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USMNT vs. Netherlands: SBI Match Day

The U.S. men’s national team has reached the World Cup Round of 16, and its improbable dream of a deep tournament run begins today, with knockout-round date with the Netherlands (10 a.m., FOX).

The Americans went through the group stage unbeaten, allowing just one goal and securing their place in the Round of 16 with the dramatic 1-0 win against Iran.

A much tougher test awaits at the Khalifa Stadium though, as the Dutch also bring an unbeaten record into today’s Round of 16 clash, and the Oranje have also allowed just one goal in group play.

Gregg Berhalter has made two changes to the starting lineup that faced Iran, with Walker Zimmerman and Jesus Ferreira replacing Cameron Carter-Vickers and Josh Sargent, while Christian Pulisic retains his role after overcoming the pelvic contusion he suffered against Iran.

SBI’s editorial staff will be providing updates and analysis throughout the match in the comments section below, so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions as well.

Enjoy the action.


  1. I was all Free Gio like everyone else. But to be fair, he did absolutely nothing.

    Dutch played flawlessly. US made errors. Not sharp enough, and not enough scoring.

    • What the heck do you want him to do… take on the whole team down 2-0? You can see the quality he had when he was in. He is our second best attacker. He needed to have started.

  2. Final: Netherlands 3 – USA 1. A valiant effort from the USMNT falls short as three defensive breakdowns leads to a victory for the Dutch. Not enough chances in the final third for the USA today.

      • they needed to drop back and give them some room to run into and attack. they needed to kick longballs from further upfield where the whole defense isn’t packed back. they indeed needed to keep trying combining into the box. ANYTHING BUT WHACK CROSSES IN ON A BUNCH OF 6′ DUDES CLEARING THEM ALL NIGHT. YES. EXACTLY.

      • no…we don’t switch the point with any tempo mostly imo, whichopens up spaces for those things and others

        the subs were good

        agree with IV on squad rotation, how many you need to trust, etc., yes
        but then again, it got us out of a group not many thought we’d get out of….

        I think this is about where we are and that this group now could benefit from a new voice as coach

        I’m not ripping GB, no way. some will, not for this. we qualified, we gout out of our group…then were outclassed today, out coached too.

        But I respect him, this group, their accomplishments.

      • Ned wasn’t going to come out of that shell today. We didn’t dribble IN the box; we dribbled close but outside. No danger there… we have no one who can shot from outside the box. We were just exposed by a better team

      • IV, WE did play long balls, we did turn it into a game of 2nd balls, we did keep trying to combine in the box…miserably against all those #s you discussed btw. and again, counting on pulling the Dutch out? seriously, no offense, but it sounds naive to me down 0-2 to think they’d go for it. the only time the game got stretched is when we’d turn it over, they didn’t even want to possess in our 3rd, just quick strikes into the area, tempo, speed, movement, awareness and understanding in the area…they KILLED us on that today

        the big tactical mistakes were first half anyway, for sure, but once the game became more a game of second balls, it was better for us.

      • beach: the difference between you and I is i think we have more than 11 people who can play and advance us. i don’t buy if aaronson or reyna or some of the cuts got more minutes we go home. i mean, sorry, but that is not what the WCQ said.

        this to me is the worst part of the american idea of this as “meritocracy.” you cannot just throw out your favorite 11 every game and keep going. if any game should point out how important it is to have 11 dudes, or more like 16 or 20, playing well, this is it. it’s a team sport. you have to trust the team. to me it’s fanboy stuff to run out the same few guys over and over til they fall over. i don’t even agree with his 11 much less think we were doomed to lose if reyna and the others started or played a half once in a while.

        last point, US soccer often has a status quo bias. we lost today. this cannot be the endgame right here or this is as good as it will get. this will hopefully keep evolving past here. new coach, new players, more time shared out, new tactics. you cannot get better than this just doing the same thing with the same fanboy all star team 4 more years.

      • MWR: i do agree with you we needed some guys who could shoot from the edge of the box today BUT you have to actually select one or two. you can’t just tell a bunch of guys picked for two way hustle to bang it in upper 90. you kind of need a guy on the team for the purpose.

      • hey IV, I agree with you on the sqaud rotation

        I just get GB’s take on it too…he was all about getting out of the group. All the emotions, all of it.

        that start today was sluggish for legs, yes, but sluggish in mentality and intensity too.

        the day to rotate was today how GB played it to get out of the group…he did with Jesus instead of Gio or BA…terrible decision seen now, did not work. could have rotated midfielders too and then brought on Weston (who was not the same player today), and that decision, though understood, didn’t work

        I think the difference between us is that I can see the good things from GB too, along with the warts. Coaching your whole life will do that to you!!

