Following shocking upsets in the group stage and round of 16, the quarterfinals for this year’s World Cup are bound to be interesting. Not only is Morocco in with a chance to win—not a nation you typically hear mentioned at this late stage—but two historic powerhouses of soccer are facing off on Saturday.

In a widely anticipated match, England is hoping to oust the defending champion, France. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi and his Argentina team are fighting against the Netherlands in what could be Messi’s last chance to raise the World Cup. After one low-ranked team won on penalty kicks—yep, that’s Morocco, defeating Spain—you better believe anything could happen.

But how did the US do?

After failing to qualify for the World Cup four years ago, the U.S. was knocked out of the 2022 tournament by the Netherlands last weekend as the team crushed American hopes with a 3-1 final score.

The U.S. made it to the round of 16 this year but failed to advance to the quarterfinals. The goal-scorer in the U.S. team’s final match was Haji Wright, a forward, who scored after subbing in for talented midfielder Weston McKennie in the 67th minute. 

MVPs for the U.S. team this year undoubtedly include McKennie, who consistently moved the ball forward, as well as goal-scorers Christian Pulisic and Timothy Weah. There was a lot of hype around Pulisic who, at age 24, was making his 56th appearance for the United States. 

The U.S. team showed moments of brilliance at times, thanks in part to its young, energetic players. But their passing and possession was sub-par, and they often missed chances to put the ball in the back of the net. 

In the group stage, the U.S. placed second with one win and two ties, including one against England, a team that was widely expected to crush the U.S. team. The 0-0 result of that match was a major victory for the young team even though it ended in a draw. 

I want to root for the U.S., I really do. But their play just doesn’t inspire me. If you’re a soccer fan, you’re much better off cheering on the U.S. Women’s team—they have won the World Cup four times (including in 2019), have a roster of world-renowned players (including many who play locally for the NC Courage), and never fail to play exciting soccer. 

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