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Winners and losers from day 14 of the World Cup

Bye bye, American guys.

Netherlands v USA: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

After missing out on the tournament completely in 2018, the USMNT made their way back to a men’s World Cup this time around and showed that they’ve grown in the intervening years. They fell to a legitimate world footballing power in the Netherlands, but they showed quality and promise through the Group Stage and gave plenty of reason to be excited for what they could do in 2026. It’s disappointing that their run was so short at this tournament, but we still had some fun. The Netherlands showed that they’ve got much more firepower than just Cody Gakpo, as Memphis Depay got his first goal of the tournament and Denzel Dumfries put on a clinic.

Australia made their deepest run at the tournament since 2006, and similarly had the bad fortune of facing a tournament favorite as reward. Lionel Messi played a starring role as Argentina made pretty straightforward work of the Socceroos, scoring the opening goal and creating four other chances. We’ve got (hopefully) even more excitement ahead, so it’s probably best we jump in.


The favorites: This one’s not complicated. In the two Round of 16 games on Saturday — the Netherlands vs. the US and and Argentina vs. Australia — the clear favorites came out on top. After some delightful chaos and upsets throughout the Group Stage, there’s something comforting and reassuring about the big guys winning. Don’t get me wrong, I love an underdog and was rooting for Jorstian Mordan and the rest of the USMNT fellas, but a relatively calm start to my Saturday was a welcome change.

Legacy: Regardless of how this tournament goes, Lionel Messi will be remembered as one of the best players to ever kick a football. His ability and accomplishments are beyond question, but still the lack of a World Cup title to his name leaves some unsure of where among the greatest he belongs. With his goal to open the scoring against Australia, Messi and Argentina moved one step closer to contending for that piece of silverware. Messi’s goal also moves him firmly into the Golden Boot race, which has a number of players all tied on 3 goals. His legacy is already secure, but this tournament is an opportunity to fit it with further adornments.


Jorstian Mordan: It breaks my heart to say this, but the USMNT has been eliminated and we never saw more than half of Jorstian Mordan even flirt with the field at the tournament. Even Jordan Morris, the only member of the pair to play World Cup minutes, only got a total of 3 minutes officially (with added time he probably played closer to 15 minutes, but that’s kind of beside the point). It’s still cool that they got the opportunity to experience a World Cup as part of a team, but it is a little disappointing that we didn’t get to see more of them. On the bright side, they now get to rest up ahead of the start of preseason next month.

Fox’s talking heads: If you’ve watched any of Fox’s broadcasts through this World Cup with either sound or subtitles on, you know that there’s nothing they love to talk about more than a USMNT game that either has already happened or will happen soon. It might be during another game, or halftime, or pre- or post-game, but if there’s a way to shoehorn the USMNT into the conversation they’re going to find it. I’m sure they’ll still manage to bring up Christian Pulisic here and there, and talk about the team’s chances in 2026, but we all must feel for their loss of material. At least they’ve still got Messi, though.

Storylines to watch on Day 15

7:00 AM - France vs. Poland: Poland managed to squeak out of Group C by virtue of goal difference. In the final game of the Group Stage, facing a truly superior opponent for the first time, they fell 2-0 to Argentina. Now facing arguably the best team in the tournament, they’ll need a much better performance than the one they gave against Argentina. If they’re going to have a real shot at advancing, Robert Lewandowski is going to need to step into the spotlight. Otherwise Kylian Mbappe and friends are probably going to keep their title defense going.

Watch the game on FS1, Telemundo, or streaming on and Peacock.

11:00 AM - England vs. Senegal: Is it coming home? Can it ever come home? Does it have a curfew? Honestly, the biggest question in this game seems likely to be which defense can weather the storm the best. Both sides are plenty capable of scoring goals, as both teams’ wins all came from multi-goal games, but they’ve similarly shown that they can be gotten at. Senegal has seemed a bit more susceptible, having not kept a clean sheet through the Group Stage, but England’s two goals allowed against Iran are evidence that Gareth Southgate’s defense can be beaten.

Watch the game on FS1, Telemundo, or streaming on and Peacock.

You can catch replays of all games in English on or Spanish on Peacock 30 minutes after the final whistle.

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