Felger & Mazz

Felger & Mazz

Felger & Mazz

Former USMNT and New England Revolution star, and current ESPN analyst, Taylor Twellman, joined Felger and Mazz on Tuesday to discuss the United States men’s national team moving on to the knockout stage of the 2022 World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Iran.

  • Audio

  • Transcript

    Felger: Thoughts on that victory today?

    Taylor Twellman: Exactly how I thought it would play out, Mike. You know, I said it leading up to it, this is an Iran team that did not want to play. They love the moments where they defend and try to catch you on the counter, which is what the United States have struggled with all through qualifying and against higher level competition is when the United States has to be the protagonist. They have to dictate the game. And so I figured in the first half it was going to be like that. And if you got a goal, it played into your hands. Fantastic goal. One of the best goals you’ll see throughout the entire World Cup up to this point. And yet even so, the second half, Mike, did not need to go the way it did. Gregg Berhalter almost played into the hands of the moment in Iran in letting them play back. And I think that’s where the criticism should be had.

    Mazz: So, Taylor, I wrote questions down here for you. One of the ones I wrote was, was the U.S. lucky in this game. But let me rephrase. Which team played better, in your estimation, for the full 90 plus minutes?

    Taylor Twellman: United States unequivocally and mainly because, Tony, the first 45, they played Iran off the park. They completely played them off the park. They should have had two goals. And even if you go into the 60 or 65th minute, that’s where the game changed. Lucky, I understand where you’re going with but Iran. And everyone naturally says, “Yeah, but Taylor, they gave up six goals against England”, I don’t think people fully understand the political background around Iran and two of their best players were threatened to be kicked off the team up to 5 hours before kick off because of the protests they were involved in, in months before. So guys, you just never know what you’re going to get. You can get Iran that loses 6-2 to England or you get the Iran that beats Wales and is the number one ranked team out of the Asian continent. The United States was the better team, but they didn’t need to make it as drama filled as they did.

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