Next World Cup match for the U.S. is a must-win
What we're watching: The U.S. needs a win against Iran on Tuesday to reach the knock-out round of the World Cup tournament. Iran can sneak through with a draw if Wales doesn't defeat England in their next affair, per the New York Times.
The big picture: England is the favorite to win Group B — which also includes the U.S., Wales, and Iran — and advance to the knock-out round of the tournament.
- The U.S. strong showing isn't the first surprise of the tournament.
- If England comes out on top in Group B, the U.S. will aim to secure Group B's second spot, which will also advance to the elimination stage. A win against Iran will get them there.
- The U.S. can still win the group if the Americans defeat Iran and see either an England loss against Wales, according to CBS Sports. If England draws Wales, then the U.S. can win the group by beating Iran by four or more goals due to goal differential.
- The U.S. will not advance with a draw or loss.
- The 2022 World Cup is the U.S. men's team's first appearance in eight years, after they failed to qualify for the 2018 tournament.
State of play: England beat Iran 6-2 earlier this week, while the U.S. tied 1-1 against Wales in both of the teams' World Cup openers.
- Friday's game is the biggest test yet of the team's "golden generation" of players, which may be the most talented squad in U.S. history, Axios' Kendall Baker and Thomas Oide report.
What they're saying: "It’s obviously a huge opportunity to fast-track the impact that we can have," captain Tyler Adams said, per ESPN.
- "These are the games where [it's a] high-pressure, privileged moment to step on the field against some of these guys."
- "We respect them, probably mutual respect between both teams, and when you get a result in a game like this, people start to respect Americans a little bit more," he said.
What's next: The U.S. will play Iran on Tuesday while England's team faces Wales the same day.
- Go deeper: The World Cup of controversy