What A World Cup


FIFA World Cup

Lionel Messi

WOW! What a World Cup! The excitement of this year’s World Cup rose like lava in a volcano, erupting during the final match between Messi’s Argentina and Mbappe’s France. The match was a microcosm for the 2022 World Cup as it started out slowly with two goals by Argentina in the first half and then a lull until the 80th minute when Mbappe scored on a penalty kick and then scored another goal 90 seconds later. This sent the game into extras where neither team scored, and a second extra period was needed. Here, Messi scored his second goal of the game in the 107thminute to make the score 3- 2, Argentina, with less than 15 minutes to go. However, Mbappe was going to do everything he could to bring home the second consecutive World Cup trophy for his country as he sank another penalty kick to knot up the score at three apiece. For the next two minutes, neither team scored so it was off to PKs (Penalty Kicks). As expected, Messi and Mbappe make their penalty kicks to bring the PK score to 1-1. After that, France proceeded to miss their next two shots and left the door open for Argentina, after making their next two shots, to win the match if they could make one more. France makes the fourth shot, and it all comes down to this kick. If Argentina makes this one, they have won their first World Cup since 1986. And that is exactly what happened, as Argentina’s right-back, Gonzalo Montiel, sent the ball into the back of the net to cap off what soccer/football enthusiasts are calling the greatest World Cup Final of all time.

2022 FIFA World Cup

The 2022 World Cup has featured an abundance of fascinating stories. First, the fact that it was in Qatar – in the winter, no less – was a topic that most were not happy about. Much of this unrest came as the result of  long-standing allegations against Qatar, of human-rights abuse, but there was also just some grumbling about the desert-like climate of the country. Another thing that most fans weren’t happy about was the prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the stadiums for the World Cup. But these anecdotes were just small potatoes compared to the onslaught of stories coming from team performances at this year’s World Cup. From Qatar making history by becoming the first host country to be the first eliminated, to Morocco being the first Arab Nation to make it to the final eight and first African team to make the semis, there have been a multitude of immense stories. One story that hit close to home was the United States Men’s Team advancing to the round of 16. After not qualifying in 2018, the USMNT’s knockout stage finish is a cause for those around the team to believe that they will do big things in the future.

2022 FIFA World Cup-United States v. Wales

Since not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, the US Men’s National Team has been on a mission. With young stars emerging like Christian Pulisic (24), Sergiño Dest (22), and Weston McKinney (24), the goal for this year’s World Cup team was to gain valuable experience and to establish themselves as a legit contender for the FIFA World Cup Trophy for years to come. The sentiment of World Cup fans and USMNT fans, alike, was one of dismissal of the team, because of past performance and being the youngest team in the tournament. This team, led on the field by the youngest captain, Tyler Adams (24), and a first-time World Cup head coach, Gregg Berhalter (49), wasn’t favored to get out on the group stage. However, this didn’t stop the US from having a good showing in the group stage tying with Wales and England before beating Iran, 1-0. In the round of 16, the USMNT showed its youth in a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands.

2022 FIFA World Cup – United States v Wales, 1-1

Even with the loss, the US National Team looks poised for a deep run during the next World Cup in 2026. Another thing to look forward to, if you’re from the US, is that the 2026 World Cup will be partially in the United States. Based on their performance in this year’s World Cup, the USMNT should be able to show that they are a team destined for greatness in front of their home fans. Until 2026, however, we will have to wait and see if our country’s national soccer team can build on their experiences during the 2022 World Cup and if the 2026 World Cup can top this year’s explosive World Cup.