Preview: USMNT takes on Netherlands in FIFA World Cup Round of 16
CHICAGO – The U.S. Men’s National Team will kick off the knockout stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a Round of 16 clash vs. Netherlands on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Following an undefeated run through the group stage, including a thrilling 1-0 victory against IR Iran to clinch its knockout round berth, the USA is aiming for its first quarterfinal appearance since 2002.
Kickoff for Netherlands-USA from Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar is set for 10 a.m. ET on FOX and Telemundo.
The USMNT has qualified for the knockout stage in seven of 11 FIFA World Cup appearances and three of the last four. Netherlands, currently ranked No. 8 in the world, are also back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament. After finishing third at Brazil 2014 and runner-up at South Africa 2010, the Dutch are looking to make another deep run in Qatar.
U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM – 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB/COUNTRY; CAPS/GOALS; HOMETOWN)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town/ENG; 8/0; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 10/0; Lilburn, Ga.), Matt Turner (Arsenal/ENG; 23/0; Park Ridge, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (9): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/SCO; 12/0; Southend-on-Sea, England), Sergiño Dest (AC Milan/ITA; 22/2; Almere, Netherlands), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 29/3; Oak Hills, Calif.), Shaq Moore (Nashville SC; 17/1; Powder Springs, Ga.), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 49/1; St. Louis, Mo.), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 32/2; Liverpool, England), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 3/0; Lake Grove, N.Y.), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami CF; 76/0; Seattle, Wash.), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 36/3; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United/ENG; 27/6; Medford, N.J.), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC; 55/2; Plano, Texas), Tyler Adams (Leeds United/ENG; 35/1; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 12/0; San Diego, Calif.), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 40/9; Little Elm, Texas), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 22/0; London, England), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 32/0; Pico Rivera, Calif.)
FORWARDS (7): Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 15/7; McKinney, Texas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 50/11; Mercer Island, Wash.), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 55/22; Hershey, Pa.), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 15/4; Bedford, N.Y.), Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG; 23/5; O’Fallon, Mo.), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 28/4; Rosedale, N.Y.), Haji Wright (Antalyaspor/TUR; 6/1; Los Angeles, Calif.)
USA SCHEDULE – 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP
|Date||Opponent||Venue||Time (ET)/Result||TV Info|
|Monday, Nov. 21||Wales||Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium; Al Rayyan, Qatar||1-1 D||—|
|Friday, Nov. 25||England||Al Bayt Stadium; Al Khor, Qatar||0-0 D||—|
|Tuesday, Nov. 29||IR Iran||Al Thumama Stadium; Doha, Qatar||1-0 W||—
|Saturday, Dec. 3||Round of 16 – Netherlands||Khalifa International Stadium; Al Rayyan, Qatar||10 a.m.||FOX, Telemundo|
FIRST GOAL ACCOMPLISHED
Needing a win against IR Iran to secure advancement to the knockout stage, the USMNT delivered with a dramatic and hard-fought 1-0 victory. Despite a spirited effort from Team Melli and a raucous pro-Iran crowd, the U.S. dominated the first half and finally broke through with a goal in the 38th minute from talismanic forward Christian Pulisic. The Pennsylvania native crashed towards goal to finish off a well-placed header from defender Sergiño Dest, colliding with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.
Iran came out of the break with renewed energy, fighting to find an equalizer, but the U.S. defense held strong in the face of the pressure. Center backs Cameron Carter-Vickers, Tim Ream and substitute Walker Zimmerman endured a furious final push in the nine minutes of second half stoppage time to secure the three points.
Ream continued his outstanding tournament, while World Cup debutant Cameron Carter-Vickers also did well to win a number of long balls from Iran. Captain Tyler Adams once again bossed the midfield from the No. 6 position and goalkeeper Matt Turner recorded his second straight shutout.
STOUT DEFENSE BY THE STATES
For the first time since 1930, the USMNT has recorded two shutouts at the FIFA World Cup. During its first three games in Qatar, the USA hasn’t allowed a goal in the run of play, just conceding a late penalty to Wales captain Gareth Bale in the opening match. With the clean sheet vs. Iran, the USMNT recorded multiple shutouts at the World Cup for the first time since 1930. Goalkeeper Matt Turner is just the fifth U.S. netminder to record a shutout at the World Cup and the second to record two, following Jimmy Douglas at Uruguay 1930.
The U.S. central defense has been outstanding throughout its first three matches in Qatar, led by the resurgent Tim Ream, who returned to the U.S. squad for the World Cup after a yearlong layoff from the USMNT. Cameron Carter-Vickers made his World Cup debut against Iran, doing well to win a number of long balls from Team Melli downfield, while Walker Zimmerman came on as a second-half substitute and made a game-saving goal line clearance during the nine minutes of stoppage time.
