USA returns to soccer’s biggest stage

Sam Prestipino, Editor-in-Chief

The 2018 United States men’s national soccer team (USMNT) failed to qualify for the World Cup. This brought up so many questions about our country’s ability to compete on one of the sports’ largest stages. With all of the funding that soccer gets in the US, how is it possible that the national team didn’t make it to the World Cup?

The US took its 2018 failure seriously. For the last four years, our boys have been quietly working on their craft, in hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. When it came time for the World Cup qualifiers, the US didn’t mess around. They were able to swiftly glide into this year’s tournament.

The success of the American team has come through outstanding play from Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic, who is confident in the US coming into the tournament.

“We are by no means favorites, but we’re a confident team and a hungry team,” Pulisic said in an interview with FOX Soccer.

He is certainly right about the US not being a favorite at this year’s tournament. According to FOX Sports, the USMNT has just the 18th-best odds to win the World Cup.

The long odds don’t phase Pulisic however.

“We’re going to go in with the mentality that we’re going to win the World Cup,” Pulisic said via FOX Sports.

In a group with powerhouse England, it will be tough to win Group B. However, it is very possible for the USMNT to beat out weaker teams in the group (Wales, Iran). If the US can grab second in Group B play, they will advance to the first round where they will likely have to play another powerhouse. There is a tough road ahead for Team USA, but this young team is eager to prove that they’re the best in the world.

The United States will kick off their first World Cup group stage game on Nov. 21 against Wales at 2 p.m. EST.