World Cup 2022: USMNT assured forward of England tilt, regardless of Wales letdown

AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Requested a direct query, Christian Pulisic gave a direct reply.

“Absolutely,” stated the USA’ star winger, when quizzed whether or not, regardless of the crushing disappointment of surrendering a late result in tie 1-1 with Wales, the People might discover a solution to beat closely favored England of their subsequent sport Friday (2 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports activities App).

Wait, did I say crushing disappointment? 

A setback is simply crushing for those who enable it to crush you, and there have been exactly zero vibes like that from coach Gregg Berhalter’s gamers as they addressed what had simply occurred to kick off their Group B marketing campaign.

As a substitute of being cowed by the fact that they have been inside eight minutes of creating a dream begin to the competitors and giving themselves a foot within the knockout stage, the younger, inexperienced, however fiercely united USA collective spoke with the intention of a staff that doesn’t see why it ought to be afraid of European Championships runner-up England.

“I think we have a good enough team to make it out of this group,” Pulisic added. “England is our next test, and we are going to go in and be aggressive and try to win the game. I want to win. I’m very competitive. I love this team so much. I am honored to play in the World Cup for my country so the least I can do is give it everything I have.”

Spoken like a winner. Not the phrases, usually, of somebody who has simply seen their World Cup debut finish with a late sucker punch. There was no athlete-speak about Pulisic’s reply, only a frank evaluation of the place he feels the staff’s confidence stage stands.

The blow Monday got here after Wales had been dominated all through the primary half and Tim Weah had put the USA forward, earlier than Gareth Bale’s 82nd-minute penalty ensured the factors have been break up.

To deal with a painful end result and immediately vow to return again firing instantly exhibits each character and braveness. Who is aware of whether or not the People could cause an upset in opposition to an England squad that clattered Iran 6-2, and even come away with one other treasured level.

What was extra necessary was that not more than an hour after the ultimate whistle, they have been mentally able to throw themselves again into the fray. That’s the mark of a staff that believes in what it’s doing, to not point out Berhalter will need to have hit the best notes in his postgame debrief.

If the idea of talking issues into existence is as actual as its disciples proclaim, you received’t need to miss Friday’s motion from Al Bayt Stadium to the north of Doha.

“Look at the country that we’re representing,” Weah informed me, clutching at his shirt simply above the center, as a result of that’s the place the crest is. “Our motto is definitely, ‘Bravery, relentlessness and fighting for our country.’ That’s what we have to do. We have a lot of people counting on us back home.”

“We have to keep our heads held high”

"We have to keep our heads held high"

Tyler Adams talks concerning the U.S. surrendering a late lead to attract with Wales within the World Cup opener.

The scheduling of matches in World Cup teams is a much bigger issue than most give credit score to. In case you have been to place his ft to the hearth, Berhalter would in all probability concede that he’d have slightly been matched with Iran in Recreation 2 and England to complete off the group stage.

But possibly the same old guidelines don’t apply with regards to a squad filled with American World Cup rookies who don’t appear to know the which means of the phrase “fear.” Or, in the event that they do, don’t know the way to play prefer it.

They know of England’s status, they know what the anticipated result’s. They know that thousands and thousands of soccer followers world wide suppose they’ll be three factors behind Wales as soon as the subsequent sequence of matches have been accomplished Friday evening.

They simply don’t agree.

“I wouldn’t be in this business if I didn’t think I could beat whoever I’m on the pitch against,” goalkeeper Matt Turner stated. “Obviously, England is a great team. They scored a lot of goals today, and they’ve had tremendous success at international tournaments. So they have a lot of quality and it’s going to take a great effort, but I can’t sit here and say we have no chance — otherwise why am I playing?”

With numerous gamers performing within the English Premier League or the second-tier Championship, England’s fashion of play — even with the midfield brilliance of teenage sensation Jude Bellingham and the forceful depth of striker Harry Kane — will at the very least carry a sense of familiarity about it.

Former USMNT participant Sacha Kljestan vital of second-half effort

Former USMNT player Sacha Kljestan critical of second-half effort

The “FIFA World Cup Now” crew recaps the USMNT’s opening draw in opposition to Wales. Former United States participant Sacha Kljestan says the match was a story of two halves.

“I think we match up well against them,” USA captain Tyler Adams stated. “Football is a game of inches, and it comes down to minimal mistakes or minimal details. We’re obviously going to trust in our game plan, and we trust in the coach’s ability to set us up well. They have variables as well, so at the end of the day it comes down to certain moments of the game.”

Even the participant with maybe probably the most cause for a dark disposition couldn’t have been additional away from one. Walker Zimmerman’s problem was known as for the foul on Bale that led to the equalizing penalty kick, however you wouldn’t have recognized it as he stopped his stroll via the bowels of Ahman bin Ali Stadium on the way in which to the staff bus.

“We are focused on (England),” Zimmerman stated. “We have already moved past this one. We know a result would be huge to get in the second game. We are going into every single game to win. That’s no different with the England game. We want to get three points to go a long way toward getting out of the group, and we know the moments are important.”

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Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports activities and the writer of the FOX Sports activities Insider publication. Observe him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the every day publication.

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