PULISIC PLAYS HERO
The USMNT’s leading scorer heading into the tournament, forward Christian Pulisic netted his first World Cup goal in the most critical of moments for the USA. The Chelesa forward has a history of coming up big when the U.S. needs him most, scoring the game-winning penalty vs. Mexico in the 2021 Concacaf Nations League Final and opening the scoring vs. Mexico during World Cup qualifying. One of the handful of players on the World Cup roster involved in the qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup that came up short, it was fitting that Pulisic’s goal pushed the U.S. through to the knockout round. He was diagnosed with a pelvic contusion following his collision with Beiranvand and his status is day-to-day.
YOUNGEST LINEUPS AT QATAR 2022
Youth has been a theme for the USMNT throughout this cycle and it’s continued here in Qatar. Eighteen players have made their World Cup debut, a USMNT record for a single edition of the tournament.
Already with the second-youngest roster at the 2022 FIFA World Cup behind only Ghana, the USA’s three lineups against Wales (25 years, 102 days), England (25 years, 169 days) and Iran (25 years, 102 days) are three of the four youngest Starting XIs in the tournament through the 46 matches that were played through Thursday.
Tuesday’s lineup was also the fourth youngest in USMNT history at the tournament, coming in behind the team’s three Starting XIs at the 1990 World Cup: vs. Italy (24 years, 49 days), vs. Austria (24 years, 53 days), vs. Czechoslovakia (24 years, 78 days).
|Youngest Lineups at the 2022 FIFA World Cup (through early games on Nov. 29)|
|USA||Nov. 29 vs. IR Iran||24 years, 321 days||1-0 W|
|Spain||Dec. 1 vs. Japan||25 years, 99 days||1-2 L|
|USA||Nov. 21 vs. Wales||25 years, 102 days||0-0 D|
|USA||Nov. 25 vs. England||25 years, 169 days||1-1 D|
|Ecuador||Nov. 25 vs. Netherlands||25 years, 257 days||1-1 D|
|Ecuador||Nov. 29 vs. Senegal||26 years, 27 days||1-2 L|
|Ecuador||Nov. 20 vs. Qatar||26 years, 81 days||2-0 W|
USA ROSTER NOTES
- Christian Pulisic recorded his 22nd career international goal and Sergiño Dest registered his third international assist in the win against Iran.
- Against Iran, U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter made two changes to the lineup that faced England in the USA’s second group match, inserting defender Cameron Carter-Vickers for Walker Zimmerman and forward Josh Sargent for Haji Wright.
- Nine players have started all three matches thus far for the USA: goalkeeper Matt Turner, defenders Sergiño Dest, Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson, midfielders Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah, plus forwards Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah.
- Midfielder Yunus Musah, who turned 20 on the day of the Iran match, became the first USMNT player to appear in a World Cup match on their birthday. Twenty-seven different USMNT players have appeared in a match on their birthday, covering 28 different instances – Eric Wynalda twice played on his birthday.
- Musah, who debuted for the USA at age 17 in November 2020, set team records with 20 starts and 1,578 minutes played as a teenager and equaled the record of 21 caps that Jozy Altidore and Christian Pulisic achieved during their teenage years.
- For the first time in USMNT World Cup history, all 11 starters vs. Iran featured for European clubs. Club distribution: England (6), Italy (2), France (1), Scotland (1) Spain (1)
- CAUTION WATCH: Sergiño Dest, Weston McKennie, Tim Ream, Kellyn Acosta and Tyler Adams all carry yellow cards into the Round of 16 match against the Netherlands. Should any of them be shown a caution, they would miss the potential quarterfinal match.
- Saturday marks the sixth meeting between the U.S. and Netherlands all-time, with the Dutch holding a 4-1-0 advantage. It’s the nations’ first meeting in official competition.
- The teams last clashed in a friendly match on June 5, 2015 in Amsterdam, a 4-3 victory for the USA. After going down 3-1, the USMNT rallied to a comeback victory, with goals from John Brooks in the 70th, Danny Williams in the 89th and Bobby Wood in the 90th.
- Current USMNT players Jordan Morris and DeAndre Yedlin both appeared in the match as second-half substitutes.
- Current Dutch forward Memphis Depay scored in the match, while defender Daley Blind also played. Defender Stefan de Vrij and Steven Berghuis were unused substitutes.
