An Impressive Fight: A rundown of US men’s soccer at the world cup

U.S. men’s soccer put on a tough fight at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. KCSU’s Kyra McKinley reports.


Kyra McKinley, KCSU News

At the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the United States got knocked out of the tournament during the round of 16. But the team did not leave without any success. They put up impressive performances during their matches and faced some well-known teams. The team even surprised many by their impressive and perhaps even unexpected skills as well. A lot is going down at this tournament, but let’s break down the U.S.’s time at the World Cup in Qatar!

For the group stage of the World Cup, all teams are randomly placed into groups. The U.S. was placed into Group B, which also included Iran, Wales, and England. The U.S.’s first match within this group was against Wales.

The Wales team is currently ranked at 19 in the world standings. This was also their team’s first time back at the World Cup since 1958. The U.S is currently ranked at 14 and this was their first time back at the World Cup since 2014.

This match, which many may have expected the U.S. to win, easily did not go as planned. The match ended in a draw. Tim Weah scored the U.S.’s only goal during the match. Tim Weah is the son of George Weah, a world-renowned soccer player and the president of Liberia. Throughout this year’s World Cup, eyes have been on Weah and he did not disappoint. With the help of players like Christian Pulisic, Weah scored for Wales.

Some viewers in the U.S. may not perceive a tie as a success. Sports in the U.S. do not typically end in a tie and if they do, it is not seen as particularly good. In this case though, the draw between Wales and the U.S. can be seen as a success as it allowed the U.S. to stay in the running to carry onto the round of 16 knock stage of the tournament.

The team’s progression in the tournament depended on their matches against the other two teams in the group, Iran and England. After the match against Wales, the U.S. went on to play against England. England is a world-renowned team and is currently ranked at 5 in the world standings. The last time the U.S. played against England and won was in 1950 at the World Cup in Brazil. The U.S. has also tied against England in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as well. While the U.S. did not win this match, they can put another draw against England in their books.

After the U.S.’s second draw of the tournament, their advancement to the round of 16 came down to their match against Iran. The Iranian team is currently ranked at 20. Iran previously lost their game to England 6-2, but won their game against Wales 2-0.

To say the least, the match against Iran kept viewers on the edge of their seats. Christian Pulisic, who is one of the U.S.’s star players, scored for the U.S. during the second half. But he “took one for the team” to do so. After his score, Pulisic could be seen crouched over in pain due to an injury he endured in the process. Pulisic was taken out for the rest of the match, but he recovered in time for their next match against the Netherlands. The nail-biting win against Iran led the U.S. into the knockout stage of the tournament, where they played their final match against the Netherlands. The Netherlands, who are currently ranked at 8 in world standings, won the match 3-1. Haji Wright scored the U.S.’s only goal 76 minutes in the game.

Although the U.S. left Qatar without winning the finals of the tournament, the team still had notable successes at the World Cup. The U.S. has qualified and participated in 11 World Cups, five of which – including the 2022 Qatar World Cup – have made it to the round of 16 portion of the tournament. This time around, the U.S. may not have won the World Cup. But they faced impressive teams such as England and the Netherlands, and held their ground fairly well. The men on this team put up an impressive fight during their matches, which is even more notable since the U.S. team was one of the three youngest teams at the match. Hopefully, with more time and practice, this team can make it back to the 2026 World Cup and take home a win!

Kyra McKinley can be reached at More articles and podcasts on KCSU sports can be found on our sports page here.