It’s Called Soccer

Eddie Hudson, Cub News Writer

While the United States showed much improvement in this year’s World Cup in Qatar, there were still a couple of key pieces missing that prevented better results. The biggest component absent was the attacking presence. With only 3 total goals in the tournament, the USMNT fell short in the round of 16 to the Netherlands. There just seemed to always be a missing pass or touch that led to easy chances missed. A lot was still left to prove for the team and progress will definitely be made down the road when it comes to the young core developing into even brighter stars.

On the bright side, many individual performances stood out. The biggest to step up was the captain midfielder, Tyler Adams. Adams came into the World Cup with plenty of doubters after being named captain at age 23, the youngest ever at a World Cup. He was a special part of a stacked midfield group in this competition that took over the game against Iran and held their own against European giants England. Yunus Musah, another part of this productive midfield, is a prime example of what the future holds for America’s team. Musah brings a spark to every slump that the team may have. At the young age of 20, he still has his whole career ahead of him. 

While Christian Pulisic may be crowned as our American hero and the “LeBron James of soccer,” an unsung player broke out in this tournament. Tim Weah played with a vengeance this month, proving to fans that he can deliver in the final third. The number of chances he created was unmatched. Most importantly, his first goal in the Wales game set the tone for the team and showed that they were a real threat in Qatar. Not taking anything away from Pulisic, but it felt like Weah was more of a threat going forward all tournament. Pulisic did have a good tournament though, with this goal against Iran sealing his team’s spot in the knockout rounds. Pulisic is always going to be seen as our poster boy and that creates a lot of pressure for him, but he never fails to rise to the moment. He truly shows what it means to leave it out on the field. 

In this tournament, the whole team gave it their all. This World Cup campaign showed the world that the USMNT is not a joke anymore. They tied England, one of the most historically decorated countries in the world. The result may not have been a win, but it sure felt like one because it closed the mouths of every grumpy English fan claiming U.S. soccer was a laughing stock. That single game and this whole tournament lead the country in the right direction going forward toward an exciting World Cup in 2026, held here in the U.S.