World Cup dilemma

Without Team USA, will America watch?


The FIFA World Cup will take place in Russia from June 14 to July 15.

Kyle Henderson, Iris Reviews Editor

This summer, soccer will be on everyone’s minds once again, as the 2018 FIFA World Cup commences on June 14. While this tournament draws a large viewing from fans across the globe, there is one aspect about this year that threatens to diminish American viewership: The United States did not qualify for the first time in nearly three decades, and therefore will not be playing in this year’s World Cup. That raises the question of how this will affect American viewership of this year’s tournament.

Based on data from the 2014 World Cup, it is clear that the elimination of the United States from the field will result in a decline in viewers. According to Bloomberg, viewership for English-language audiences was approximately four times higher during U.S. matches than during all other matches through the Round of 16.

WHS junior Ethan Useloff was disappointed about the United States’ elimination, as he found the World Cup to be very entertaining. “It was so electric in 2014 when the national team was playing in Brazil’s World Cup, and I had hoped that we would have more of that same energy this summer,” he said.

Junior Dylan Howland also felt let down by the team’s absence. “Since the U.S. is such a large country, it’s just surprising that we don’t have the talent level to qualify,” Howland said.

While there is some disappointment among American viewers, many remain eager to watch this year’s World Cup. WHS sophomore Jasni McGrail has cultural ties to England, and she will be watching to support England’s national team. “I’m excited to see the Brits play, and plus, there are some great games to watch during the World Cup,” she said.

Useloff remains optimistic despite the United States’ absence, and his love for the World Cup continues unabated because of the high stakes and immense pressure. He notes, “The fact that so many people across the world are watching the same games you are is pretty incredible.”