Onward USA


Braeden Pruitt, Staff Writer

Every four years the United States enters into a state of a football frenzy, or for patriotic Americans, soccer. This frenzy affects all types of fans. “It’s a mood booster,” according to Sofia Chartrand, a Spanish teacher at MHS. How can it not be a mood booster?  Especially when the US National Team didn’t disappoint during the group stages of the World Cup this year.

Entering the 2022 World Cup, the US National Team had a lot to prove. The team hadn’t made it to a World Cup since 2014. The United States lost to Trinidad and Tobago in the last game of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. Ever since, that moment  has been considered the darkest memory in United States soccer history. Therefore, when entering the 2022 World Cup, the United States had two things to prove. One, that their bright young golden generation, not seen since 1930, was better than people thought. Two, was to show that the United States had changed since the painful Trinidad and Tobago game.

Of course, the US National Team had to prove their worth against arguably the hardest group in the World Cup. First up was Wales, who the US tied 1-1 behind Timothy Weah’s beautiful goal. Next was England, who was heavily favored to crush the United States coming into the match. Unfortunately for them, the United States were able to party like it was 1776, shocking the world with a 0-0 tie. Even though they were undefeated coming into their final game of the group stage, the United States needed a victory over Iran to advance to the knockout stage. In one of the most heroic moments of the entire tournament, the American Captain Christian Pulisic sacrificed a pelvic contusion to give the United States an early goal, and ultimately a 1-0 win to move on to a win or go home scenario.  

Zach Unger, ‘26, said the team performed much better than 2018. “They had a good team, really young, which can help us perform in the upcoming years.” But even though the team proved their talent this year, they still fell short to the Netherlands, showing there’s a lot of work to do before the 2026 World Cup. 

“I think we didn’t play our best against the Netherlands. I think our defensive midfielders could have been on the field a little bit more.” said Chartrand.

The United States played fairly well at the 2022 World Cup, but Team USA will need to improve and prepare for the next one, where they will be playing across 16 North American cities in front of tens of millions of fans. With the US Women’s National Team, the reigning world champs, competing in the Women’s World Cup this summer, it’s safe to say the Football Frenzy isn’t over in America.