The Americans stopped, one by one, unwillingly building up a sort of staccato chorus that spoke of their pain at their 3-1 shot from the Netherlands, their sense that they could have done more, and their sense that maybe they could do more. .
They offered a bit of What I Learned At The World Cup, like when goalkeeper Matt Turner said, “The main thing is that the margins of success or failure in this tournament are so thin,” or when the youngest captain of this World Cup, said Tyler Adams: “If there’s one thing this team takes away from it, it comes down to the margins,” or as veteran DeAndre Yedlin said, “Most importantly, the group has learned what it feels like to lose in a World Cup. , and that goes a long way,” or when Christian Pulisic said, “We don’t want to feel that way anymore.”
USMNT’s hopeful World Cup run ends with a loss to the Netherlands
First came Turner, 28, who began: “The silence is deafening [in the locker room]; everyone is disappointed.” He spoke of how Dutch seemed to have “anticipation” about the cutback crosses that produced the first two goals, said it “came down to both boxes” where “they finished their chances”, said it had been an honor and said he hoped that boys and girls watched and strove to emulate.
“There is huge potential,” he said. “If you don’t see that, I don’t know… The potential is clear.” He didn’t want that to be “our MO”, saying: “That’s part of changing the expectations of our fans, changing the expectations of the players in the dressing room, not just feeling like we’ve got a trophy won because we made it through the round.” from 16.”
Next came Adams, 23, who talked about those “margins” – they’re basically all over the 32 team event – and how the centre-backs “did really well”, and how he wasn’t there in 2010 and 2014. when the United States reached the same point, so he doesn’t know, but this does feel “special.”
World Cup bracket and knockout round schedule
Soon came Walker Zimmerman, the 29-year-old central defender. He analyzed the Dutch puncture of the American air tightness carried through Group B, but which Denzel Dumfries’ cross-backs failed to resist in the first half. “Right,” he said, “you never know if it’s something they might have seen on tape. I mean, I would have to go back to the group stage and see if those spaces were still open. Of course, those opportunities did not leave us untouched in the group stage. Maybe it’s something they saw. Maybe it’s just the performance at that point, but again, definitely that second one, we need to be able to mentally stop that game.
He summed up. “That’s what makes it the hardest,” he said, “just to know how special this team was, how hard we worked.” Thinking they arrived with the goal of winning everything and “showing we can compete with anyone,” he ran down a list of promising traits that included “the youth of the team,” the “bond,” the “love we have done.” He said this World Cup was “something a lot of American fans can look at and be proud of – the way we play, the way we did our job. So I think we’ll be back hungrier than ever, a lot of the guys in their what we considered their best we’ve got a lot of guys coming through the pipeline that I think can contribute so it’s an exciting time to be an American football fan and I wish the legacy — that what hurts is that we thought this was a group that could have done something that no American team had done.
USMNT’s Walker Zimmerman is a very good football player. He could be a better teammate.
Andries Noppert came by. He is not American but Dutchman, and a goalkeeper, and he answered a few questions and agreed: “They go like crazy, like crazy. They work together. They don’t give up.”
Yunus Musah, somehow still only 20, cut it short but said, “The team that we are, we could have done a lot better.”
Brenden Aaronson, 22, was a little less brief, saying: “Sad and a lot of emotions. It’s just tough.” And, “I mean, listen, we had as many opportunities as they did.”
Antonee Robinson, still only 25, walked on and said of the two early goals: “I don’t know. I can not tell you. Maybe they pulled our team apart a bit in terms of positioning.” He said he hopes Coach Gregg Berhalter stays on, saying, “He has given a lot of guys a chance to develop with this group. If you look at the whole campaign, almost everyone has played their first World Cup.”
He said he felt “like I gave it all I could have”, and that “a lot of these players could have been together for years and years now.”
Brewer: Don’t see the loss of the USMNT as the end. It is a down payment on the future.
Here came Weston McKennie, 24, who proactively defended Pulisic for his third-minute miss: “For anyone who would try in the future, ‘Oh, if Christian would’ve scored that’, we’ve all seen what he did for the U.S. football. We all know it’s a collective here. We all try to support each other.”
He spoke of “a common goal four years ago” after missing out on the previous World Cup, saying: “This tournament has really restored a lot of faith and a lot of respect. We showed we can be giants. We may not be there yet , but we are definitely on our way.”
“There was plenty in the tank,” he began, to a question about fatigue.
“It’s going to hurt for a while,” he said of the early miss.
“We’ve certainly come a long way,” he said.
He said the Orange seemed to have two real chances early on, but also two real goals. “It felt like we were 2-nil down, but it didn’t feel like it should be. That’s what good teams do, they punish you.”
Yedlin, 29, the only player to leave Brazil in 2014, stopped and said: “I mean, I think we gave hope to a lot of people. People who see the talent of this team get excited. The camaraderie of the group is exciting.”
“Now it’s a whole different story,” he said. “They know that feeling of what it’s like to lose after putting so much into it.”
Tim Ream, the USMNT’s ‘grandpa’ at age 35, never gave up on his World Cup dream
Last came Tim Ream, the 35-year-old defender. The night, the World Cup and his career in the US were over, on a night when, as he put it from so much experience, ‘Sometimes, you know, good players jump at you. They anticipated. Those two players [Dumfries and Memphis], they were slightly faster. It was probably something they had been working on.”
‘Yeah,’ he said, ‘I mean, I tried to make it clear to the boys: you’re never sure of anything in this game. I’ve been in the program for 12 years, never guaranteed anything. Many of these guys are assured of a next World Cup. That’s not going to happen for me… I gave it my all and I hope these guys take that advice. I’ve seen them follow that advice in the three weeks we’ve been together, so I hope they continue to do so.”
That ended the mixed zone for the night.
World Cup in Qatar
The last: The knockout phase continued on Saturday at the World Cup, with Argentina beating Australia 2-1 in the round of 16. Argentina, with world star Lionel Messi in what is likely to be his last World Cup, is one of the favorites to win the tournament, managing to finish first in Group C and progress to the quarter-finals despite a shock loss to Saudi Arabia in their first match.
USMT: The US men’s national team lost 3-1 to the Netherlands on Saturday in the opening game of the round of 16. The Netherlands, winners of group A, had finished the group stage without a loss and only conceded one goal. The winning streak continues, while the US run is over.
Knockout round schedule: A World Cup group stage full of shocking setbacks and dramatic reversals now gives way to a knockout round that promises even more surprises.
Worldview today: Ishaan Tharoor, The Post’s foreign columnist, reports on his week at the World Cup in Qatar.