      • IV – Who in the USMNT pool can shoot from outside? Lynden Gooch at Sunderland? I think you are looking for a player who just doesnt exist.

        Lets also say this – Pulisic had a chance to score 5 minutes in and fluffed it. I think he stopped believing he was offside

      • Squad rotation is all well and good IV, but your idea that Julian Green and Duane Holmes, guys who are average in second tier leagues, were going to unlock the Dutch is an LSD fueled trip to La La Land.

    • i think it’s as embarrassing a knockout loss as we have had. my fear is a knockout exit usually isn’t enough to fire a coach but the selection and tactical mistakes basically show there is no secret sauce. won 1 game total. -1 GD for the lot. inexplicably decided to play holland like they were wales.

    • Sorry not at all. Their players finished their chances. The US didn’t. They were better finishers, Van Gaal didn’t shoot those balls.

      • part of the finishing is your coach playing the legs off key players. another part of this is the guys who could shoot who either weren’t seeing the field or got cut. i don’t think this was set up to shoot very well. only some of that goes on the players. i might blame pulisic for not finishing that early one, or wright not taking his first touch.

      • This is true. If Puli scored that opportunity, things might have changed. That second goal really…really hurt to end the half. GB was just too reliant on the 443.

      • I’m talking about his foul, then swipe at the head of the guy n the turf…down 2 goals at the beginning of stoppage time
        dumb play all around

      • You absolutely cannot blame Yedlin for the third goal. And you have to give him some credit for starting the play that led to the US goal.

  3. What the hell?!?!? What a bad time to have defensive lapses. Is there a reason two players are marking one player?

    What a frustrating game defensively.

    • ream has often been playing something closer to a sweeper, marking air, jedi is so concerned with watching what should be ream’s man he doesn’t even realize the weak side dude is there. to me this is a common problem with 433s. to try and bring some cohesion to what can be swiss cheese, teams often pinch in the backs and CMs. as a result the wings are open. i have watched that goal all season against houston. we love our backs that get forward, too. i don’t think it nets positive.

      • i get the snob theory is dest and jedi produce offense. ok, test the theory with math and science. tournament is over. how many GF did they create? how many did they cost? exactly.

      • MWR: this coach loves analytics. look at what the ACTUAL NUMBERS say. at this level they are more likely to send you home than move you on. i am not anti-attacking on backs. i just think you should pick them for doing their primary job first before selecting among the ones who can mark for the ones with intangibles or counter intuitive value. otherwise you get burned for 3 round of 16 goals and sent home.

        we act like we want out of being the old bunker team but this went naive the other way too far today. i’d hoped for something more balanced like the group games.

  4. i repeat myself about wingback defense. cause holland did. said it 20 times during the cycle this is punch down stuff when we want to punch upwards.

  5. i agree with ives that exhaustion may be an issue. it does kind of have a couva feel to it where the unit out there looks feet in concrete and unable to execute at a high level even when given a clear chance. coaches need to be able to trust more like 16 players and not just 11 over and over. along those lines this is also an easy way of reframing the reyna debate. you seriously don’t trust reyna to play games and absorb minutes, like you think it would hurt more than help. nonsense. i think he should start but heck aaronson and some others could have also had a start and perhaps done well and it’s unlikely we’d be home already for it.

    particularly with reyna i half want to say there is some degree of ego in just running an 11 out there over and over. these are My Guys. like I Have Made My Decision You Execute It. regardless who you prefer wide 0 reyna starts is just stupid. bad general decisionmaking. but also poor squad rotation.

  6. Haji Wright and Brenden Aaronson in for Weah and McKennie.

    Reyna moves to the right wing. Wonder if we’ll see the USMNT go to three defenders late in the match. This lineup is pretty offensive-minded, but a two-goal deficit will require kitchen sink-throwing.

  7. so 4 chances in the 2nd half for hold up after breaking lines, all turnovers, Gio with 1 and CP with 2

    needs to be better there or Dutch will score again

    • That has been my thought on USMNT for years. A high caliber opponent can beat – or at least not lose- by sitting back and not giving up a pk. This game is best example of this.

  8. 45 minutes to make a miracle happen.

    Dutch said it earlier in the week. They didn’t care how the won but to just win. The naïveté of this group is coming back to haunt them. MMA hasn’t been great.

