Tomorrow the United States Men’s Soccer Team will play its first match in the knockout rounds of the World Cup. This is the first time the U.S. has ever made it to the knockout rounds in back-to-back World Cups. Although we were defeated four years ago in our quarterfinal match, there are several reasons why the U.S. has a decent chance of winning tomorrow in Brazil.
1. Jozy Altidore is back
The 24-year-old from Livingston, New Jersey is one of the United States’ star players. He was absent from the U.S.’s draw against Portugal on June 22, and our loss against Germany on June 26. Altidore’s last game with the U.S. was our win over Ghana on June 16. The star forward injured his hamstring during play, and was removed from the game.
Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann says that Altidore will be available to play tomorrow against Belgium, although he will not be on the starting lineup. Says Klinsmann, “Just having him with us tomorrow is huge.”
2. Belgium is diminished
Although a historically strong team, this is the first time Belgium has qualified for the World Cup in 12 years. That’s a significant amount of time where, although a good team, Belgium was not good enough to achieve World Cup status. The U.S. has qualified for every World Cup since 1990.
3. This video
Seriously, how can you not be hyped after watching this?
4. The U.S. had tougher opponents and survived
The U.S.’s opponents were among the highest-rated in the world. Prior to the World Cup’s start, FIFA ranked all teams. Germany was #2 and Portugal was #4, although Ghana was #37. The U.S. was ranked #13.
Belgium, ranked at #11, defeated Algeria (#22), Russia (#19) and South Korea (#57). Belgium is a good team, but the U.S. has faced significantly better opponents to earn this match.
5. We have more hashtags
We’re sure that Belgium is feeling pretty confident about their chances, but are they #OneNationOneTeam? They might make good waffles, but do they ask their fans, #AreYouReady? Some people like to sleep in on the weekends, but the #USMNT said #SeeYouSunday. It didn’t work out so well when we told Germany #LetsDoThis, but you have to admire our pluck.
You can bet your life that in the land of Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, the Mighty Ducks and Joseph-Gordon Levitt’s “Angels in the Outfield,” lots of Americans said #IBelieve.
What does Belgium have? #PassTheSyrup? That’s what we thought.
In conclusion: Tuesday. 4 p.m. Be there.