DC area soccer fans disappointed in US World Cup loss, look to 2026

Fans at the Astro Beer Hall in D.C. watch the U.S men’s national soccer fall to the Netherlands Dec. 3, 2022. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
A subdued crowd at a World Cup round of 16 watch party. The U.S. men’s nation team lost 3-1 to the Netherlands Dec. 3, 2022. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
U.S. soccer fans at a D.C. sports bar say their disappointed in the national team’s loss to the Netherlands on Dec. 3, 2022, but remain hopeful for the future of the team, which could get another shot in 2026.

The U.S. men’s national soccer team was eliminated from the World Cup with a 3-1 loss to The Netherlands on Saturday, as fans followed the action at dozens of D.C. sports bars that opened early to accommodate them.

Both floors of the Astro Beer Hall in D.C.’s Penn Quarter were packed with fans watching the live feed of the game on big screen TVs.

“It’s a disappointment,” Brendon Gregoire, a resident of Beltsville, Maryland, said. “We allowed them to get into the game too early, we missed the first chance, the first goal we should have put away … the Netherlands played it well, sat back and countered well.”

Johnny Cronin of Richmond, Virginia, said the U.S. team had its work cut out. Cronin talked about the prowess of the Dutch, sometimes called the best team never to have won a World Cup, reaching the finals the most times without a win, according to FIFA.

“They were the underdogs coming in, so it was an uphill battle anyway, but I think it shows the inexperience on display,” Cronin said. “Defense lapsed. The Netherlands got a ton of wide-open shots.”

But fans also said the team, which tied England and beat Iran to advance into this year’s knockout round, delivered thrills. Fans’ hopes are high for the future, particularly for the 2026 World Cup, which the United States will co-host with Mexico and Canada.

“We made it to the 16, that is huge. Honestly, I’m proud of our boys,” Lindsey Fadul, of Reston, Virginia, said. “This is a young squad and they’ve done what they needed to do to get us to this (round of 16) … we’ve got another four years, and it’s going to be at home.”

Cronin said it is disappointing that the U.S. couldn’t progress more, but still thinks the team gave what it could.

“They stepped up when needed and it’s unfortunate it had to end like this, but they made it this far and I think they should be proud,” Cronin said.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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