After a disappointing 1-1 draw against Wales, this World Cup won’t get any easier for the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT).
A promising first-half performance and a fine goal from Timothy Weah were canceled out by Gareth Bale’s late penalty on Monday as the young USMNT were denied a win in their campaign opener in Qatar.
Next is England who defeated Iran 6-2 earlier this week.
But win or draw against England and USA coach Greg Berhalter knows that a place in the next round could be within his team’s reach with a game against Iran.
It will be the biggest test the USMNT’s so-called “Golden Generation” has faced under Berhalter and will likely be an era-defining game for a team that struggled for form throughout the qualifiers.
We know how good England will be. But again, we think we’ll play well against them,” USA captain Tyler Adams said earlier this week, according to ESPN.
We have a sports team. We think we are really dominant on the ball at times. you saw [against Wales] “With our counter-press and how we can create a lot of transition moments.”
The game will be held on Friday at 14:00 Eastern time at Al-Bait Stadium in Al-Khor city.
You have to go all the way back to 2002 for the last time the USMNT beat European opposition at the World Cup, although they did draw 1-1 against England in South Africa in 2010.
Otherwise, the results have been in England’s favor and they have won 8 of the 11 meetings between the sides and another win would guarantee the 1966 World Cup winners progress to the knockout stage.
The good news for manager Gareth Southgate is that captain Harry Kane is fit to play after undergoing a scan on his ankle earlier this week, while Berhalter may look to 20-year-old Giovani Reina to sharpen his side’s attack.
Reina was an unused substitute against Wales and said his fitness was “really good” having been hampered by injury in recent months.
Wales and Iran face each other in Group B at Ahmed Ben Ali Stadium on Friday.
Despite being next to each other in the FIFA rankings, Rob Page’s team will be confident of victory after Iran’s defensive weaknesses were exposed on Monday. For both teams, this feels like a must-win game to qualify for the playoffs.
Hosts Qatar are back on the field on Friday against Senegal, two countries that both suffered defeats in their opening matches. Qatar lost 2-0 to Ecuador and Senegal lost to the Netherlands by the same score.
These two winning teams are looking to make it two wins out of two when they meet at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Wales – Iran – 5 am EST
Qatar and Senegal – 8am ET
Netherlands – Ecuador – 11am ET
England vs USA – 14:00 EST
United States: Fox Sports
UK: BBC or ITV
Germany: ARD, ZDF, Deutsche Telekom
Canada: Bell Media
South Africa: SABC