Team USA gears up for do-or-die match

RIO DE JANEIRO - With its victory over Chile on Saturday, Brazil advances to the World Cup quarterfinals.

Team USA gets its chance to do the same thing next Tuesday.

The U.S. men's soccer team practiced at its World Cup base in Sao Paulo preparing for "knockout play" Tuesday against Belgium.

This marks the first time ever that U.S. soccer has made it to the round of 16 in consecutive world cups.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann says it's an important step on the path to American soccer excellence.

"This is now what we need, we want to have those benchmarks," Klinsmann. "We want to be one day in the top 10, top 12 in the world so if you want to be there one day, this is now the moment to prove it, this is now the moment to show it."

worldcupteamusapractice.jpg
The U.S. coach says this is the moment for the team to prove itself

They'll need to do so against a young, fast and aggressive Belgian squad that is one of just four teams to have won all three of its group games.

But the Americans could get a big boost if striker Jozy Altidore can return from his strained hamstring. Altidore was seen jogging easily at practice this weekend.

Players like goalkeeper Tim Howard, well, they "believe."

worldcupgoalkeeper.jpg
Goalkeeper Tim Howard says the team is strong and fast

"We feel like we're strong and we're fast and we control the ball well, so it's going to be a hard-fought game," he said.

American fans, in the peculiar position of celebrating last Thursday's loss, remain bullish on Team USA's chances.

worldcupusafans.jpg
Team USA fans are excited about their team's chances

"I'm about to change my flights," said one fan. "We're about to make it happen. USA all day."

Klinsmann, in a clear act of gamesmanship, told his players to book their return tickets for after July 13, date of this year's World Cup final.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.

Comments

Follow Us

On Twitter