U.S. outclassed, eliminated in 3-1 loss to Netherlands

DOHA, Qatar – The fatal blow that knocked the US men’s national team out of the 2022 World Cup was a 21-pass Dutch masterpiece. Classy and unfriendly, it’s orange from front to back. It hurt American optimism that had swelled in two weeks in Qatar, and ultimately sent the American team running out the door.

It led to the Netherlands 3, US 1 at the Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday, a game in which the USMNT first fell to its current ceiling. It has led to gray shoulders and weak voices, products of the sudden end.

The Americans stood up for the Dutch competition, able to trade jabs with a European heavyweight in what was supposed to be an equal fight. “We were right in the game,” Christian Pulisic said later.

But they missed the moments, the split seconds that separated the haves and the have-nots.

They came back from a two-goal deficit, and pulled one back with 15 minutes remaining. 44,846 fans woke up from their slumber, and Haji Wright’s dreams were rekindled.

But Denzel Dumfries responded a few minutes later. Fighting is not enough. In the end, the Dutch are better.

The Yanks were confident and passionate, and for eight minutes were at their best. Then they were hit while sleeping by the soccer stars. The Netherlands rocked them into a groove, then attacked with talent unlike any the US has seen in this World Cup. Frenkie De Jong played with them. Memphis Depay picked them out in midfield, then punished Tyler Adams and his midfield mates for being late.

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“The three goals came from moments when we were a little sleepy,” Adams admitted.

On the stroke of half time, Daley Blind scored the second, by breaking into the US half defense. And with that, even with 45 minutes to play, the World Cup broadcast ended which gave a lot of hope.

“That’s a crime. Giving up that other goal was a bad move,” said Matt Turner. “There’s no real reason for it. Everything that could have gone wrong in that game.”

The US has had several famous and one glorious times to write a different document. The pingponging ball left Pulisic alone in the penalty area after three minutes.

“I thought I was too late when it happened,” Pulisic said postgame, but he wasn’t. “I always hit,” he said, but Andries Noppert made a good save.

Asked if he wanted more time, Pulisic said: “Of course, man. It hurts.

A goal is there to change the game. A goal changed the game six minutes later. The Dutch turned the ball to one side in their defensive third, then pinged it in and out of midfield, with rhythmic movement and four one-touch passes that weakened Adams and Weston McKennie. Adams lost to Depay, who scored the first goal from open play against the US in all competitions.

But two more to come, with Dumfries the biggest threat on the Dutch right.

And it’s the players themselves who inspire optimism, both now and in the future, who make a big mistake. Their legs must have gone after three herculean group efforts. They must be paralyzed now. Perhaps the Dutch, the fathers of many of the techniques and methods that define modern football, are just a step away.

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“We had as many chances as they did,” argued US midfielder Brenden Aaronson, along with others. support him. “But … the doctor is better than us.”

They, the Dutch, are a poorly trained team who have lost ground under manager Louis van Gaal. They have players who have played or played in the biggest clubs in the world, including the US 21-year-old FC Dallas forward Jesús Ferreira. He seemed overwhelmed by the pitch and height of the opponent, and was replaced by the unused Gio Reyna at half-time.

Defeat, however, did not affect everyone. Maybe it’s because I’m tired. Mostly about a level that the Netherlands has reached, and the US has not.

On paper, he left the USMNT around 2010 and 2014, with one World Cup victory and exit from the Round of 16. The good news is that this has been achieved with the youngest team in the competition. This run has been fueled by progressive football, and a youth development system that has only improved in the ten years since it produced the stars of today.

Those stars, in particular, will be at their peak when the World Cup for men under four comes up four years from now. Pulisic, McKennie and Adams are 27. Tim Weah is 26. Brenden Aaronson and Sergiño Dest are 25. Reyna and Yunus Musah are 23.

But it’s time. Here this time, at the Khalifa, Adams jumped up, then fell to his knees, then fell to an elbow, then on his neck, trapped, defeated.

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As the orange-clad players wrapped their arms around each other and danced in the center circle, zombie-like figures of the US players stretched across the Doha air.

United States' Christian Pulisic reacts after the World Cup Round of 16 win over the Netherlands at Khalifa International Stadium on Dec.  3, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

Christian Pulisic of the United States reacts after the World Cup Round of 16 victory over the Netherlands at Khalifa International Stadium on Dec. 3, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

A few minutes later, in the US locker room, “silence [was] deaf,” Turner said. “Everybody’s upset, everybody’s in a sad mood.”

“I think the future is bright. There’s a ton of youth and a lot to look forward to,” Aaronson said. “But not really thinking about it now.”

They were thinking now, staying strong now. They listened to the “grandfather” of their group, Tim Ream, who told the young 20-somethings: “Treat each training session as if it were [it’s your] After all, every game is like that [it’s your] finally.”

He knows that many of them have world cups to chase. “But for me,” he said, at age 35, “it’s not going to happen.”

So, while he was standing still on the platform, he thought about his journey. Although he was the 26th of 26 players through a post-game interview spot, he was overwhelmed with emotion. He was disappointed, as were the rest.

But also thanks, for the opportunity, and for the group of close babies who fought for it and for each other.

“I tried to tell the guys: You don’t guarantee anything in this game,” he said. “I’ve seen them take that advice in the three weeks we’ve been together. So, yes, I hope they continue to do that. “

Memphis Depay of the Netherlands celebrates with teammates after scoring the team's first goal against the United States in the World Cup Round of 16 match at Khalifa International Stadium on December 03, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.  (By Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Memphis Depay of the Netherlands celebrates with teammates after scoring the team’s first goal against the United States in the World Cup Round of 16 match at Khalifa International Stadium on December 03, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (By Julian Finney/Getty Images)



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