USA performs surprisingly well at World Cup


Ava Stone

USA heads home after one win, two ties, and one loss.

As we take a look back at the USA Men’s National Soccer team that to qualified for their first World Cup since 2014, their performance throughout their time was great for such a new and young team. In this World Cup, Team USA fell into Group B along with England, Wales, and Iran.

On Monday, Nov. 21, The USA men’s national team, led by midfielder Tyler Adams, forward Christian Pulisic, goalie Matt Turner, and midfielder Weston McKennie, faced Wales for their first match of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

This game kept both teams on their toes as it was a fierce game with lots of fouls and yellow cards indicated to both teams. However, despite the USA controlling most of the game, the game ended in a 1-1 tie with USA’s Timothy Weah scoring in the 36 minutes, and Wales’ Gareth Bale scoring a penalty Shot in the 82 minutes to tie it up.

Proceeding a troublesome tie, four days later was another group match-up with the USA competing head to head with England. Unfortunately, the game ended up being another disappointment for USA fans and players, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw. 

The last group stage game was against Iran with England, the USA and Iran all having a chance to make it to the knockout stage. While England secured their spot at the top of the group with a 3-0 win over Wales it was a win or go home for both teams. Christian Pulisic scored in the 38 minutes to seal the 1-0 win over Iran and advance to the round of 16. 

However, instead of this game being focused solely on the soccer talent and skill of both teams, it became a global political fight between the two countries. 

Before the game, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) posted an altered image of the Iranian flag, removing the Islamic Republic emblem to support Iranian women due to the recent death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Although Iran state-affiliated media tried to get them suspended from the World Cup, FIFA ignored the pleas and supported the Iranian National Football Team to stand up for these ongoing protests utabo women’s basic rights. 

Along with this, according to AP News, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus states that this particular match was “one of those pivotal moments when geopolitics and sports collide. You are seeing the Iran team do what they can to stand up for the protesters and the people peacefully demonstrating.”

Despite the political controversies, USMNT made it out of the group stage and into the round of 16 against the winners of Group A, the Netherlands. While a majority of the 25-man team was experiencing flu-like symptoms, Coach Louis van Gall voiced his concerns about the issue but gave the green light to all the starters playing on Saturday, Dec. 3 against the US.

As either team could  be knocked out, both teams fought hard for their countries to advance to the quarterfinals. Iit was truly an intense, hard game. Yet, the Netherlands pulled out a 3-1 win with goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind, and Denzel Dumfries for the Netherlands. The USA though only scored one goal from forward Haji Wright in the 76’ minute.

 “I think the guys poured everything they had into this game and unfortunately we lost it,” USA Manager Gregg Berhalter said in an interview with ESPN.

To the United States disappointment, the team heads home with hopes for the next FIFA World Cup in 2026 which will be held on American soil for the first time since 1994.