First things first, a quick explainer for the non-soccer fans out there. The U.S. soccer team made it to the second round of the World Cup after . But unlike the first-round games, they must win to stay in the tournament. They lose, they head back to the States. They tie, they have to play overtime. Still tied after overtime? They do a shootout to determine the winner.
The second-round game is set for Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. The U.S. plays Netherlands, a team they’ve never faced in the World Cup.
Here’s why you should care:
1. It’s patriotic
It’s all about America. No politics, no squabbling, just all Americans joining together to cheer on their country. Fly those flags proudly! (Sorry, Dutch fans, you’re obligated to root for the U.S. if you live here! We kid, we kid.)
And to top that off, the U.S. is the underdog, and who doesn’t love a good underdog story? The U.S. is ranked 16th in the world, while the Netherlands is ranked 8th.
2. You could witness history
The U.S. men’s team has only won a game in the second round one time in history. (They beat Mexico in 2002.) This would be a huge win for the U.S. team if they can do it again. They’re this close to being the best U.S. men’s team ever.
3. You don’t have to understand the rules
All you need to know is if the ball goes in the goal. Well, kind of. Don’t celebrate or despair too early, because officials are using VAR (video replay, basically) to make sure a goal is a goal. Offsides, substitutions, flopping – just ignore it if you don’t understand it; you’ll still enjoy the game.
4. It’s fun
Especially when you go to a watch party! Cheering on the U.S. with a room full of patriotic fans is extremely fun, as . Even if you just have a friend or family over to watch the game, it’s more fun with fellow fans. is opening early Saturday for the game, and other businesses in Traverse City and beyond might as well – call around or check social media.
5. You’ll be ready for 2026
The next time the World Cup is held – in 2026 – North America will play host to the tournament. By paying attention now, you’ll have a head start on your friends! Games will be played all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with the closest games for Northern Michiganders taking place in Toronto. The host U.S. cities are Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.