Judgment day has arrived. The Fourth of July is still three days away, but you’re going to see more red, white and blue than you can handle today, as the United States Men’s National Team faces off against Belgium in a do-or-die match in the World Cup Round of 16. If you can’t make it to the bar for the biggest moment in U.S. history in decades (maybe you’re in an office like us?), don’t worry, you can watch the game below!
The United States Men’s National Team limped into the World Cup Round of 16 in one of the least convincing ways possible — a demoralizing draw, and a shutout loss — but excitement and support for the red, white and blue has never been stronger. As a result, the USMNT’s match against Belgium on July 1 feels like the biggest moment in U.S. sports since the Miracle on Ice. What I’m trying to say is, this is a game you can’t miss a second of. And you don’t have to, thanks to the live stream below.
World Cup Live Stream: Watch USA Vs. Belgium Online
The biggest question heading into the U.S. tilt against Belgium is Jozy Altidore — will he play? The hulking striker strained his left hamstring just over 20 minutes into Team USA’s opening match against Ghana and he’s been absent from the pitch ever since. And it’s safe to say he’s been missed. Without Jozy to change the pace of play and control possession in opposing teams’ ends, the United States only managed three goals in two-plus games.
But the heavens may have opened up. A day before the game on June 30, U.S. Soccer tweeted out some good news:
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 30, 2014
Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann also asserted that Jozy’s fitness had improved. “We don’t know how much [Altidore will play] because we didn’t see how things were going, but he’s available. And this is what we wanted. This is what we hoped for,” he told reporters. “The medical staff has been working with Jozy and they have done a tremendous job, day and night. Just having him with us tomorrow is huge. But as for how many minutes, we’ll see that during the game.”
It’s still unconfirmed if/how Jozy will be used in the match against Belgium. With his health still somewhat in question, most experts think he’ll be held out of the starting lineup and used a super-sub later in the game.
Team Belgium: Can The USMNT Stop Them?
But however much the U.S. can get out of Jozy, they’ll need it — the Belgians are no joke. This team’s talent is peaking just at the right moment, so even though they aren’t a perennial superpower the way Germany and France are, they may be just as strong this year.
So far they haven’t looked great, but they’ve time and time been just good enough to win. They dominated group play, winning all of their games against Algeria, Russia and South Korea. All three games were decided by just one goal though, with Belgium taking their leads late into play. So has Team Belgium gotten lucky, or are they just amazing at perfectly picking their spots?
You can find out today, July 1, by tuning into the live stream below at 4 p.m. Don’t stop believing. (Note: to watch ESPN’s live stream of the World Cup you must have a cable subscription.)
— Andrew Gruttadaro