United States men’s soccer eliminated from World Cup in the round of 16


Courtesy / FLICKR

Christian Pulisic and the US men’s team eliminated after 3-1 loss to the Netherlands.

Benson Furber, Crier Staff

After looking at social media and seeing the memes about the United States Men’s Soccer team, it is clear the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar has garnered much attention from the average American viewer.

After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the US Men’s national team found a way to qualify and make the tournament. However, the US found themselves amidst a very tough group, with the English, Iranians, and Welsh. After severely lackluster performances leading to the Cup, there was worry that the US would not even make it out of the group stage.

Game one was against Wales, resulting in a one to one tie. The game itself was a feeler for the team, seeing if they would end up competing within the tournament itself. The team played a solid game, however it was clear that the US was just beginning to grasp the importance of each goal and game. Nerves likely played an impact, which would settle in the following match.

Game two of the group stage was major. The United States played the most coherent game that they would play in the entire tournament against England, the toughest opponent in the group. Strong team defense and control of the ball allowed for the US to keep the game tied at zero. The tie itself shocked many people around the world, even resulting in some English fans feeling the game was a loss, even though that was not the final result. However, this set the United States up for a must win game against Iran.

In Game three, the Iranians played themselves. All they needed was a tie to qualify for the round of 16. However, by doing this they ended up playing on their heels for most of the match. Christian Pulisic would score right before the end of the first half, being the game’s only goal. Iran made a strong push in the second half, however they had put themselves in a bad position. For the United States, our defending was poor. Allowing runners into the box, as well as failing to close lanes and contain led to multiple chances for Iran. Matt Turner played strong in goal, only allowing a singular goal through the group stage.

As the round of 16 began, the US was set to play the Netherlands. In this match, our defending was simply atrocious. The Dutch struck early, taking a 1-0 advantage when a defender missed a mark. This happened again, 2 more times resulting in goals. We would get on the board, however we were simply outplayed. Losing 3-1, the US was eliminated from the tournament.

Looking back now, it’s clear to see there are major holes within the team, the biggest being team defense. The way that the US was knocked out was 3 goals by players that were unmarked. It’s impossible to compete on the world stage when the team allows shots within the eighteen yard box to players that are completely undefended. As for offensive, we could not find the back of the net. The team cannot expect Pulisic to score every goal. Hopefully, the youthfulness of this team plays to our advantage in the future. 

Now with World Cup experience, the United States could be extremely dangerous in years to come. The next World Cup in 2026 is being hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Home field advantage, along with the development of youth, could be a recipe for success for the US in the next World Cup.

The next World Cup in 2026 will be co-hosted by USA, Canada, and Mexico. (Courtesy / WikimediaCommons)