The United States has one clear objective for their match against Iran on Tuesday — win.
The Americans are going to have to do more than channel Al Davis to “just win” as anything other than that will result in elimination from the World Cup. The U.S. is hoping to avoid embarrassment against a country more known to be the rival on the geopolitical spectrum than the soccer field.
The U.S. has only scored one goal in the tournament — that coming against Wales in a 1-1 draw. The U.S. tied with England on Friday, which millions of people tuned into FOX for.
Iran is looking to get out of the group stage for the first time in their history. The team had four points in the 2018 World Cup but couldn’t get to the knockout round. A draw, at the very least, with the U.S. will help their case tremendously.
Read below for everything else you need to know about the match.
How can you watch USA vs. Iran?
USA vs. Iran will kick off at 2 p.m. ET Tuesday. The coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on FOX. Fans can tune in to watch the match here.
Who plays for the U.S. team?
The roster 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 roster 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 back home is dealing with mass protests while their national team offered support to the protesters before their first match of the World Cup against England. The United States also roiled Iran over the weekend when the U.S. Soccer Federation briefly scrubbed the Islamic Republic emblem from its flag to support the protesters.
Iran called on FIFA to suspend the U.S. from the World Cup over it. U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter apologized for the removal on behalf of the federation.
“We had no idea about what U.S. Soccer put out,” Berhalter said. “All we can do on our behalf is apologize on behalf of the players and the staff.”
How does the U.S. move on?
The U.S. needs to beat Iran to get to the knockout stage. Iran already beat Wales and England beat Iran, which hurts the U.S. at the end of the day. The U.S. has two points in the group stage. A draw would eliminate the Americans as well.
U.S. vs. Iran history
Iran famously beat the U.S. in a 1998 World Cup match in France that eliminated the Americans from the tournament. It’s the only match the two squads have ever played against each other.
“That game just sticks in my mind. It burns in my mind,” Berhalter said Monday. “What I saw from the opening whistle is one team that really wanted to win the game and one team that didn’t really want to win the game.”