    • He definitely needed to be pulled. He was really bad. As I said before, he should have not been included in the roster. This is what happens when you do not bring in a true striker in Pefok who has power and strength and is clinical. Wright did well, though. Only if he had a little bit more speed. I feel bad for Dest; not a great game for him

  9. the difference is the tempo and ideas in the final 3rd imo

    couldn’t be more clear than the cutback from Weah to no runner, and both Dutch goals

    buildup for US has been fine, CP’s early chance a bummer, but like Ives said, looks like all these games have begun to catch up too

    GB’s subs here need to be amazing but this may be his limit today

      • Ives called it early on the tired look overall of the 11. I think he nailed it.

        GB didn’t on the player selections for that half. missed

        on tactics, we’re going to see some crazy pressing here imo, Dutch won’t come out to play, won’t get suckered into it…could have waited on this tactic maybe, but now what choice?

      • Beach: I know snobs want this to be ground soccer but to catch up 2 goals on a team that wants to sit back, you have to either egg them out then counter in the wide space — as a former 352 wing I am amazed how little we are going after the lonely wings — or be willing to play some kickball. I also think — and said this pregame — a 442 creates a redundant wing defense where I can have numbers back but then push wings up without being countered wide.

        If we keep trying to out-Dutch soccer a Dutch soccer team this will get ugly.

      • IV, I’m no snob and no stranger to all tactics, depending ok?

        2-0 the Dutch won’t come out, no way

        press, turn it into 2nd balls to win it back. we’re doing it fine, we need to score, bully ball would be fine, then see what happens

      • Dutch only sending 4-5 on the counter…like Carlo in the UCL final vs. Liverpool

        very hard to pull them out, would be cool if we did of course

    • it’s a combination of not tracking and then these days american teams seem to have it sacrosanct the backs sit back in such situations rather than step up and mark dangerous players 5 yards in front of them. i always approached it as danger over shape. i think americans have been taught that flat backline staying put is more important.

  10. Dest was beaten on the goal, but there wasn’t much defending on that goal sequence. Far too much ball watching and they paid the price.

    Netherlands showed their quality that half. USMNT did not.

  11. i cannot begin to say how stupid it is to want to play methodical possession soccer in tight spaces without reyna out there in some way. conversely if we ever want to get behind the dutch or have lower numbers back against us, early passes, long wide outlets, outright kickball to the forwards. it will drive the snobs insane but soccer is not an aesthetic judged competition, it’s how would you score goals on holland. which is not try and pass it 30 times through the middle of the dutch.

  12. right there, 43rd minute, after Weah’s rocket rebound, he played it back to the spot, no defender anywhere, but no runner for the US either; all 3 guys ran to the line, no one dropped

      • it’s turned back into Berhalter System TM which is keepaway at the corner flag. making a run to the goal deprives the flag passer of the support to make a few more pointless sideways passes before we cross the ball in on a team with a 6’8″ keeper and tall defenders. genius.

      • it has IV, agreed
        I thought he might try this too but maybe with Brendan, one of the best pressers in the world…….

      • beach: pressing forward plays into the hands of a counter team IMO. i thought we figured this out during the group round. we seem to have learned the wrong lesson from the FULL wales game.

        holland is quite willing to play over the top or wide. a press tends to assume a team trying to play right up the gut.

        i kind of feel like the US is years stale on the style they are playing today. i thought we’d caught up a little in group round. like holland and others teams evolved into new exploits, approaches and systems to thwart 433s and presses. we are then playing right into their hands. they want you to try and pass and pass their mid defense, who will win it and initiate the wide counter.

  13. Good to see Yunus Musah starting to get more involved. He was too quiet through the first 30 minutes. USMNT will need him to be very active to break through this Dutch midfield and back five.

  14. The Dutch are content to let the USMNT have the ball in their half of the field, but so far the Americans aren’t able to string together a coherent attack with that deep posssession.

    1-0 Dutch, 32nd minute.

  15. Some USA chants from the fans here in Doha, trying to breath some life into this USA team.

    Is this team starting to feel the strain of nine players starting their fourth match in 13 days? Starting to look like it.

    1-0 Dutch, 19th minute.

    • we are playing right into HOL’s hands. we are back to the Patented Berhalter System TM trying to play water torture dutch possession soccer on a HOL all star team of those who grew up defending dutch possession soccer. we try to string 20 passes through a good defensive team. they win just 1 of those passes and counter like a house afire. what happened to direct soccer and flying up the wings? as someone who played 352 wing and back in college the wings should be wide open and 1 on 1 all the time.

      of all the effing times to revert to his old stupid ideas. and has ferreira touched a ball. seriously.


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