The 2022 World Cup: A Recap

After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the United States worked harder than ever and was running back on the field this year for the 2022 World Cup. Doing well in the group stage and moving forward were accomplishments for the team. With positive outcomes after playing against Wales, England, and Iran, fans were optimistic, and the United States Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) looked to be in good shape for this year’s big tournament. The USMNT was set to go against the Netherlands team in the knockout round. However, despite U.S. team forward Haji Wright’s goal in the second half of the game, the USMNT lost 3-1 in the end.

Christopher Caramore, guidance counselor and Lynbrook soccer coach for 18 years, had much to say about the USMNT’s last game. “Christian Pulisic [U.S. winger] not capitalizing on that great scoring chance two minutes into the match could have been a game-changer, causing the Dutch to play on their heels to play catch-up. I believe two of the goals scored by the Netherlands [were] due to the inability of the USMNT midfielders to closely mark the Dutch when attacking in the offensive third of the field,” he commented. While the USMNT’s chance at winning the World Cup has come to an end, the countless other amazing teams in the running are not backing down yet. 

There have been several big moments throughout the month-long tournament. The nation was shocked when Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, was benched by Portugal’s head coach in a highly-anticipated game between Portugal and Switzerland. Portugal looked young, wild, and free in his absence and won 6-1. The fact that his replacement, Gonçalo Ramos, scored a hat trick only confused Ronaldo and caused people to question whether he was still the best. 

Another unexpected moment witnessed by millions was the loss of Brazil to Croatia. The loss disappointed countless fans, including senior and varsity soccer player Carlo Pantano, who had been rooting for the team. “I have no doubt Brazil will win,” he said before the team’s loss. “The depth and skill they have within the team is amazing.” With Brazil having five World Cup championships under its belt and Croatia with a whopping zero, it was a no-brainer to fans who the winner was going to be in this matchup. While neither team scored any goals during the game, the overtime penalty shootout declared who would move on to the next round. Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saved the first penalty attempt by Rodrygo, a player on Brazil’s team. While Croatia technically was in the lead, having not missed any shots, Brazil needed the fourth one to stay in the game. When it came down to metaphorical life or death to these hard working players, Brazil player Marquinhos hit the goalpost, missing the shot and taking Brazil out of the running for the World Cup championship.

While many people were rooting for Brazil as the number of teams left in the game began to shrink, more predictions are surfacing regarding the overall winner. Gavin Reid, equipment coordinator of the American professional soccer club Colorado Rapids, said, “I’m hoping to see Messi win with Argentina.” He continued, “No athlete in history has done more for the sport, and he deserves the trophy.” Opposing opinion from Joshua Berlin, teacher and Lynbrook soccer coach, pointed out, “France is looking incredibly strong this year.” No matter the outcome, the 2022 World Cup is one for the books, and several are already looking forward to the 2026 World Cup. Some fans are especially excited that the next World Cup will be hosted in the US. Reid added, “The U.S. is a very young team, and their performance this year showed that they are a threat in global soccer, and they should be respected. I think they should aim for the semi-finals in 2026, especially on home soil.” 

Final update: Argentina (4) vs. France (3)