The United States has one clear goal for Tuesday’s game against Iran – to win.
The Americans must do more than channel Al Davis to “just win” as doing otherwise would result in World Cup elimination. The US is hoping to avoid embarrassment against a country better known as a rival on the geopolitical spectrum than on the football field.
The USA have scored just one goal in this tournament – against Wales in a 1-1 draw. The US drew level with England on Friday, which tuned in to millions of people on FOX.
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Iran are looking to drop out of the group stage for the first time in their history. The team had four points at the 2018 World Cup but did not make it to the round of 16. At least a draw against USA will help their case tremendously.
Read everything you need to know about the game below.
How to watch USA vs Iran?
USA vs. Iran kicks off Tuesday at 2pm ET. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on FOX. Fans can tune in Check out the game here.
Who plays for the US team?
The list includes: GK Ethan Horvath, GK Sean Johnson, GK Matt Turner, MF Brenden Aaronson, MF Kellyn Acosta, MF Tyler Adams, MF Luca de la Torre, MF Yunus Musah, MF Cristian Roldan, D Cameron Carter-Vickers, D Sergino Dest, D Aaron Long, D Shaq Moore, D Tim Ream, D Antonee Robinson, D Joe Scally, D DeAndre Yedlin, D Walker Zimmerman, F Jesus Ferreira, F Jordan Morris, F Christian Pulisic, F Gio Reyna, F Josh Sargent, F Tim Weah, and F Haji Wright.
Who plays for Iran?
The squad includes: GK Alireza Beiranvand, GK Amir Abedzadeh, GK Hossein Hosseini, GK Payam Niazmand, MF Ahmad Noorollahi, MF Saman Ghoddos, MF Vahid Amiri, MF Saeid Ezatolahi. MF Alireza Jahanbakhsh, MF Lehdi Torabi, MF Ali Gholizadeh, MF Ali Karimi, D Ehsan Hajsafi, D Morteza Pouraliganji, D Ramin REzaeian, D Milad Mohammadi, D Hossein Kanani, D Shojae Khalilzadeh, D Sadegh Mharrami, D Rouzbeh Cheshmi, D Majid Hosseini, D. Abolfazl Jalali, F. Karim Ansarifard, F. Sardar Azmoun, and F. Mehdi Taremi.
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Why are tensions so high?
The Iranian government at home is grappling with mass protests while their national team have offered support to the protesters ahead of their first World Cup match against England. The United States also infuriated Iran over the weekend when the US Football Association briefly removed the Islamic Republic emblem from its flag in support of the protesters.
Iran asked FIFA to ban the USA from the World Cup because of this. US coach Gregg Berhalter apologized on behalf of the association for the dismissal.
“We had no idea what US Soccer was delivering,” said Berhalter. “All we can do on our behalf is apologize on behalf of the players and staff.”
How is it going in the US?
The US must beat Iran to advance to the knockout stages. Iran has already beaten Wales and England against Iran which hurts the US at the end of the day. The USA have two points in the group stage. A draw would also eliminate the Americans.
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History USA vs. Iran
Iran famously defeated the United States in a World Cup match in France in 1998, eliminating the Americans from the tournament. It is the only game the two teams have ever played against each other.
“I just remember this game. It burns in my head,” said Berhalter on Monday. “What I saw from kick-off is a team that really wanted to win the game and a team that didn’t really want to win the game.”