USA vs. Belgium: A World Cup viewing guide

The U.S. soccer team squares off Tuesday in the World Cup against Belgium in a Round of 16 match. If the USA wins, they will advance to the quarterfinals.

The last, and only, time the U.S. team ever won a Round of 16 match was in 2002. That year marked the furthest the U.S. team had advanced since it made the semifinals in 1930.

USA TODAY Network offers this viewing guide to fans who may not closely follow the English Premier League or Major League Soccer, but who are ready to root on the USA.

Game time

The USA vs. Belgium game starts at 4 p.m. ET in Salvador, Brazil, and can be seen on ESPN and To follow all the action from Tuesday's matches — Argentina and Switzerland also play — and throughout the World Cup, check out full coverage from USA TODAY Sports.

Viewing parties are being held in cities across the nation. The game will be watched by millions in living rooms, bars and even larger venues like AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Texas.

How the USA can win the game

The U.S. team will have to be "attack-minded," and look to score early, according to one USA TODAY expert.

Belgium has tended to score its goals late in World Cup games, leaving little time for their opponents to come back.

"If the U.S. is going to beat Belgium, it's going to have to throw a punch or two," according to a USA TODAY preview of the match. The U.S. has played strong defense this World Cup and in years past, but the difference this year could be the team's offense.

Unlike in group play there will be a winner in today's game. If the game is tied at 90 minutes, there will be 30 minutes of overtime and then a round of penalty kicks until the tie is broken.

Other news of note

• In their last 16 games against European opponents, the USA has given up at least one goal.

• Belgium advanced out of the group stage in six of their seven World Cup appearances.

• Belgium and USA have played each other only once before at the World Cup. It was in 1930, in what was the first World Cup game either country ever played.

Players to watch

The lineups for both teams will be revealed about 90 minutes before the match. There are some injured players on both sides, so check back for updates.

USA: Striker Jozy Altidore strained his hamstring in the opener against Ghana and hasn't played since. He's expected to be back in the game against Belgium. Since 2007, Altidore has scored 23 goals in 74 matches for the U.S. national team.

USA: Tim Howard is considered one of the best goalies in the world. Belgium's offense has come primarily at the end of games so Howard will be on the spot if the game is close in the final minutes.

Belgium: Midfielder Eden Hazard's coach, Marc Wilmots, has said Hazard can be one of the best five players in the world. "He has the potential," Wilmots said.

Belgium: Vincent Kompany is a key player on Belgium's defense, but it's unclear if he'll play in today's game due to a groin injury.

Tracking the action on Twitter

Hashtags to follow: The official World Cup ones are #worldcup and #Brazil2014. The U.S. Men's National Team is #USMNT.

Tweet #USA or #BEL to create "hashflags" for each country.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment