Greg Berhalter knows a lot about Dutch football. He turned professional there 28 years ago.
He will look to carry on the lessons learned there when he leads the United States against the Orange on Saturday for a place in the World Cup quarterfinals in Qatar.
The Americans haven’t reached the quarterfinals since Korea and Japan in 2002. They lost in the round of 16, lost to Ghana in 2010 and Belgium in 2014 after extra time, and failed to qualify for Russia.
“We deserve to be where we are, and we want to keep moving forward,” Berhalter said. “For us, it’s about how we recover from this game and prepare to play against a very good Dutch team, very well trained, with a lot of quality on the pitch, and we need to be proud of that.” Gotta figure out how to beat them.”
The United States has previously played friendly matches with the Netherlands five times. They lost at home in 1998 and in Amsterdam in 2004 and 2010. The United States won 4–3 at the Amsterdam Arena in 2015.
Berhalter isn’t the only one on the US roster with experience in the Netherlands. Right back Sergino Dest grew up in the country. Born to a Dutch mother and an American father, he sided with Ajax and chose the American team.
He said, ‘It will be fun to play against the country where I was born.’ “I know almost everyone who is there.”
The United States began their campaign in Qatar with draws against Wales and England, and a 1–0 win over Iran thanks to a goal from Christian Pulisic, who hurt his pelvis after colliding with the goalkeeper. Hopefully he will be able to play on Saturday.
The Netherlands lost the final in 1974, 1978 and 2010, failing to qualify for Russia in 2018. They opened the tournament by defeating Senegal 2–0, drawing Ecuador 1–1, and finishing first in Group A after beating the hosts 2–0. ,
Louis van Gaal, who at 71 is the tournament’s longest-serving coach, sits on the Oranje bench for the third time. In the last one, in 2014, they finished third in Brazil.
“If you say, okay, reaching the round of 16 is enough or the quarter-finals is enough, then that’s not the right way,” he said. “The right way to do things is to think that you will become the champion, the world champion.”
The Netherlands are on an 18-game unbeaten streak since losing to the Czech Republic in the last Euro Cup’s round of 16.
Midfielder Frankie de Jong said, “We have an excellent team and we have shown it on more than one occasion.”