After defeating Iran earlier this week in a 1-0 game, Team USA made it from the round-robin group stage to the knock-out Round of 16 in the World Cup soccer tournament.
But now comes the really tough part: winning its next match against the Netherlands on Saturday. The American team is considered “sizable underdogs.”
Still, if you’re planning to watch the contest and root for the Americans, here are some things to know:
When and where to watch
The U.S. vs. the Netherlands match is set for Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. Eastern (6 p.m. in Qatar, where the World Cup is taking place). It can be watched or streamed on Fox in English (via your local Fox channel, fuboTV, FoxSports.com, the Fox Sports app, DIRECTV Stream, Vidgo and Sling) and Telemundo in Spanish (via fuboTV, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and Peacock.) .
How did the Americans get here?
Team USA didn’t have a sterling record in its Group B qualifying round — it played England and Wales to a tie, before finally earning an outright win against Iran. But that was enough to make it to the round of 16. The 1-0 win against Iran came courtesy of American star player Christian Pulisic, who scored the only goal of the game.
What could work in the Americans’ favor
There’s no question that Team USA has a tough road to victory against the Netherlands. FIFA, the soccer governing body, ranks the Netherlands 8th in the world — far ahead of the Americans in 16th place. Moreover, in five previous matches against the Netherlands, the Americans have won only once.
Still, the Sporting News website noted that “The Netherlands were far from impressive in the group stage, although they did improve as the matches went on.” It added that the Saturday match especially hinges on whether Pulisic, who was injured during the Iran game, will be able to play. It also said that American goalkeeper Matt Turner will have to play “the game of his life.” According to ESPN, Pulisic is likely to play.
Has the U.S. men’s team ever advanced this far in a World Cup?
Team USA has played in 10 World Cups. Its best showing was in its first appearance in 1930, when the team made it to the semi-finals. It last made it to the Round of 16 in the 2014 tournament, but didn’t advance beyond that.
Which team is predicted to win this year’s World Cup?
Brazil is the favorite, according to several oddsmakers, and other countries they like include Argentina, France and Spain.