USMNT’s World Cup message: We’re not done yet

DOHA, Qatar — Less than an hour after the final whistle in the United States’ victory over Iran on Tuesday night, there was a united voice.

As valuable as the 1-0 progress to the last 16 was, it was evident even as the players stood in a sweat at the Al Thumama Stadium.

We’re not done yet.

Highlights of Iran and the United States

Highlights of Iran and the United States

It was a defining night for the head coach, but it best summed up Gregg Berhalter’s state of mind as he prepares for Saturday’s round of 16 clash against the Netherlands. business end.

“It’s a great opportunity, but it’s not something we consider an honor,” Berhalter told me. “We have to be in the position we are in and we want to continue. We don’t want to be at home on Wednesday. How can we recover from this game and prepare to play against a very well-coached Dutch team? Tons of quality?

“We have to figure out how to beat them.”

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The Americans were opposed here, both on and off the field. American teams made it this far in 2010 and 2014, but stumbled in the round of 16, losing to Ghana and Belgium, respectively.

The group celebrated the win and even Facetimed injured captain Christian Pulisic from the hospital bed, but it wasn’t a giant party. And there isn’t, at least not yet. Don’t forget that the Netherlands are ranked eighth in the world and have reached the finals of the World Cup three times.

“It’s Us Against The World”

Tim Weah discusses the USMNT’s mindset for advancing to the Round of 16.

The spirit was evident in captain Tyler Adams’ expressions as he delivered another impressive performance in the midfield. Defender Tim Rham’s stolid appearance is a combination of pride, determination, determination and anticipation all at once.

The last time the United States reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup, they are one game short of surpassing the 2002 feat, inspired by the youth of Yunus Musa.

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“You’re going to suffer a lot in these games,” Adams said. “That’s part of the game. I’m proud of our boys tonight, we battled and competed.

“Now it’s a big opportunity for us. I think it will be a great game against Holland. The Netherlands could be another favorite to win the World Cup. We have to be ready. We’re enjoying the moment. But if the coaches have a game plan, it’s time to implement it. done.”

The United States will be sweating on the fitness of Pulisic, who scored the only goal in the 38th minute, but according to Adams, the star forward “will do anything for this team if it means he can be there.” .”

In 2002, Landon Donovan led his team to a victory over Mexico and a quarter-final against Germany.

“We like brothers and pressure”

Weston McKenney speaks after the US beat Iran.

“We have a chance,” said Rem. “If we can do it, great. We’ll do everything we can to get through.”

For Musa, the contagious spirit of this US group proved to be upbeat. He even joked to English reporters (England beat Wales 3-0) that he was looking forward to meeting the country he had lived with for so many years in the final.

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Or maybe he played.

“We have to be proud of ourselves to be able to achieve this in such a tight group,” he said. “I feel like we’re a team that wants to go all the way, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

So here we are. The American team achieved its first and primary goal. One who overcame adversity. And now a team that is not afraid of anyone, not even the best in the world.

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Martin Rogers is a FOX Sports columnist and author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. You can subscribe to the daily newspaper here.

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