AL RAYYAN, Qatar — As you watch USA play Netherlands on Saturday morning (10 a.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports App), sitting on your couch with optional extras like breakfast or a jersey or a flag, there’s only one absolute must: your screaming voice.
Just know this. It sounds strange, but American players can hear you. Or they think they can, at least, equate to the same thing. So be loud.
It doesn’t make logical sense that Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Tim Weah and any American challenged at this point should be able to channel noise and patriotic fervor from Little Rock or Hollywood or Oneonta or Bismarck, but what the hell.
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It’s the World Cup and the usual rules don’t apply, whether related to football or sound dynamics or geography or whatever. Scream, scream, whistle, cry, cheer – and don’t stop.
“(We) completely redirected it,” captain Adams told me on Friday. “The support from the United States is a bit odd. That’s one of our goals going into the tournament. The further we go, the more support we get. When we can play a single game, we’ll be able to play a game. engaging style and fighting and representing the county in the true sense of the word, you’re going to gather that support.”
Here it is, the USA men’s team. You have ticked the boxes. You survived and advanced. You have achieved your main goal. And you gave a country back home that wanted so badly to love you, a reason to actually do so.
You have gotten this far. You have built a foundation for yourself. Now, what are you going to do with it?
Saturday’s date with the Dutch is a chance to fully charge things up.
Coach Gregg Berhalter said: “We feel a responsibility to use this World Cup to create momentum in the United States behind football. “That’s why we want to keep going, we want to keep doing good and make the country proud.”
It was an opportunity to turn a very good tournament into a very great one. They have become household names in America, not only in football-centric households but also in those where this beautiful sport competes with other sports for a share in the love. .
To create a memory to add to the brave relationship against England and love scene in victory Iran and Weah’s goal in the net Wales and, of course, Pulisic’s campaign-changing intervention on Tuesday, even though that means austerity.
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Surviving that low hit, no more should be delivered to the Americans. Now they are in an assortment of free rolls. To be sure, a late equalizer that kept them out of their famous win over the orange-clad Netherlands would have been painful, as was – dare we whisper it – the agonizing surprise of a series of shots. rotation, if things go too deep, still equal.
But having a match to play rather than going home early, just thinking about what could happen. Half of the teams at this World Cup are leaving essentially at the same time, and no team has done so without regrets.
Most of the remaining 16 head into the knockout stages on Saturday, with a few exceptions, first swallowing the relief of being here before thinking about anything bigger. .
However, the thoughts of the Americans turned to what they wanted from this joy. Group B is a suspenseful group, full of tension and fragile edges. Now comes the chance to go get the bag.
Not only showing off in front of the Dutch, but showing off. To attack a country coveted and cherished to attack vote and wish its current side had done more. To play with them as equals.
And to defeat them.
“The US has proven that they have an excellent team. I would even say one of the best,” said Dutch coach Louis van Gaal. “A well-tuned team, a very tough game.”
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Winning against a team that has reached the World Cup final three times will not be an easy task. It never was, not at the World Cup.
But now is the time. The United States has a record of good, honest, solid performances at this and previous World Cups. Of achieving an equal score. We’ve been here before, to the last 16, and that’s where it ended in 2010 and 2014.
Time for a big one that blows everyone’s mind. It’s time to be disappointed, though arguably, the United States is the most popular tip for a shocking outcome in the international media.
It’s time to be bold and prove that the United States does not belong to football elites, but to its huge beating heart.
Not after that. The current.
With a group of young players playing so hard for each other and so likable that you wonder if they’re too good to be great, until you realize that the best international teams are the ones who stick together. stick together like brothers.
And to a guy named Gregg, who doesn’t come in with a glittering international resume, but knows tactics better than the footballers on Twitter who try to take the armchair in midfield. And who understands the Americans, understands the players, and understands how to get the best out of these young men.
He will challenge them, in these waning hours, before fate awaits. He would tell them the importance of opportunity, trying to make them feel like lions without losing his cool.
Now is your time, he will tell Pulisic, get up from your hospital bed to show your mettle. That was also the focus of Adams’ attention, the football world beginning to appreciate his overall charm off the pitch and his steel on the pitch. It was a moment for everyone.
A moment for you, Matt Turnerto redirect your inner Tim Howard and rush into the rescue of the nation’s goalkeeper, if that’s how things go.
It’s your chance to be a hero. The opportunity to write their own story. An opportunity to change everything.
An opportunity to create the future of American football… now.
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Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. You can subscribe to the daily newsletter here.
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