The USA missed their goal to qualify for the World Cup

France won the 2018 FIFA World Cup, while the United States did not qualify


Courtesy of Creative Commons

Image from the 2018 FIFA World Cup Opening Ceremony.

Meredith Prud'homme

With hundreds of millions of avid soccer fans tuning in, the FIFA World Cup is the most watched sporting event in the world. France defeated Croatia 4-2 during this year’s final match, which drew an audience of nearly 700 million viewers, according to FIFA. But due to the USA’s failure to qualify, Americans were largely disinterested.

This year, American interest in the World Cup dropped 44 percent from 2014. Many Americans continued to watch the event, but diverted their support to other teams.

Junior Giulianna Cavazzoni of Wall watched the World Cup this year and said the USA’s early elimination during the qualifying rounds disappointed her..

“I definitely didn’t follow it as closely this year because USA didn’t qualify,” Cavazzoni said.

Junior RJ Franzen of Allentown said he felt unaffected by team USA’s failure to qualify, as he rooted for Croatia from the start.

“I took a quiz before to see what team I should root for. It said that I should root for Croatia,” Franzen said. “I followed it but only watched Croatia and other top 8 matches.”

According to, soccer is only the fifth most popular sport in America. In almost every other country in the world, soccer ranks among the top three sports. With over 250 million people in over 200 countries playing the sport, soccer is by far the most popular internationally, according to FIFA.

Cavazzoni said that while soccer isn’t the most popular in America, its global presence is undeniable.

“I think soccer is a very popular sport, people from all over kept up with the World Cup and there were game viewings in major cities all over,” Cavazzoni said.