The USMNT is on a roll!

By Kyleigh Brunotte
December 2, 2022

USA soccer fans cheering on team at an outdoor game televised on a big screen.
United States fans celebrating team success in the FIFA World Cup. Photo by Mobilus In Mobili from Flickr.

Coming off a huge game against England in the group stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the United States Men’s National Team had a do-or-die task ahead of them.

On Tuesday, Nov. 29, they faced a hungry Iranian team, looking to make history of their own.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, the USMNT only accumulated two points in group play after tying both Wales 1-1 on Monday, Nov. 21, and England 0-0 on Friday, Nov. 25. Both the United States and Iran fought with fire underneath them: the USMNT had to defeat Iran to avoid elimination, and Iran hoped to make it past the group stage for the first time in the nation’s history.

Christian Pulisic’s goal in the 38th minute of play put the United States ahead of Iran 1-0. Pulisic, midfielder and crucial part of the USMNT, was taken to the hospital after colliding with the Iranian goalkeeper, Alireza Beiranvand, during his scoring play. The USMNT endured a relentless Iranian offense, nonetheless, securing a spot in the knockout stage, also known as the Round of 16, with an overall record of 1-0-2.

“Tying England in the second match was huge for [USMNT] … and so was being able to hold a 0-0 draw in the second half versus Iran after losing their star player [Pulisic],” Trent Valle, World Cup fan and sophomore marketing major, said.

After 90 minutes and an additional nine minutes of extra time, the USMNT prevailed. The victory signified the strength and determination of the young USMNT. After failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, many fans and professionals alike doubted and dismissed the USMNT program.

Disproving the past

USMNT player takes on defenders from Trinidad and Tobago in World Cup qualifiers.
USMNT midfielder, Weston McKennie, takes on defenders from Trinidad and Tobago in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Photo by Erik Drost from Creative Commons/Wikimedia.

Qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup put the USMNT back on the map. The current USMNT made history as the youngest team in the tournament, with an average age of 23.82. Making a competitive run in the World Cup adds to their newly bolstered reputation.

“I think not qualifying in 2018, marking the first time the team had missed a World Cup since 1986, really lit a fire under the current players,” Matthew Zeffert, director of operations at Next Level Indoor Sports and assistant coach for Cabrini women’s soccer, said.

Looking ahead

“The USMNT has been really fun and pretty impressive to watch so far in this World Cup,” Brittany Runyen, coordinator of athletics student programming and assistant coach for Cabrini women’s soccer, said. “It was clear that this time around they had something to prove.”

“I think they have enough momentum to go far in the World Cup,” Amanda Elwell, junior elementary and special education major, said.

Pulisic posted on social media after Tuesday’s game, assuring his fans and teammates of his comeback. “So ******* proud of my guys I’ll be ready Saturday don’t worry,” he wrote.

“This team is a young group filled with talent, grit, and a lot of American pride. I’d love to see them make a run as we get into the knockout stage,” Runyen said.

Zeffert agrees with Runyen. “My buddies and I used to say, ‘Just give it 10 years and the U.S. will be legit,’ and now it has all come to fruition … I wouldn’t want to be playing against them right now,” he said.

The USMNT will take on the Netherlands in the Round of 16 at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. The Netherlands clinched Group A with an overall record of 2-0-1.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on both FOX and Telemundo Sports.

Kyleigh Brunotte

I am a sophomore digital communications and social media major, and business management minor at Cabrini University. I grew up in Brick, NJ with my mom, dad, younger sister, and my Oma. Outside of school, I am a kickboxing instructor at 9Round Brick, NJ, a youth soccer coach, a campus captain of Cabrini's chapter of The Hidden Opponent, and a guest speaker for the NAMI Bucks County organization. Additionally, I am the co-president of the National Society of Leadership and Success and a former member of the Cabrini University women's soccer team. Today, I am an avid fitness and sports enthusiast, as well as a strong advocate for mental health awareness in students and athletes alike. I am a firm believer of always being proud of what you are doing and I hope to use my writing skills to make my corner of the world a better place to be.

You May Also Like

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap