Photo of American flag from Wikimedia Commons.
James Martin | Contributing Writer
As the whistles blew and the crowd roared in Khalifa International Stadium, millions of Americans crowded around their televisions. The United States soccer team faced their most important match of the 2022 World Cup against the Dutch in the round of 16.
It wasn’t long before American excitement increased as Christian Pulisic, nicknamed Captain America, attempted a goal Tuesday morning. The goal was saved, however, all eyes remained on Pulisic.
Netherlands player, Memphis Depay squashed all hope in the 10th minute as he shot a ball from the center of the box into the back of the net, making it 1-0.
The rest of the first 45-minute half was standard as there were multiple fouls, corner kicks, and offside calls. However, that changed in the 45th minute +1 when Netherlands striker Daley Blind made it 2-0 with another goal from the center of the box. As the whistle blew signaling halftime, the score read 2-0 despite the USMNT possessing the ball 63% of the time. The U.S. had 3 shots — 2 on goal — a corner kick and 0 saves. Netherlands, on the other hand, possessed the ball 37% of the time, displayed 5 shots — 2 on target and 2 goals — 2 corners and 2 saves. Netherlands out fouled the U.S. 3-1 as well.
The second half brought more shots, close goals, penalties and nerves as the game progressed for both fans. USMNT forward Haji Wright had a trick up his sleeve and tapped a goal past the goalie in the 76th minute, adding to the tension felt by American fans. However, Denzel Dumphries sealed the deal from Netherlands late in the 81st minute, making it 3-1, a feat too great for USMNT to overcome.
The Netherlands will advance to play Argentina, who beat Australia later that afternoon. The U.S. will travel back home, after being knocked out of the World Cup.
Despite the loss, the USMNT will receive loud praise and cheers as they return, all looking forward to 2026, when the World Cup takes place across the entire continent of North America. That’s right, the 2026 World Cup will be played in Canada, the United States and Mexico. The host cities include Atlanta, Dallas, Boston, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle in the U.S.;Toronto and Vancouver in Canada; and Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara in Mexico.
Winning this year’s World Cup not only allows the team to hoist the trophy to their home-crowd fans, but Budweiser will be donating all unsold beer to the winning team’s country. Budweiser paid 75 million dollars to sponsor FIFA. However, just days before the World Cup began, Qatar, the host country, announced that it was officially banning the sale of beer at World Cup sporting events.
Qatar has been prominent in the news as it was reported that between 400-500 workers died during the feat of building the stadiums in which these world renown athletes are competing in. This caused major backlash across news sources and fans attending the soccer matches.
Many are looking forward to 2026 as the U.S. looks to be the 7th host, and hope to win for the first time since 1998.