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A win against Iran will be so massive for US Soccer's future. It'll be huge for the growth of the game in America but, most importantly, an enormous confidence booster for this young American side. I don't care who you play; winning a must-win World Cup match is extremely difficult. If this team can pull it off today, it will set us up for the future in a big way. We don't even need to win in the round of 16 (if we make it); just making it there and this team proving they can win a high-pressure World Cup match will give this team confidence needed going forward. Big Cat is right.
Another reason this match is essential is that Berhalter is coaching for his job in this match. If the US loses/draws to Iran, he should be fired on the spot. There is no excuse for this USMNT not to make it out of this group. We were given a gift with a reasonably easy group, and we had to capitalize on it. Which is ironic; what we've struggled with the most is capitalizing on our chances. That also leads to me what I wanted to mention.
This is how we should line up against Iran. We will have to play aggressively; clearly, Haji Wright isn't the answer. Our best front three are Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, and Tim Weah. I highly doubt we will actually see this today, but this is the right lineup.
There are some good and bad things about Gregg Berhalter. Let's run through the good; he's got us to a World Cup and in a decent position to make it to the round of 16. With our talent in CONCACAF, that's not saying much, but Bruce Arena couldn't do it four years ago, so he deserves credit. You have to give him this; this team has looked sharp and is not afraid of anybody. With that being said, you have to score goals.
What makes a coach great? Putting the players he has in the best possible situation to succeed and be able to adapt. He wants players to play "his system," but the players he is given on the US roster don't fit his "system." I know this all sounds simple, and it's obviously a lot easier said than done, but it is still a fair criticism. For you non-soccer people, let me put this in football terms. It's like the Bears at the beginning of this season. At first, they continually forced Justin Fields to drop back and pass with terrible receivers and a bottom-tier offensive line. Then, eventually, they finally realized they needed to change the offense to fit his best skill set, which is running. Since then, the Bears' offense has changed dramatically, and Fields is now looked at in a completely different light. Now If the US wins today (and I don't care how they do it), I will be signing Berhalter's praises. That's just how it goes. You have to win when it matters most.
Look, can we stop with this crap? Props to Tyler Adams for a great response, but can we talk soccer in a soccer press conference? The reporters should ask Berhalter why he won't play one of his most talented players in Gio Reyna instead of getting lectured for mispronouncing Iran.
There are no excuses if the US cannot beat Iran. Let's go in there and win this game 3-0 and get to the knockout stages. Since you made it this far, here are some picks for you. Disclaimer: I have been so terrible in this World Cup that I can't get a read on anything yet. But it also means I'm beyond due for a great day.