The Red, White, and World Cup Blues
Without the United States, without the red-white-and-blue face-paint, without the bond of shared experience, you might be thinking the World Cup won’t be much fun to watch this year. I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth.
First, though, I should say that I hear your disappointment about the US Men’s National team, because missing the tournament is worsened by the team itself causing this. There’s no selection committee to blame, just one of the worst performances in the squad’s history on a warm October night against Trinidad and Tobago. But now you have two options: Pout and leave the TV off or embrace one of the world’s greatest sporting events and allow yourself the chance to realize maybe, just maybe, it’s OK the US didn’t make it.
Soccer’s quadrennial crown jewel kicks off in Russia on Thursday with the hosts playing Saudi Arabia at 11 a.m. Eastern. While you might not have much invested in either of those two teams, it will feature our first look at how Vladimir Putin’s government will stage this tournament at a time when the global community’s relationship with the country seem more fraught than ever.
The intrigue on the field might be even thicker, with all-time greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing with their legacies on the line, with Egyptian megastar Mohamed Salah poised to break out, with the question swirling about who can take down the mighty Germans and with so many more […]