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USA vs Iran Preview: Win or go home for the USMNT

usa vs iran

PREVIEW – It all comes down to this. Win. That’s all it takes for the United States to advance to the knockouts. After failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia in 2018, the USMNT has its moment. Tuesday, November 29th at 2pm ET. A win against a not-to-be overlooked Iran side and any and all demons from 2018 will be exonerated from the USMNT. One last time in the group stage, let’s take a look at the squad.




Despite it ending in a 0-0 draw, the USMNT put together one of their best performances under Gregg Berhalter. They took it to one of the World Cup favorites in England for the better portion of 90 minutes on Black Friday. Iran is coming off a last gasp 2-0 win over Wales, that saw both goals occur in stoppage time up a man.

Keys to the Game

Iran can advance with a draw. That’s the scariest aspect of this game for the USMNT. They are more than likely gonna bunker down, set up a low block, and play for the tie. The US have struggled against opponents like that. Another wrinkle is the USMNT haven’t won a game outside of the United States since September of 2021. Gregg Berhalter and Co. have two demons to exercise in this game.

It’s going to be very important for both of these teams to score first. If the US score first, Iran have to open up, and chase the game. The USMNTs speed, and quality can run away with the game in that scenario. If Iran score first, they can essentially put all ten outfield players in the box and defend for their lives. Here’s how I expect the teams to lineup.

Projected XIs 

This is the hardest USMNT 11 to predict so far. Gregg went unchanged for the first two matches, both resulting in draws. Is now the time he rotates, knowing he needs goals?

GK Matt Turner

LB Antonee Robinson

CB Tim Ream

CB Walker Zimmerman

RB Sergino Dest

CM Tyler Adams

CM Weston McKennie

CM Brenden Aaronson

LW Christian Pulisic

ST Jesus Ferreira

RW Giovanni Reyna

Carlos Quieroz switched formations after the 6-2 trashing from England. He lined up in a 4-4-2, and it resulted in the 2-0 win. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

GK Hossein Hosseini

LB Milad Mohammadi

CB Morteza Pouraliganji

CB Majid Hosseini

RB Ramin Rezaeian

LM Ehsan Haji Safi

CM Saeid Ezatolahi

CM Ahmad Nourollahi

RM Ali Gholizadeh

ST Mehdi Taremi

ST Sardar Azmoun


Some off-field drama between these two has picked up, with the USMNT social media accounts removing the Islamic Republic logo from the Iran flag in their social media posts. According to a US Soccer spokesperson, this is to show support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights. Reports started circulating that Iran was calling for the USA to be removed from the tournament. How much will these developments impact the mindsets of the players and the outcome of the game? Only time will tell, but going strictly based off of the quality of the two teams, I think the USMNT get it done. I’m going to say 3-1 final score. USMNT punch a ticket to the Round of 16.

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