‘Us against the world’: Timothy Weah issues rallying cry ahead of USMNT’s must-win World Cup game vs. Iran – amid escalating political tensions between the two nations
USMNT and Lille winger Timothy Weah has told his teammates on social media that it’s ‘us against the world’ before their must-win game against Iran on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old shared the caption on Instagram on Monday afternoon, along with a picture of him celebrating his first-half goal against Wales – the only scored by the Star and Stripes in Qatar so far.
The US can only advance to the World Cup’s knockout stage with a win on Tuesday. Iran would also advance with a win, and perhaps a draw depending on the result in England’s match against Wales.
Earlier on Monday, in a pre-match press conference, US captain Tyler Adams and coach Gregg Berhalter were asked about a variety of social and political subjects that had nothing to do with what happens on the field.
Adams was asked to defend the US’s treatment of black people and chastised for pronouncing the opponent ‘Aye-ran’ instead of ‘E-ran.’
Tim Weah said its ‘us against the world’ on Instagram ahead of a must-win clash against Iran
Weah (pictured in practice, left) is the US’ only goal scorer at 2022 World Cup so far
The 22-year-old broke the deadlock for the US against Wales before the match ended in a 1-1 tie
Berhalter was questioned about US immigration and Naval policy, and also apologized for the US Soccer Federation’s decision to strip the emblem of the Islamic Republic from Iran’s flag in a since-deleted social media post.
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz was asked about the social media post, which led the governing body of Iranian soccer to demand FIFA expel the United States from the tournament. He said he did not intend to use the controversy as motivation.
‘If after 42 years in this game as a coach I still believe that I could win games with those mental games, I think I did not learn nothing about the game,’ Queiroz said.
‘We have solidarity with the humanitarian causes all over the world, whatever they are or who they are. If you talk about human rights, racism, kids that die in schools with shootings, we have solidarity to all those causes, but here our mission is to bring the smiles for the people at least for 90 minutes,’ he added.
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter and captain player Tyler Adams had to unexpectedly answers questions on social and political topics from Iranian journalists a day before the game
The USA World Cup Twitter account upset many Iranians after referring to the country without the Islamic Republic emblem on its flag across social media
The US Soccer federation said it omitted the emblem as a sign of solidarity for the women who are protesting for their rights in Iran
The last time the US and Iran met was at the 1998 World Cup in France when memories of the 1979 Islamic Revolution were still fresh for both countries.
The White House, occupied by then-President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeline Albright, used the match to discuss the possible resumption of diplomatic relations with Iran, which had been cut off since the 1979-81 hostage crisis.
A month before the game, the State Department called Iran the world’s ‘most active’ sponsor of terrorism, so nerves were frayed for both nations. And just a week ahead of kickoff, a French television station broadcasted the 1991 film ‘Not Without My Daughter,’ which is based on the true story of an American woman escaping Iran with her daughter against the wishes of her Iranian husband.
The Iranians claimed the broadcast was a purposeful insult.
The last time the US and Iran played competitively at a major international tournament was at the World Cup in France in 1998
Iran won 2-1 but neither team advance to the knockout round. Pictured: Hamid Estili scores
Iran won 2-1 but neither team advanced to the knockout round. They met one other time — a 1-1 draw in a 2000 friendly.
Tuesday will also mark the final day of play for both Groups A and B, and it is the first day of simultaneous kickoffs.
The practice of starting two games at the same time began in 1986, four years after a match dubbed the ‘Disgrace of Gijon.’
The match was scandalous because West Germany and Austria both knew that a German win by one or two goals would advance both teams at the expense of Algeria.
The other game that will be simultaneously played during US-Iran is England vs. Wales.