USMNT players discuss upcoming Gold Cup clash with Qatar

Lizzy Becherano
Sebastian Lletget leading United States  out ahead of their match against Haiti
Sebastian Lletget leading United States out ahead of their match against Haiti / John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images

US men’s national team players Sebastian Lletget and Miles Robinson admit the upcoming match against Qatar will be an interesting clash of styles.

The American team narrowly defeated Jamaica 1-0 to progress to the 2021 Gold Cup semi-finals against invited nation Qatar - a side ranked 58th by FIFA. The upcoming World Cup hosts have improved tremendously over the years, currently boasting a 12-game unbeaten streak by managing 10 wins and two draws since November 2020. 

“I think this game coming up is going to be very different from all the rest,” said LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget. “That's one thing you get in Concacaf, just different styles. Jamaica was a very physical team and now going against Qatar is going to be quite the opposite. 

Sebastian Lletget
Sebastian Lletget has had his say / Omar Vega/Getty Images

“They're going to want to play the ball on the ground and they're going to want to attack and throw numbers forward. We're definitely aware of it; we definitely respect them. They've done really, really well overseas and now they come here and not many people know much about them and they're doing good."

Qatar’s roster includes players from only four teams, inspiring an innate sense of chemistry that the United States doesn’t possess. Forward Almoez Ali is currently the tournament’s leading scorer with four goals. 

“Qatar is definitely a great team. They're a very offensive-minded, counter-attacking team and they’ve scored a lot of goals so far this tournament,” said Atlanta United center back Miles Robinson. “So it's just a matter of us sticking to our game plan and trying to stay solid defensively.”

Despite the challenge ahead, Lletget remains confident that the United States holds the right strategy to overcome Qatar. The USMNT will look to lift the trophy for a seventh time. 

“They play a very attacking style,” he said, “so we definitely have to respect that. But I think we have a lot of tools that can hurt them, and I think we can exploit their weaknesses.”