- The teams were scheduled to play a friendly match in Eindhoven during the March 2020 international window, but the game was canceled due to the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
- The son of a Dutch mother and Surinamese-American serviceman father, right back Sergiño Dest was born in Almere-Stad, Netherlands and was eligible to represent both the USA and Netherlands internationally. After coming up through the U.S. Youth National Team system, Dest tied his future to the U.S. in October 2019, appearing in a Concacaf Nations League match against Canada.
- Dest launched his professional career at Ajax, the Netherlands’ most successful club, playing for John Ajax in 2018-19 before breaking into the first team during the 2019-20 season.
- U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Earnie Stewart, who represented the USMNT at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups is also Dutch-American. The son of a U.S. airman father and Dutch mother, Stewart was born in the Netherlands and played professionally for VVV-Venlo, Willem II and NAC Breda in the Eredivisie before working in the front office at NAC and AZ Alkmaar.
- USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter also launched his professional playing career in the Netherlands with six seasons at Zwolle, Sparta Rotterdam and Cambuur Leeuwarden.
- Midfielder Luca de la Torre took his career to the next level at Heracles in the Eredivisie over the last two seasons, becoming a fixture for the club, while forward Haji Wright also spent a season at VVV Venlo in the Dutch first division.
- The USMNT is 2-1-2 against European opposition under Berhalter.
NETHERLANDS ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord; 6/0), Andries Noppert (Heerenveen; 3/0), Remko Pasveer (Ajax; 2/0)
DEFENDERS (9): Nathan Aké (Manchester City/ENG; 32/3), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/ENG; 52/6), Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan/ITA; 40/5), Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen/GER; 0/0), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich/GER; 39/2), Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United/ENG; 6/0), Jurriën Timber (Ajax; 12/0), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan/ITA; 59/3), Daley Blind (Ajax; 97/2)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Steven Berghuis (Ajax; 42/2), Cody Gakpo (PSV; 12/6), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona/ESP; 48/2), Davy Klaassen (Ajax; 38/10), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta/ITA; 13/1), Marten de Roon (Atalanta/ITA; 33/0), Xavi Simons (PSV Eindhoven; 0/0), Kenneth Taylor (Ajax; 13/0)
FORWARDS (6): Steven Bergwijn (Ajax; 26/7), Memphis Depay (Barcelona/ESP; 84/42), Vincent Janssen (Antwerp/BEL; 22/7), Luuk de Jong (PSV; 38/8), Noa Lang (Club Brugge/BEL; 5/1), Wout Weghorst (Beşiktaş/TUR; 17/3)
DUTCH TOP GROUP A
Back at the World Cup for the first time in eight years, the Netherlands went an undefeated 2-0-1 in Group A to win its group. The Dutch played to a deadlock for much of its opening match against African champion until a nice finish from midfielder Cody Gakpo put the Netherlands ahead. Midfielder Davy Klaasen added another late in stoppage time to put the game on ice.
Netherlands drew Ecuador 1-1 in its second match on another opening goal from Gakpo, this time in the eighth minute. Ecuador pulled one back just after the half and the Dutch were able to withstand a spirited comeback effort from the South Americans. Needing a win to clinch the group, the Netherlands topped Qatar 2-0 in its final match, Gakpo netting the first goal again before midfielder Frankie de Jong put things away in the second half.
IN FOCUS: NETHERLANDS
WORLD CUP HISTORY
- Qatar 2022 marks the Netherlands’ 11th appearance at the World Cup, returning to the global stage after missing the 2018 tournament.
- The Netherlands has a strong World Cup history, reaching the knockout round in each of its 11 appearances and making the semifinals five times. The Dutch have finished runner-up three times- at Germany 1974, Argentina 1978 and South Africa 2010.
- The Oranje also finished fourth at France 1998 and third at Brazil 2014.
- The Dutch have reached the semifinals of the UEFA European Championship five times, winning the tournament in 1988.
- Last summer, the Netherlands reached the Round of 16 at UEFA Euro 2020 and finished second at the inaugural UEFA Nations League Finals in 2018-19.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
- The Netherlands qualified for the World Cup as winner of one of 10 UEFA qualifying groups and is one of 13 European nations competing at Qatar 2022.
- The Oranje bested the likes of Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia and Gibraltar in Group G, finishing two points ahead of runner-up Turkey.
- After dropping its opener at Turkey, the Netherlands were undefeated in their final nine qualifiers, recording six shutouts and outscoring their opponents 31-6. Memphis Depay led the team in scoring with 12 qualifying goals.
- The Netherlands punched their ticket to Qatar on Nov. 16, 2021 vs. Norway, a 2-0 win on the final matchday of UEFA qualifying. Due to a bicycling accident, head coach Louis van Gaal had to watch the match from a box seat in a wheelchair.
