The World Cup is here.
But has anybody really noticed or cared that the United States Men’s National Team didn’t qualify?
For the months leading up to the 2018 World Cup, there was an outcry from fans and media members about the United States’ failure to qualify for the prestigious tournament.
But now? Crickets.
That’s because the World Cup is just as good—if not better—without USMNT.
Instead of hoping and cheering for the men’s team to possibly advance out of the group stage, soccer fans can now safely enjoy superior teams playing the beautiful game at a higher efficiency than a porous American squad.
Through the first week-plus of the tournament, the World Cup has lived up to the hype. Typically, the group stage is filled to the brim with blowouts by the powerhouse national teams. But this year is different.
Mexico’s stunning upset of the defending champions, Germany, might be the highlight of the tournament so far. While Japan, Russia and Senegal have also scored upsets over favored teams. Just like March Madness—and pretty much any other major sporting event—fans love upsets. Soccer is no different.
And upsets aren’t the only great part of the tournament so far.
Rather than being blinded by mediocre soccer, aficionados can now appreciate Cristiano Ronaldo’s marvelous hat-trick performance in Portugal’s opening match. England’s Harry Kane also put on a stellar performance, highlighted by his game-winning goal in extra time to defeat Tunisia.
The tournament hasn’t even entered the second round, sure, but it’s already surpassing the four years of hype. And that’s without Team USA.
While American soccer fans should be disappointed that the team couldn’t qualify for the event, there is still plenty to cheer for.
Just make sure you don’t pull a Landon Donovan and endorse our rivals.