The U.S. faces Belgium at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil in the Round of 16 today. It is the first time the U.S. has advanced to the Round of 16 in consecutive World Cups.
National team defender Matt Besler started all three matches in the group stage, the first two with Geoff Cameron as his partner in central defense and with Omar Gonzalez in the last match versus Germany. Besler has partnered with both and was unconcerned with which player might be in the lineup with him. "At this point I feel comfortable with both players, it's really just up to the coach to decide who he wants to put back there."
Besler gave a little insight to the scouting of Belgium. "They basically have two blocks, they have a group of guys that sit back and defend and then they have a group of four or five players that attack," Besler explained. "Those players have a lot of freedom to roam and they have a lot of freedom to try creative things. If we allow those players to have space they will be dangerous. The key for us is to keep the field compact and make sure they do not have a lot of time on the ball."
Midfielder Graham Zusi is known for how focused he is on the task ahead and being prepared for a match but has had to make sure he takes some time to savor just being there. "I've made a point to enjoy the moment as much as possible. It's sometimes tough to do that when you are so focused on a task but I've kind of made it a point to enjoy it as well," Zusi confided.
The Sporting KC midfielder is not ready for it to end. "We've certainly done well for ourselves. We've succeeded at our first goal of getting out of the group. Now we have a new goal to go as deep in this tournament as possible. Zusi said. "There's no doubt in our minds, and in the coaches' minds, what we're capable of. We still feel that we have a lot of work to do and our best is yet to come.