USA Out Of World Cup. But Is It The One You Think?

NOTE:  CLICK THIS for a great piece on what’s covered below by Martin Pengelly.

DUBAI – It’s hot in the desert – and thttps://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/nov/19/us-rugby-in-despair-after-world-cup-flop-but-eagles-insist-on-signs-of-hopehe Middle East has a LOT of desert. How does 85 degrees at night sound? That’s hot. But if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Now for today’s top story: USA Out of World Cup

USA Out of World Cup

All but 1% of you are wondering what in the Sam Hill I’m talking about. If you’re a soccer/futbol fan, you may be confused, wondering if you missed Team USA vs Wales. Don’t worry. You didn’t. Well, it depends on when you read this, actually. They’re scheduled to kick-off their snooze-fest at 2pm Monday. Perfect for a top-of-the-week siesta! But alas, that aforementioned 1% of you that know what I’m talking about, the ones shuffling around robotically with legs that feel 200 lbs each, in an catatonic trance, are nodding knowingly. You are still hoping what you saw yesterday morning was all part of a really, really bad dream. See, there’s this #rugby thing going on in the USA. Fastest growing sport in the country. Kids playing. Male and female. All-inclusive. Physical. Fast. Fun fans. Over in 80 minutes. Very limited substitutions. Players playing both sides of the ball with the goal of playing the entire match. A professional league entering its 6th season. A Rugby World Cup awarded for 2031 (men) and 2033 (women).

But yesterday… all that was thrown asunder.

Team USA failed to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France next October. They did so in catastrophic, inexplicable fashion. Worse than Josh Allen fumbling vs the Vikings. Worse than Carlos Beltran taking striking three. Worse than the Mets collapsing in 2007 and 2008. Worse that Scott Norwood’s “wide right.” That’s right. Portugal, trailing by 3 points with no time left on the clock, needed but a tie to advance to #RWC2023 – based on point differentials (no overtime). Their Player of the Match attempted a drop-goal during live play from about 45 yards out during the fabulously frenetic finish. The kick sailed high and far. People in nations across the globe held their breath. The well-struck pregnant white football seemed to stay in the air for hours, not seconds. Careers, livelihoods, sponsorships and network deals churned frantically with its every revolution.

And…

It hit the top of the left upright! No good! Team USA’s Mitch Wilson caught it as it bounced back into play. Euphoria?! Was it over?!

NO.

The referee’s whistle called all back to a torturous reality…  a penalty! Portugal would get another shot – this time without players flying about. Samuel Marques would be kicking for everything…

And this time…

The kick was good! The 16-16 tie meant Portugal would be playing in Paris.

For many, it was bad. Very bad. For those of us in the USA rooting for the Eagles, it was brutally bad. Heads will roll. Tempers are flaring. Question after question is being asked. Worse still, everyone on social media has the fix. Thus is the case in The Fog of War.

NONE OF IT MATTERS.

USA Rugby has failed its fan base, blown opportunity after opportunity and now has only to look at 2027 with longing, beleaguered and reddened eyes.

Share Button
About Matt McCarthy 312 Articles
Matt McCarthy, is the MTM founder and consequently wears many hats: Director, Editor, Writer, Web guy and Podcaster... Also known as Short Matt, he's also a two-bit actor, voice-over pro, rugby, baseball and ice hockey player and likes hazelnut coffee with rice milk, while strolling in the sand, listening to foreign films... Matt also moonlights on MTM spin-off, RugbyWrapUp.com, often wearing a wig and glasses while butchering a Kiwi accent.