The US men’s national team, which included only one player who had world Cup Experience entering this tournament will face the Netherlands on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. ET. While many fans considered reaching the last eight a success, the players don’t feel the same way. They are willing to stay, saying the work is not done yet.
USMNT – lead Christian Pulisic, who will return from injury – looks set to advance to just his second quarter-final appearance in 20 years and third overall. But Orange stands in the way. Holland breakout star Cody Gakpo, 23, has found the back of the net in every game so far.
More:Dutch soccer has influenced the USMNT because of coach Greg Berhalter’s stay in the Netherlands
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The US men have never won the World Cup. In fact they have only been to the quarterfinals of the competition twice before.
Meanwhile, reigning champions France are trying to do something only Italy and Brazil have done before – win back-to-back FIFA Men’s World Cup trophies. But the road to victory won’t be easy with their ever-growing injury list.
Here’s who USA TODAY network reporters think they have emerged champions (Disclaimer: the selections were made before the start of the tournament):
The USMNT is guaranteed at least $13 million in prize money from this World Cup, a figure that could rise to $17 million if it beats the Netherlands in Saturday’s round of 16 match. Thanks to the historic collective bargaining agreement reached in May between USA Soccer and its national teams, half of the prize money will go to women in the USA.
That’s more than the women’s team earned in their last two championship runs…combined.
The signs say “yes”.
Pulisic says, “I’m doing everything I can to be out on the field on Saturday.” The USMNT star was cleared to play on Friday night after training.
Pulisic went down at halftime against Iran with a pelvic injury. He kneed to the pelvis in a full-speed collision with Iran’s goalkeeper after scoring in a 1-0 victory that sent the USMNT into the knockout rounds of the World Cup.
Contributor: Nancy Armor
time: Saturday, December 3 at 10:00 a.m. ET
stadium: Khalifa International Stadium
How to watch: FOX and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)