The United States men’s national team advanced to the Round of 16 on Tuesday, and there is growing belief on Gregg Berhalter’s young squad.
The U.S. beat Iran, 1-0, in its final Group B match and will take on Group A winner Netherlands on Saturday. The statuses of forwards Josh Sargent and Christian Pulisic are up in the air, but bettors are high on a deep run.
USA’s odds to win the World Cup moved from 100-to-1 to 80-to-1, and 23% of tickets at BetMGM are on the U.S. to be victorious at Qatar, the most out of the whole field, according to data analyst John Ewing. Heading into Thursday’s games, U.S. odds saw another boost up to 75-to-1. This means a $100 bet on the U.S. to win the World Cup would pay out $7,600.
There have been few dominant teams in Qatar, with the exception of England and Spain. Neymar’s ankle injury will be one to monitor for World Cup favorite Brazil.
The men’s national team has not made it past the Round of 16 since 2002, but the path to the final for the U.S. is a viable one. How fit Pulisic will be for Saturday and possibly beyond could determine the United States’ fate, but Berhalter may finally fulfill fan’s desires to see Giovanni Reyna play at the World Cup.
The U.S. have played well defensively — as of Thursday, it is the one of three teams to not give up a goal in open play, a list that includes Morocco and Brazil. The U.S. men’s team has the potential to win its first ever World Cup, but it needs to get past Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands first.