U.S. Shines on the World Stage
By Mariah Gaines (Junior)
After the United States failed to qualify for the 2018 Men’s World Cup held in Russia, the team finally made it back to the international soccer stage when they qualified for the 2022 World Cup back in March. The World Cup has been going on for a little over a week now in various cities across the country of Qatar. The US Men’s National Team (USMNT) is led by captain, Tyler Adams, as well as the popular Premier League player, Christian Pulisic.
Pulisic is a 24 year-old Hershey, PA native and has been deemed the United States’ man to watch by soccer aficionados. He has been with Chelsea FC for 3 years including the 20/21 year in which the team won the UEFA Champions League final. With the USMNT, Pulisic has shone, having 21 career goals, being a three-time winner of the U.S. Soccer’s Male Player of the Year award, being the youngest player to ever captain the USMNT back in 2018, and having many other accomplishments and victories.
The World Cup starts at the ‘group stage’ in which each team plays only the three other teams in their respective group of 4. After these games, the two highest standing teams in each of the 8 groups move on to the round of 16 where a traditional bracket sequence is followed until there is just one winner.
The United States had their first game last week against Wales which ended in a tie, 1-1. Their second game was against England, a team counted amongst the favorites to win the whole tournament. Shockingly for many fans—on both sides—, that game too ended in a tie, 0-0. While this was an extremely exciting achievement for the USMNT and its fans, a second tie meant that their third game would decide their fate. Just yesterday, Tuesday November 29, The US played Iran to find out who would advance to the next stage of the tournament and who would be booking a flight back home.
To the delight of American soccer fans, the US pulled off a 1-0 win over Iran with the only goal being scored in the 38th minute by Christian Pulisic. Unfortunately, Pulisic suffered an injury after a forceful collision with the Iranian goalkeeper as he took his pivotal shot. He watched the second half of the game from the hospital where he was diagnosed with a pelvic contusion. While this is no small injury, Pulisic is hopeful he will return for the US’s first knockout-round matchup against the Netherlands on Saturday.
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