It was the very first World Cup Tournament in history the last time the United States played Belgium on the world’s biggest stage. Team USA won that match up 3-0, an unlikely outcome this time around.

Belgium is everybody’s dark horse darling in this year’s tournament. A team composed of some of the best young individual talent that Europe has to offer easily swept through their first three games of group play.

Their country has nicknamed them, “the golden generation”, and anything less than a victory over the United States on Tuesday would be considered a failure. Their individual collection of talent consists of Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is considered to be the best young keeper in the world, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard a man whom before the World Cup began was a sleeper amongst gamblers to win the Golden Boot trophy, and his Chelsea teammate Romelu Lukaku whose freakish athletic talent and ability have led to many comparisons to Lebron James, only on the pitch.

Eden Hazard Belgium's Eden Hazard was many people's picks for player of this year's tournament Reuters

They’re like a volcano waiting to erupt” said USA’s Tim Howard who knows all three players well.

Indeed this volcano is due to erupt offensively as they have under impressed in their three victories in group play. Belgium’s Coach Marc Wilmots agrees saying “I’m waiting for him (Hazard) to take hold of a match and impose himself. Even if he’s still young to be doing that.”

Wilmots will have to make some crucial decisions with his starting XI as the Red Devils Captain, Vincent Kompany has been struggling with a groin issue. Star defenseman, Thomas Vermaelen will be out with a hamstring, Anthony Vanden Borre’s has a fractured fibia and Steven Defour is suspended for the match.

Despite Belgium’s rash of injuries, they’re starting XI will still be composed of more talent than the United States side.

Team USA has underperformed in this World Cup. All criticism aside, we do not know how they made it out of group play. They have the second lowest time of possession in the entire tournament, and the lowest shots on target of any team in the World Cup with a measly nine. Their defense has looked sloppy and unfocused at times, and for most of their match against Germany, I questioned if the team had even shown up. They are one 30 second Clint Dempsey goal away from being home right now. Nonetheless, here they are in the round of 16, and on the precipice of making United States soccer history.

The Stars and Stripes are composed of a team of journeyman and unknowns. The most well known player on Team USA before the World Cup was Landon Donovan, and Coach Jurgen Klinsmann left him off the final roster. Despite their lackluster stats thus far, the United States has survived. Whether it has been kicking, scratching, protecting a lead, a last minute goal, a monumental comeback, or last minute heartbreak, they have triumphed through the Group of Death winning in every condition imaginable from intense humidity in the mighty Amazon to the cold, rain and wind of Recife. This is what America does as a country, survive. It’s not always pretty, it’s not always easy, there are bumps and bruises along the way, but somehow in the end we grit our way through it. Team USA will need to do it again on Tuesday.

Star striker, Jozy Altidore who left in the opening minutes of the United State’s opening game against Ghana with a hamstring injury is said to be fit and able to play on Tuesday. Klinsmann will have to decide how to use him however, as its questionable how many minutes Altidore will be able to play. Additionally, Klinsmann has tactical choices to make in his starting XI, more than likely he will start MLS’s Omar Gonzalez again over Geoff Cameron whose errors were costly against Portugal. The past two matches without Altidore, Klinsmann has moved forward Clint Dempsey to the top as the lone striker, replacing Altidore with a midfielder. The move is intended to gain the U.S. more time of possession, but has not worked to plan thus far. It will be interesting to see what he does tomorrow, as he can start Altidore at the top with Dempsey to give him two attacking forwards as originally planned, or he can start another forward like Aron Johannsson or Chris Wondolowski and replace either of them with Altidore later in the match. Either way, it will be intriguing to see what Klinsmann does.

Jozy Altidore United States' Jozy Altidore warms up before their match with Belgium on Tuesday. Altidore is listed as "available" for the game. Reuters

This match features two teams who have underperformed on offense and are each capable of breaking out at any moment. Both teams have been superb on defense and it is ultimately both teams defense that has gotten them to this point. The United States surely faces their toughest test so far as it truly is “win or go home.” With just four more wins until they potentially could hoist the cup, their mantra needs to be simple and strong: survive and advance.

The game is set to kick off at 4:00PM EST at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador. It can be seen on ESPN and in Spanish on Univision. If you want to live stream the match, simply go to WatchESPN here and here for a live stream in Spanish.