Here is a quick rundown of things you might want to look at before today’s game.
» The game is at 4 PM Eastern on ESPN, WatchESPN and Univision.
» Belgium is ranked #11 by FIFA and #14 by Elo, while the US is #13 by FIFA and #13 by Elo.
» Here are the official game notes by US Soccer. As for some random stats/facts:
The US is 1-4-0 all-time against Belgium, although the US is 1-0-0 all-time in World Cup meetings against the Belgians, a 3-0 victory in Montevideo, Uruguay at the 1930 World Cup. The US is 0-2-0 against Belgium under Jurgen Klinsmann.
Belgium won all three of its games during the Group Stage and scored all four of its goals in the last 20 minutes of play.
The US is 3-12-5 all-time against UEFA opponents at the World Cup and is seeking its first World Cup win over a team from Europe since defeating Portugal, 3-2, at the 2002 World Cup.
Jurgen Klinsmann scored a goal against Belgium in Germany’s 3-2 win in the Round of 16 at the 1994 World Cup.
In the event the game heads to penalty kicks, the US is 4-3 all-time in games decided by penalty kicks. The last time they played in a game decided by PKs was in the 2005 Gold Cup Final. The US won 3-1 over Panama with Brad Davis scoring the clinching PK.
» Get your game preview fix from the wonderful minds of the guys over at The Shin Guardian and The Yanks Are Coming.
» The only news coming out from the US camp is that Jozy Altidore is available to play. I don’t think he will play or if he does, it will only be at the end of the game as a sub. I am no doctor (nor do I read WebMD), but it didn’t look good when he went down and he has only been lightly jogging in training until recently.
Also of note (and I think this is all mind games with Klinsmann when it comes to talking to the press), but Klinsmann is not happy about having a ref from Algeria.
» Here are some photos from yesterday’s training session.
» As for Belgium, Thomas Vermaelen is out due to injury and Vincent Kompany sounds like he will be a game time decision. Marouane Fellaini and Mousa Dembele should be OK even though they have had some injury issues as well. And Steven Defour will miss the game due to his red card in Belgium’s game against South Korea.
» If you have missed any of the seven episodes of ESPN’s Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil, you can catch up right here. The last episode is pretty much a catch up of the first six episodes until around the 40-minute mark when it becomes some new material.
Prediction time: I honestly have no clue what to expect so watch this video below on repeat until the game starts.