- Fourteen of the 26 players on the Dutch roster compete abroad, while 12 are based in the Eredivisie. Seven players come from Ajax, historically the Netherlands’ most successful club.
- Abroad, the Netherlands have called up players from Italy (four), England (three), Belgium, Germany and Spain (two) and Turkey.
- Forward Memphis Depay is the squad’s leading scorer with 42 goals in 84 appearances. Midfielder Cody Gakpo has scored first for the Netherlands in each of their three group games, tied for the tournament lead with three other players through Wednesday.
- Goalkeeper Andries Noppert (Heerenveen), who made his international debut in the opening win vs. Senegal, has backstopped all three games, recording two clean sheets.
- Defender Daley Blind is the team’s most-capped player with 97 appearances for the Netherlands.
- Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk serves as team captain.
NETHERLANDS HEAD COACH: LOUIS VAN GAAL
- Head coach Louis van Gaal is in his third spell as head coach of the Netherlands after previously managing the Dutch from 2000-01 and 2012-14.
- His 40-4-18 record is the most successful in Netherlands history, passing Dick Advocaat with the team’s opening World Cup win vs. Senegal.
- He joined the Netherlands in August 2021 after a five-year hiatus from coaching and guided the Dutch through most of World Cup qualifying. He’s 13-0-5 in his current term with the Dutch.
- Van Gaal has an impressive managerial resume, winning the 1994-95 UEFA Champions League with Ajax and a litany of other trophies at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United.
- Prior to his career on the touchline, he played for 15 years in the Netherlands and Belgium, mostly with Sparta Rotterdam, but also spending time with Ajax, Royal Antwerp, Telstar and AZ Alkmaar.
The USMNT is the second youngest team at the World Cup and was by far the youngest team to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, garnering valuable experience going through the rigors of World Cup qualifying. Through 14 qualifiers, the USA Starting XI came in at an average of 23.82, almost two years younger than the next closest team, Ghana at 25.67. Together, the other 31 participating teams averaged a Starting XI age of 27.5 through qualifying, nearly four full years older than the U.S.
From the available data for qualified teams, the USMNT played 10 of the 11 youngest lineups worldwide during the qualifying cycle, with all 14 lineups falling in the 23 youngest Starting XIs in the world dating back to October 2020.
The 2022 team ties the 1990 USA side for most U-23 players on a USMNT World Cup roster with nine: Tyler Adams (23); Brenden Aaronson, Sergiño Dest, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah (22); Jesús Ferreira (21); Gio Reyna (20); Yunus Musah and Joe Scally (19).
With the inclusion of Musah, Reyna and Scally, this is the first USMNT World Cup squad with more than one teenager named to the roster, though Gio Reyna turned 20 on Nov. 12 and Yunus Musah will do so on Nov. 29, the day of the USA’s final group stage match against IR Iran.
HIGHEST LEVEL FOR CLUB AND COUNTRY
While 25 of 26 U.S. players arrived to Qatar sans World Cup experience, the USMNT roster is no stranger to some of soccer’s biggest stages at the club level. Five of the 26 are participating in this year’s UEFA Champions League, the sport’s premier club competition, while 14 play for teams in the world’s top five leagues (England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France).
This USMNT World Cup roster boasts perhaps the most impressive list of club homes ever at the tournament, with players at some of Europe’s most storied teams. Forward Christian Pulisic helped Chelsea win the UEFA Champions League in 2020-21, becoming the first American to play in the UCL Final. Defender Sergiño Dest moved this season to reigning Italian champion AC Milan, while goalkeeper Matt Turner is plying his trade for English Premier League leader Arsenal. Midfielder Weston McKennie’s club Juventus won the Italian league championship nine times in a row from 2011-12 through 2019-20.
The USMNT’s World Cup squad reflects the success of the U.S. Soccer player development pathway, as many of the players came up through the U.S. Youth National Teams program and spent time in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and/or the U.S. Soccer U-17 Residency Program.
Fourteen players – just over half the roster – have represented the USA in at least one FIFA Youth World Cup. Four took the field together at two separate tournaments: Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre Christian Pulisic and Haji Wright at the 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile, and Adams, Cameron Carter-Vickers, de la Torre and Josh Sargent at the 2017 U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic.
Seventeen of 26 played in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, run by the Federation as the nation’s highest level of youth soccer from 2007-2020 to maximize youth player development by positively impacting everyday club environments. Seven players participated in the Residency Program, an elite training environment for the country’s best youth players at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. From 1999-2017.