A player can only dream of being on the pitch against the best of the best and winning a major tournament for his country, but that’s exactly what is on offer for the United States in the 2022 World Cup.
The Americans will face off against Portugal on Tuesday (10pm ET, Fox Sports 1, UniMas) for a place at the tournament’s knockout stages, and as the only team in the group with a winning record in its previous four games, they should be able to pull it off.
The US has only lost three matches in a row in Group D, and after a 1-0 loss against Germany last month, they have taken three points from their last five matches.
They have scored five goals in the process, including two goals in a 2-0 win against Colombia on Monday, and will look to continue the momentum with a victory over Portugal in the next round.
In the last meeting, the US won 2-1 on aggregate, but a brace from Clint Dempsey sealed the win, as the American midfielder set up a goal by Clint Dempsey and was also on the scoresheet in a 4-0 victory over Colombia on Saturday.
The final is in the middle of April and is considered one of the most important matches in the tournament.
“I think it’s the most difficult game of the tournament, I think it will be the most exciting,” said Geoff Cameron, a former captain for the USA and England who is now coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
“We’ve got to be at our best, we’ve got a very good team, and we’ve been playing really well, but we’ve had some really difficult moments in the last two games and we need to get over that hump and win that game.”
But it’s not all about just one or two things.
“The US are ranked 17th in the world, but their chances of reaching the knockout stages have been slim.
They have lost six of their last eight matches in Group A, including a 1 1-1 draw against Germany in the opening game of their group.
It’s a good group. “
We know we’ve just got to get a few more points in these last couple of games and then hopefully we’ll be there,” Cameron said.
“It’s a good group.
We know Portugal are very good.
It’s a great group.
I think we’re going to come through.”
The last time the US faced Portugal in a World Cup was in 2002, and they lost 3-1 in the second leg.
It’s the second time in a month that the Americans will be forced to play in a group game against a weaker opponent.
They face Portugal on Sunday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and then host Ecuador on June 22.