It’s World Cup time, soccer fans! Although with the U.S. not even in the tournament this year, it feels disrespectful to use that word. Therefore I will henceforth be referring to the sport as football.
And to everyone who stopped reading when they saw the U.S. didn’t make the cut, for shame. You’re missing out. Why would you pass on the opportunity to discover your new favorite team?
Turns out the world is full of football teams that are better than the U.S. men’s team. Sorry guys…
Side note: Of course the same cannot be said of the U.S. Women’s team (despite paycheck evidence to the contrary). So while I’m thrilled that we’re playing nice with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to co-host the 2026 World Cup, I can’t help but wish that we’d gotten 2024 or 2028 instead.
But back to the task at hand: The 2018 World Cup. With everything that’s happening in the world right now, it’s a little surreal to have an international sports competition hosted in Russia, that the U.S. didn’t qualify for, but that is where we find ourselves.
I know it may be tempting to tune it out because of that, but I think this is a great opportunity for all of us to practice some diplomacy. Just because we don’t have a team in the game, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. Because sometimes we all have to be supportive from the sideline. So, pick your team and prepare for the bi-annual joy of 90ish minute, low-scoring matches (and hashflags!).
Let the games begin!