“We used to be excited when one of our young players took the field against Chelsea, or Juventus or Milan,” said [Roger] Bennett. “Now we have talents that play for all of those teams and more. They have gained both the self-respect that comes with that, as well as the commercial opportunities.”
Stereotypes linger, especially overseas—the U.S. as plucky, undertalented overachievers from a country that doesn’t say football and can’t hang with the highest contenders. You could sense a little of this from the disappointed England fans who booed their homeland squad off the pitch following the draw with the U.S.
But that’s an old mindset. The U.S. team is in Qatar not to represent, but to win, the surest signal that the sport has evolved past any kind of existential debate about its future or perception around the world.
What does Tuesday’s game versus Iran mean for the United States? It means survival at the World Cup. That’s meaningful enough.
Like every U.S. World Cup game, Tuesday’s match versus Iran is being presented as a referendum about the sport’s future in America. But that’s old thinking, writes columnist @jasongay, who says this confident and capable team is well past that point. https://t.co/BRqbh7SnEh
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) November 28, 2022