Opportunity awaits as the USMNT ready for their pivotal Round of 16 clash with Holland at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
While the Dutch have immense historical pedigree they are not the teams of old and despite possessing high-level talent playing in the highest echelons of Europe, have vulnerabilities.
The USA should have no fear as they look to qualify for the final eight for the first time since South Korea 2002.
Here, Dailymail.com takes a look at how Gregg Berhalter’s men can drive past the Dutch.
The USA are looking to create history and advance to the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup
Holland captain Virgil van Dijk will be a major obstacle for Team USA’s attack to overcome
Silence Cody Gakpo
The equal top scorer at the tournament has pushed himself further into the spotlight, with a move beyond PSV Eindhoven looming following the tournament.
Gakpo has scored three of his nation’s five goals in Qatar, using his head, left foot and right foot to breach the hosts, Ecuador, and Senegal respectively.
As evidenced, he can score any type of goal. So, stopping his influence will be a tall order for the US rearguard.
Though beyond Gakpo, Holland have failed to flatter offensively and with Memphis Depay not quite at full sharpness, the US could keep a clean sheet.
PSV’s star forward is central to Holland’s attacking prowess and has been lethal in front of goal
Cody Gakpo has scored three goals in three World Cup matches vs. Qatar, Senegal & Ecuador
Using youth to their advantage
Last time out against Iran, Gregg Berhalter fielded the youngest team at the tournament, with an average age of 24 years old.
The fearlessness shown by the exuberant, swashbuckling squad against England on Black Friday will be the recipe for success against an experienced and streetwise Holland team.
Louis van Gaal’s side will likely play with a tempo and rhythm. While center-halves Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Ake are as athletic as they come, a swarming US team could cause headaches.
Team USA fielded the youngest team at the tournament, with an average age of 24 years old
20-year-old Yunus Musah has been one of the foremost USA stars at the Qatari tournament
Confidence from previous meeting
The two have only faced off four times in their respective histories, with Holland winning three of four.
However, in the most recent meeting seven years ago, in June 2015, the USA triumphed 4-3 in a spectacle.
Never have the nations met in a competitive match and while only DeAndre Yedlin and Jordan Morris were part of the 2015 victory, the roster can draw strength from a lesser US outfit conquering a strong Oranje side.
For Holland; Memphis Depay and Daley Blind were the only players involved in the defeat at Amsterdam Arena.
Danny Williams (R) celebrates with teammate and current US defender DeAndre Yedlin during the USA’s thrilling 4-3 victory over Holland during a June 2015 friendly at Amsterdam Arena
Former US striker Bobby Wood scored from a Jordan Morris assist to claim the famed victory
It is confirmed; Christian Pulisic will be ready for Holland on Saturday morning after suffering a pelvic contusion during his heroic winning goal vs. Iran.
Pulisic proved he is the man for the big occasion, while he also produced a significant performance vs. England.
His fearsome shot rattling against the bar on Black Friday was only a sign of things to come. Who knows what Holland could be in for.
Christian Pulisic suffered a pelvic contusion hurt after colliding with Iran goalkeeper
The USMNT star has been in a positive mood while in the public spotlight throughout the week
The common flu!
The Holland camp has several players who are feeling less than their best in the lead-up to the all-important game.
Dutch outlet NOS reports that all 26 players were present during the media portion of training on Friday but that ‘flu symptoms’ are affecting some key men, per Louis van Gaal.
‘We are not going to elaborate on that’, he told NOS. ‘But if it goes around in the group, it is worrying.’
‘There are not fifteen or so. In principle, everyone is fit and available.’ According to The Express, Frenkie de Jong is one of the players said to be affected.
A less than healthy Frenkie de Jong would prove an enormous boost to Team USA’s chances