The World Cup from a Newbie’s Perspective!


FIFA via Getty Images

DOHA, QATAR – DECEMBER 03: Christian Pulisic of United States reacts after a missed chance during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Netherlands and USA at Khalifa International Stadium on December 03, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Maddie Meyer – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Dylan Gaynor, Reporter

(This was written by someone who has never watched a game of fútbol before the World Cup, so watch the progression from the start to the end of the article to see me learn how the game works!)

For my fellow Americans who might be a little confused as to why everyone is wearing strange jerseys, it’s World Cup time! And while I, like many others, have never watched soccer (fútbol) before, many hopeful fans have taken up the sport to watch along with the rest of the world. So, to help those who might be a little lost (like myself), here are my takes on each U.S. game from the group stage (from an uninformed American perspective).

USA 1 – Wales 1 (Draw)

My Takeaways:

This game was decent to watch. The highlight was definitely the U.S.A’s goalie, Matt Turner. His save was pretty impressive, and it looked like Wales was going to win if it weren’t for Turner. The lone goal for the U.S. was pretty impressive; when I looked at the replay, there were 3 or 4 defenders around the player and he still made a nice pass. Overall, I enjoyed the game, but I do have to say it was a little slow.

Overall rating: 7/10

USA 0 – England 0 (Draw)

My Takeaways: 

AMERICA ON TOP! How is it that no matter what England does, they can’t beat the stars and stripes? To be honest, I was watching this game less out of interest in the sport and more for a patriotic duty. Building up to this game, most people were expecting England to wipe the floor with an inferior U.S. team, but with most things, England came up short (just like in the Revolutionary War). While this game was (technically) a draw, it feels like much more of a win for the U.S. as they put up much more of a fight than expected. The game was decent, but the patriotism was better.

Overall rating: 1776/10

USA 1 – Iran 0

My Takeaways:

The U.S. is going to the round of 16! With what felt like the entire school watching the game, the tension was high throughout West Boca. WIth a strong start, Christian Pulisic takes a pass and kicks it right behind Iran’s goalie, making it 1-0. Pulisic later returned to the pitch, in a second half that was not in the U.S.’s favor. Avoiding multiple chances for Iran to tie, the U.S. holds on to move on to play Netherlands on Saturday, December 3rd at 10 AM est.

Overall rating: 8/10

USA 1 – Netherlands 3

My Takeaways:

Ugh, This one was frustrating. The Netherlands dominated most of the game, limiting the U.S. team to a small amount of chances. By the time the U.S. was able to put one in the back of the net, it was already a 3 goal game, and reducing the deficit to 2 was not nearly enough to make the game competitive. Unfortunately, this means that the deep-rooted love for soccer in America will once again go into hibernation until 2026, when America hosts the World Cup along with Mexico and Canada. It was a good run, and we’ll see the U.S. fútbol team back in action soon enough.

Rating: Disappointment/10

         Overall, what are my thoughts on fúbol? It’s slower than most other sports that are popular in the United States, but the sense of comradery around the school and the community is spectacular. In a diverse school like ourselves, seeing all types of people rally around their home countries was an incredible show of the international community that is contained inside of West Boca. The sea of Brazil jerseys on every game day demonstrates everyone’s love for the game, and that in itself is impressive. I would watch fúbol again, but I will wait until 2026 to do so.