US men's national soccer team knocked out of the World Cup by Netherlands

US men's national soccer team knocked out of the World Cup by Netherlands
Christian Pulisic.James Williamson/AMA/Getty Images
  • The US men's soccer team was knocked out of the World Cup in a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands.
  • The US had several chances on goal, but ultimately lost on some costly defensive mistakes.

The US Men's National Team's journey at the 2022 World Cup came to an end after being defeated 3-1 by the Netherlands on Saturday.

The loss is a bittersweet one as the US making the knockout stage of the tournament was considered a victory after missing the tournament entirely in 2018 — prompting a rebuild of the men's team. Yet it was also a preventable loss, one filled with mistakes and missed opportunities.

Netherlands received goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind, and Denzel Dumfries. All came on some form of defensive lapse from the US, with the US defenders and midfielders not tracking men as they entered the final third.

"It wasn't our best performance [defensively]," goalie Matt Turner said after the match.

He added: "We were allowing balls into the box and not tracking runners. When you let good teams with world-class players run freely onto a ball, it can make things pretty difficult for us. We didn't block shots — it was just a tough night overall defensively. One that we'll probably lose some sleep over."


Despite the defensive lapses, the US had numerous chances offensively. Christian Pulisic missed a clean look in the third minute of the game that would have put the Netherlands on their heels.

The US had eight shots on goal to the Netherlands' six, with several more missing wide or over the net. One golden opportunity for Haji Wright in the 75th minute — when he received the ball inside the box with Netherlands keeper Andries Noppert out of position — was blown by a heavy first touch that put his shot at an awkward angle.

Wright got redemption minutes later with the Americans' only goal, finishing a cross from Pulisic somewhat miraculously, as the ball hit off his heel and loped over the Netherlands keeper and into the goal.

However, minutes later, the Dutch rebounded, as Dumfries was left completely unmarked and finished an easy cross from Blind to score a third goal.

After the match, Fox analyst and former national team player Alexi Lalas bemoaned the preventable mistakes from the men's team.


"The mistakes that were made were not evolved type of soccer thinking," he said. "What let us down in this game were the fundamentals, the tried-and-true types of things the US has done forever. Marking men, tracking runners, all that type of stuff, that can be done. That doesn't require a soccer culture, it doesn't require a golden generation to do."

US men's national soccer team knocked out of the World Cup by Netherlands
USMNT made progress at the World Cup, but showed there is still work to be done.Juan Luis Diaz/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Still, the result inspires confidence for the future. The US was the second youngest team in the tournament and still in the process of rebuilding.

"I think we made some progress," United States coach Gregg Berhalter said, per The Associated Press. "When people look at our team, they see a clear identity. They see guys that go out and fight for each other. They see the talent on the field. We made progress, but on this particular night we came up short."

Berhalter's future is among the big decisions facing the team, as he is approaching the end of a four-year contract. While he has inspired the team and helped lead the turnaround, his substitutions and strategies have been criticized by fans and analysts.