The United States managed to honor the memory of Alexei Lalas and his family

An American fan, wearing an Alexi Lalas wig and goatee, kisses his partner during his team’s game against Iran (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

At all World Cups, bizarre images are seen in the stands, where euphoria and sometimes alcohol make for truly awful outfits. Qatar 2022 does not give away too much weirdness because, Firstly, queerness is frowned upon all over the country, so the most you will see are hooligans dressed as sheikhs making fun of; Secondly, because, in principle, and although we know that exceptions are allowed, alcohol is prohibited throughout the country.

Even wearing a rainbow bracelet is grounds for expulsion from the stadium – And our silence, our silence, our silence … – Nothing is better than resorting to the most innocent icons of the past. For example, an entire generation had goosebumps When we saw an American fan wearing a grunge wig and red beard that mimicked the look of midfielder Alexi Lalas at the legendary 1994 World Cup in the United States. Not only was Lalas an excellent soccer player, he was the first player from his country to play in Serie A when Serie A was serious, but he seemed to be out of “Singles” or “Reality Bites” or any of those movies that pulled Hollywood. Of which. From Quantum to Impress Generation X.

This team is from the United States, With Lalas in defense, Tony Meola in goal, Tab Ramos and the wonderful Claudio Reina in midfield, in addition to Eric Wynalda as striker.Or managed to qualify for the round of 16 and give meaning to the organization of the Sports World Cup until then despised. They lit a fuse that did not explode: The United States has participated in every men’s World Cup final from 1990 to 2014 inclusive. They did not qualify for the 2018 tournament, but instead won three of the last five CONCACAF Gold Cups.

On a female level, he was the greatest dominatrix on the planet: They’ve won four of the eight World Cups they’ve contested, including the last two editions with a massive finish. Football, starting in the 1990s, brought about a social revolution in the country and became a symbol of women’s sports. Something that men only touched when Rina, Kobe Jones, Landon Donovan and company reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Korea and Japan in 2002.

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Is the 2022 team capable of performing the tasks of its predecessors? Honestly the feeling is that it is above … but the competition is more brutal. Tuesday’s victory over Iran, a very strong and deadly team, puts them into the last 16 against the Netherlands. They have already shown their quality with a draw against Wales and another against England. In both matches, they deserved more. There is a sense of teamwork and attacking play that has always made this team attractive, but now there are also world class players.

I am referring above all to Christian Pulisic, who scored the winning goal. Pulisic, who already played a key role in Chelsea’s clash against Real Madrid in 2021, who led the British team to the final and ended up winning the Champions League for the second time. He is a mixed player and his injury after colliding with the goalkeeper could determine the future of his team. With Pulisic, the United States can aspire to beat the Netherlands, of course they can. And from there, whatever came will be a gift.

Because the truth is that in addition to a good attack, the team is solid in defense – drawing 0-0 against England is no easy feat – and they have other players who attract attention: Tim Weh, Serginho Dest, Younes Musa, Weston McKinney or Gio Reina, son of Claudio. They all have one thing in common: they are not 25 years old and, in principle, Its explosion was expected for the 2026 World Cup, which the United States will co-organise with Mexico and Canada. Nothing indicates that they cannot move on.

It will depend, as I said before, on Pulisic. The coach, Greg Bielharter, is not entirely optimistic about his presence in the last 16, so others will have to take a step forward and, above all, will have to improve their accuracy in front of goal.. With a decent striker up front – what about Altidore, the big teen star who lost himself early in fame? – The team would have won all three group matches and are now favorites in the round of 16. Instead, the question remains of whether they will still be a good, very innocent team. Doubt should be removed as soon as possible. Maybe on Saturday against Van Gaal and his team.

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