The USA continue their World Cup campaign against Belgium today, and you can stream it live online and on radio.
This highly anticipated match will prove if the USA have got what it takes to continue what has already been an impressive performance in this tournament.
On paper Belgium are the favorites here, having won 4 out of 5 of the two teams last matches. What that statistic does not reflect however is the real groundswell of belief building behind this US team.
Most pundits had condemned the US to never making it out of Group G, the so-called “Group of Death”. With the group stages now behind them and their critics silenced, it really does seem like the sky could be the limit.
The strength of the US squad lies not in raw talent, but in its speed and attitude. Clint Dempsey provided a good example of that when he scored after just 30 seconds against Ghana, but it’s a trait that runs deeper through the whole squad.
When the American team faced Germany in their last group match, we saw time and again how their fast paced counter attacking drew the Germans out and exploited the gaps created.
Belgium on the other hand have been playing a much more reserved game. Doing just enough to get the win in each of its matches, it’s not a team that has been taking chances or making waves.
That stability could prove to be either it’s savior or it’s undoing. If the Belgians maintain a strong backline and midfield then the US will struggle to make an impact, but should any cracks open up they will be ruthlessly exploited.
The World Cup so far has had plenty of drama, but a shortage of upsets. Chile, Algeria and Mexico all looked to be about to beat the odds in these knock-out stages, only to be cruelly denied late in the game.
I think that the US could be the team to break the trend. Their unpredictable attacking style and team spirit could well see them through to the quarterfinals, and I think Belgium will struggle to contain them.
There were fears that the US may have lost some striking firepower in the form of Jozy Altidore, but the striker has been confirmed fit to play after recovering from an earlier injury.
My full time prediction for the match is that the USA’s momentum will carry them through, and we’ll see a 2-1 win for the American squad. Don’t expect an easy ride though – this one will go down to the final whistle!
Do you think the US can make it through this round? How far can they go in this tournament?
Join the discussion below and let us know what you think!