USA's Premature WC Exit Shows Just How Much The Rest Of The World Has Caught Up

USA were eliminated before the semi-final stage for the first time in World Cup history
15:00, 09 Aug 2023

We are fast-approaching the quarter-finals of this year’s World Cup and for the first time in a very long time, no one can say it has been predictable. The record champions USA were sent packing in the round of 16 for the first time since the tournament’s inaugural edition in 1991, and it was the first time that they had gone home before the semi-finals.

This will likely go down as a monumental moment in the sport and the biggest indicator to date that the game is growing. The Stars and Stripes have dominated this landscape for far too long, winning four titles, including the previous two editions in 2019 and 2015.

They have been blessed with the best crop of talent for decades but for the first time ever we saw that they are not the strong force that we’ve always known. They were mediocre in the group stage in Australia and New Zealand and then they were beaten on penalties by an in-form Sweden side in the round of 16.


Given their ageing squad, a drop off was expected and it has been a long time coming, but it still doesn’t take away the surprise of how quickly they were eliminated on this occasion. This certainly beats the usual predictability surrounding USA making it to at least the semi-finals - which was getting quite boring. This is new and new is good.


It was certainly a significant moment for football and the biggest shock we’ve seen this tournament, but not the first. Fellow top-10 nations Germany, Brazil and Canada were all eliminated before the knockout stage while tournament debutants Morocco qualified for the knockout stage, and Jamaica made it to the round of 16 for the first time. Their accomplishment is made that much more impressive given the players had to set up a GoFundMe page just to get to the World Cup. Both nations defied the odds to make history this summer and the Reggae Girlz in particular had to climb many hurdles just to get here. Their players have done incredibly well and have brought so much pride to their nation. 

Jamaica posted clean sheets against both top-10 nations France and Brazil in the group stage. This is an indication that while the USA have been comfortable with their success over the years, the rest of the world has been catching up. And while Jamaica isn’t blessed with the talent that the likes of England and Sweden possess, they’ve shown the world they have what it takes to compete at this level. 

Of the eight quarter-finalists in 2022, only Japan have previously won the World Cup in 2011. There is a good chance that they could claim their second this year because they have been brilliant throughout the tournament, but they will face a tough test against Sweden. So there is still a chance that Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, France/Morocco, England or Colombia could join Japan, USA, Germany and Norway as world champions. A first-time winner this year would prove just how much progress the rest of the world has made and it would be a sign of things to come in the future as the game continues to grow.

Now it's up to the USA to catch up. 

England are the 9/4 favourites to win the World Cup with Betfred*

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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