SE+ perspective blog on USA vs Netherlands by Mason Kasimov. Mason is a senior at Providence Day School and Goalkeeper for Charlotte Independence SC.
On Sunday, the USA and the Netherlands will be battling in the round of 16—winner moves on to the quarterfinals, and the loser goes home. So far, America has tied against Wales, tied against England, and beaten Iran. A win now against a top-ranked team will really help the US make its mark in the soccer world. But while the US clearly has talent, the team also has a lot of flaws they need to overcome for this World Cup.
First, the US needs to calm down! When the US gets possession, they immediately want to just advance the ball. If instead they make some smart passes and tire the Netherlands out, the US will have a better chance to score.
Second, the US needs to take more shots. Easier said than done, but they need to be selfish around the 18 and work the Netherlands’ keeper. The more shots a team has, the better chance they have to score. And if the US can take their chances and make the Netherlands a little worried, it could be such a game changer.
Third, the US needs to make something happen with each set piece they’re rewarded. Take every free kick and corner slowly, and take the time to come up with a smart way to get a scoring chance. Even for offsides, they should take their time and look at their options. The US can’t let the Netherlands have all the set pieces.
Fourth, the US can’t be making silly fouls anymore. The US has been making dumb tackles when they don’t need to—like slide-tackling someone who is facing away from their goal, thus giving the opponent a free kick. The US needs to just stand the guy up and make it harder to turn. Then they’ll get a chance to win the ball if they just play smart defense.
If the US can just fix these flaws, I think they could give themselves a better chance against the Netherlands.
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