In honor of this match I’ll break my previous habit of only providing previews for each round and give you what you all have been waiting for; a match-specific preview! I stated in my previous post that the Yanks have a tough day ahead of them, and I still stand by that thought.
However, Belgium has recently been decimated by the injuries of key players like Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany and Anthony Vanden Borre.
Meanwhile, the latest out of the U.S. camp is that Jorgen Klinsmann revealed that Jozy Altidore has a very good chance of coming back for such a crucial game. Needless to say, Altidore’s return could have a huge impact on the outcome of the game.
Belgium’s midfield and defense are severely hurt while the U.S.’s attacking game might be improving very shortly. Even without Altidore, Klinsmann built up a powerful side that could force the match to be decided in a penalty shootout.
At the same time, the Yanks still need to be careful; though the Red Devils are down, they are by no means out. They want to advance as much as the U.S. does, and will fight tooth-and-nail to make it happen.
No matter what happens after the whistle blows, I expect a very close, exciting game that will undoubtedly go down as one of the most important in U.S. soccer history.
Matt’s USA vs. Belgium Preview