The US losing World Cup

Our hearts sank a bit as the United States lost the World Cup, when a crucial score eluded them in the final 238 minutes (about 4 hours), the team’s longest-ever drought in a World Cup. 

U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher attempted to deflect Lina Hurtig’s shot in the 7th round of Sunday’s tie-breaking shootout. After batting the ball away and lying in front of the goal, the video replay revealed the ball had crossed the line by the narrowest of margins. Sweden was going to the quarterfinals, and the United States was sent home before the expected departure time. “By like a millimeter or something,” Naeher said. “It’s tough to have your World Cup end by a millimeter.”

This, combined with losses to Netherlands and Portugal in games, led to the US women’s team’s retirement.  A team that had long played with joy, creativity, and confidence became uncertain, predictable, and lacking creativity. 

As a result, the United States is out of the tournament short of the semi-finals for the first time in an unfitting end for famous veterans such as Alex Morgan, Kelly O’Hara, and Megan Rapinoe, who had gone to three World Cup finals straight. “We want to be successful, be able to uphold the legacy that this team deserves,” Morgan said. “And we failed at that.”

Morgan was forced to watch the shootout from the sidelines, having been subbed out of the game in the first two 15-minute extra periods. Rapinoe and O’Hara, on the other hand, were two of the three Americans who missed their penalties. Rapinoe was well off the crossbar, and O’Hara bounced with a soft try off the right post. 

Rapinoe is 38 and has already announced her retirement. She takes her seat in the hall of fame, home to 200 appearances, 63 goals, and the Golden Ball in the last World Cup, where she won her second title. 

“There’s some dark humor,” she said, her voice beginning to crack. “I mean, missing a f— penalty at the end of this game?”


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