USMNT have 'huge opportunity' in last 16 tie vs Netherlands & will be ready to execute perfect gameplan, says Adams
- Adams took over USMNT captaincy in November
- Qualified second in Group B after Iran win
- Adams called Netherlands match "huge opportunity"
WHAT HAPPENED? Adams admitted that the team would enjoy their triumph over Iran on Tuesday night, before turning their attention to Saturday's last-16 matchup. The 23-year-old pointed towards the quality the USMNT have already faced in Qatar, and appeared to relish the opportunity to face one of the tournament "favourites" in the Netherlands.
WHAT THEY SAID: "[It's a] huge opportunity for us," Adams told ESPN. "It's going to be an amazing game. I think we've obviously played good competition here. Like England, the Netherlands could be another favourite to win the World Cup. They've done really well, how they navigated through their group phase of the tournament so far.
"[The Netherlands] have some amazing players. We're going to have to be ready for that game, but I think right now we enjoy this moment, have some downtime to relax and recover now, [and then] mentally focus. The coaches will come up with a game plan. It's time for us to execute."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Adams took over the USMNT captaincy from Chelsea's Christian Pulisic in November - who suffered a pelvic contusion scoring the winner against Iran - and oversaw an unbeaten run in Group B with five points from three games. They face a Netherlands side who have come under fire for their "boring" brand of football, but who nevertheless qualified as Group A winners with a near-perfect seven points and boast the tournament's joint-top scorer in Cody Gakpo.
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DID YOU KNOW? Adams leads all midfielders in both the Premier League (204) and the World Cup (33) this season for ball recoveries initiating a team sequence of play.
WHAT NEXT FOR ADAMS? The Leeds midfielder will lead the USMNT out against the Netherlands on Saturday hoping his side can go one step further and reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2002.