USMNT qualifies for World Cup: Don’t let loss to Costa Rica fool you, the future is bright for American football

July 1, 2014 was the last time anyone saw the United States men’s national team at a FIFA World Cup. It was a 2-1 loss to Belgium in extra time in the Round of 16 – you know that one. Almost eight years later, Chris Wondolowski’s misfire and those 14 Tim Howard saves are still fresh. This defeat still stings. now, the biggest stage in all of sports will once again feature red, white and blue, and with it will come the highest expectations this team has ever seen.

On Wednesday night in San Jose, Costa Rica, this young USMNT booked his ticket to Qatar, although it came after a poor 2-0 loss where the team was inconsistent and struggled with their opponent’s physique . It was more disappointing than electrifying, it will raise some silly questions due to the bad taste left in the mouths of players and fans alike, but let’s remember that kids make mistakes. Young teams sometimes just don’t perform, especially on the road. They may not have followed a T’s instructions, they were a bit slow at times, but there were some encouraging moments early on. And as always, the road to Concacaf is unlike anything else in sport.

Qualifying time came after what has been a wild qualifying cycle for the United States, a cycle where depth was tested largely due to a COVID-impacted schedule that was more crowded than it was. was nice, and it’s one that manager Gregg Berhalter handled well. . From Weston McKennie being sent home early for off-field issues to trying to figure out how to deal with all the injuries, it’s been far from perfect. But, on the contrary, it showed that the USMNT, for the most part, is back.

In 14 matches, only two players, Antonee Robinson and Tyler Adams have played more than 1000 minutes. Just two more, the centre-back duo of Miles Robinson and Walker Zimmerman played over 800. So completing this task was a true team effort, it took a next man mentality and a group of players determined to step up and meet the moment,

“It was really a roller coaster,” Christian Pulisic told CBS Sports after the game. “It’s never easy to come and play in these Concacaf countries. We know that. We fought for most of it, and at the end of the day we’re in the top three and we’re going to the Cup. of the world. We should be proud.”

Through ups and downs, through good and bad results, this team again found its place under Berhalter and accomplished what it set out to do. Really the qualification in 2022 is the continuation of a year 2021 which was really the moment when this generation of players imposed themselves. That summer, they not only won the Nations League, but also the Gold Cup. And now 2022 is their chance to show the world that American boys can play too. They earned that right, through 14 grueling games and 1260 minutes when qualification wasn’t assured, when the game wasn’t always pretty, but there was heart and determination that inspired the fans who been offended by what they saw not too long ago. since.

Don’t let this game fool you – this team has been more good than bad, and they’ve been much better than what we’ve seen in the 2018 cycle. Never has the USMNT had so much talent, and never a such a young team has worn these colors and succeeded in what they have done. They’ve won half of their games, they’ve conceded just 10 goals in 14 games, and they’ve averaged 1.7 points per game after getting just 1.2 in the 2018 cycle. -being most important, it was the youngest USMNT in qualifying history – 23 years, 302 days on average, and they did what last cycle’s team couldn’t.

The fan base was scarred by what happened in 2017. That night, the healing begins with a future that didn’t get any brighter.