Netherlands’ No. 1 keeper, but it’s up to the three center-backs in defense as Jurrien Timber, Virgil Van Dijk, and Nathan Ake remain the foundation of the Oranje. Frenkie de Jong can be the playmaker the Dutch need, but Gakpo and Depay will have to shoulder most of the attacking load.

For more on USMNT at the World Cup, visit AMNY.com

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