The United States came up short again in the World Cup. Here’s why it’s different this time


Christian Pulisic of the United States reacts after a 1-1 draw during the FIFA World Cup match between the United States and Wales.  (Maja Hatij - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Christian Pulisic of the United States reacts after a 1-1 draw during the FIFA World Cup match between the United States and Wales. (Maja Hatij – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

For those who are stuck at work or school or maybe their only awareness is that the World Cup is coming up Qatar banned Budweiserthe end result will evoke familiar feelings.

United States 1, Wales 1.

tie. That’s it, a 1-1 tie? Another World Cup tie, leading late to an aging team that is part of the UK with nearly Iowa residents (3.1 million) making their first World Cup appearance in 64 years?

It does not exactly inspire confidence, much less interest. We must be better than this. The remaining points are on the table. The possibility of letting it wither in the heat of Qatar. It was so familiar for someone to start with the tired old trophy that the USA would never be a good team until our best athletes played soccer, not basketball or soccer.

So yeah, skepticism is an understandable emotion considering the USMNT has only won two World Cup matches over the past two decades. Another league and another international competition where getting out of group play won’t help.

However, if you watched the Americans on Monday, something was different, this team was something different and it was clear.

Make no mistake, this was a bad result for the Americans, a frustrating result because they were the better team on Mondays, and often a much better team. They should have won 2-0, 3-0 and a proper team, a real contender, would have won that.

Instead, the United States squandered several scoring chances, wasted a slew of great performances and blundered in the 82nd minute on Gareth Bale in the box to concede a penalty the Welsh legend had waited a lifetime to bury.

The United States should never have conceded that goal or suffered through a frantic final 20 minutes of regulation or injury time.

He should have won.

you did not. He is now ramping up the pressure for Friday’s match against a much more challenging England side.

And after…

American Tim Weah celebrates after scoring his team's only goal during the match between the United States and Wales on Monday.  (Mark Atkins/Getty Images)

American Tim Weah celebrates after scoring his team’s only goal during the match between the United States and Wales on Monday. (Mark Atkins/Getty Images)

This was a different kind of American team that delivered that all too familiar result. The beginning of the game showed what this group of American gamers could be, should be, and likely will be.

They were bold. They were aggressive. There were stretches of dominance. It was a fast, young, exciting and attacking team. This Christian Pulisic, 24, has been showing every bit of stardom he was promised for so long, only now with Watch Country.

This was the kind of football team that speaks to American sensibilities – confident and charismatic. It is a group that the state can rally around regardless of its technical knowledge.

The United States has long entered major international competitions and played on their heels, only hoping to survive, only hoping not to be humiliated and then try to explain the often tedious and limited results. For a long time I felt despondent.

It’s good to be bad, or at least halfway through. It’s another thing to be boring and nasty.

There are two kinds of international sports for the average American fan: the kind we’re good at and the dumb ones. The country isn’t much to give up on limited success, just because it’s there.

This was not the case against Wales.

From the start, the Americans were the assertive side. They had better players, better possession, and better pressing. They outdid Welsh with youth, creativity and sheer power.

It was Wells who was left trying to survive and pray for a counterattack. They got the call they needed and that keeps them alive. But they weren’t the best team.

This is all you want from American football style wise. It was everything American football fans were begging to see. They should bring it up to 90 minutes, they should be more consistent, but that was, at least, something.

This country has too many kids playing the sport, too many great athletes, and too many young talents in the major professional leagues to be considered anything but a bold, daring side. This is why basketball and football clichés have become so stressful.

The United States has always been sporty enough. Lionel Messi stands 5-foot-7. Neymar weighs 150. These are not stadiums filled with LeBron James or Tyrek Hills.

More often than not, they didn’t play as Americans often do. Often the team was meek, lacking the self-belief, even if unjustified, that the state itself bore. That changed on Monday. Pulisic was a major part of it, a huge talent with an unlimited drive. But there was more. Timothy Weah, who scored in the 36th minute. Tyler Adams. Weston McKinney. Josh Sargent. and so on.

This was 180 lifeless pre-cup friendly friendlies that spoke to the same age.

If they can get going, if they can get into the knockout rounds, this could be the team the Americans finally rally around. if …

The United States didn’t win on Monday, because, well, they never win World Cup games. Although they deserve it. likes to receive.

this is not enough. It should never be enough.

It was something different, even if the result indicated otherwise.



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