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The US lost their Round of 16 match to the Netherlands 3-1 after their unbeaten Group B run.

The match itself had all the American ingredients from the group stage performances. The US set the tempo for much of the match, controlling possession by pressing, counter-pressing, and moving the ball across the pitch. The key figures in the squad all displayed their unique qualities.

Just like in the group stages, lapses in focus and judgment were punished by a savvy and clinical side in the Dutch. As mentioned in my preview, the Netherlands converted five of their eight shots on goal. Continuing that trend, they showed class in every sector of the match, especially in the final third.

On the flip side, the question marks for America were always surrounding the goals. The team played fluid, fast, and at times electrifying football, but time and again they were missing that piece of class that earns you more matches. Captain Tyler Adams confirmed this in his post match interview.

“We’re moving in the right direction for sure. But we need to keep pushing, because we’re not there yet, but we’re close,” Adams said.

Simply put, the US only scored three goals in four matches, with no player scoring more than one goal. It is difficult to win trophies without a talisman.

Will all this being said, this team put out one of the youngest squads in knockout stage history and managed to hang with some of the more established nations in the world. For the USMNT, there are good things on the horizon.

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May 2024