(U.S. head coach Gary Gold)[Getty/Kyodo]
KUMAGAYA, Japan - The United States are chasing their first win at the Rugby World Cup in Kumagaya on Wednesday when they face Argentina, who have missed their bid to reach the knockout stage for the first time since 2003.
England and France have already booked spots in the last eight, meaning the remaining three teams in Pool C are gunning for third place and automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup.
Despite opening with a pair of losses, the United States, led by head coach Gary Gold, do not intend to go home empty-handed with matches against Argentina and Tonga still left in their campaign.
"We're halfway through our World Cup group campaign. For us to put in a performance and get a win this weekend is incredibly important," Gold said.
"We came to this World Cup to perform. I think so far, particularly against France, we had a very good performance, but we want to take that to a different level now."
(U.S. captain Blaine Scully)[Getty/Kyodo]
Gold's men have only scored a total of 16 points in their two opening games, with Bryce Campbell recording the Eagles' sole try at this tournament in their loss to England.
Argentina, on the other hand, are currently sitting at third in the pool with six points from a win and two losses. France's 23-21 win over Tonga on Sunday meant the end of Los Pumas' bid in reaching the quarterfinals for the fourth straight tournament.
Head coach Mario Ledesma made nine changes from the side that started in Argentina's 39-10 loss to England, with the team's record-points scorer Nicolas Sanchez returning at flyhalf after missing that match completely.
Argentina have won all eight previous encounters against the United States, the latest being a 42-8 victory in 2003 in Buenos Aires.
"The Argentinians have continued to prove that they're one of the top teams in the world," U.S. captain Blaine Scully said.
"So, for us to be able to play them for the first time in almost a decade and a half, if not more than that, is a great opportunity for us as a country and to do it at a Rugby World Cup will add a little bit extra to that."