The United States can make some history today. A win over Belgium would send the US into the quarterfinals of the World Cup for only the second time ever in the current World Cup tournament structure. The last time it happened was 12 years ago. The farthest the USA ever got in a World Cup is the semifinals in 1930. That was the very first World Cup, and it only included 13 teams. The USA defeated Belgium in the first round of that tournament, 3-0.
ESPN is cranking up the hype machine for today’s match with this gritty video. Take a look.
Team news for today — the USA may have striker Jozy Altidore available from his opening match hamstring injury, while the Belgians may be without both of their center backs, Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany and Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen. If all of that comes to pass, the USA have a very good shot. The USA have decent shot anyway. The Belgians have a great collection of individual players, but the US have played as a strong team so far.
Texan Clint Dempsey, broken nose and all, leads the Yanks as captain.