The United States might be in the Group of Death as they have already played a formidable foe in England who is a favorite to win this World Cup, but the Eagles also have to play other nations like France, Argentina, and Tonga. It’s not an easy group to be in despite all the progress they have made in the last year to say the least. That being said, I still think the United States can actually make it out of this group. Hear me out now.
Argentina is ranked 10th in the world while the United States is ranked 13th. That right there should suggest that the matchup should be more evenly matched. Argentina did not look all that sharp against France in their match recently and while I personally see them as the second best team in the group, I think the US will play them hard. If the Eagles were to play Scotland as close as they did last year, then they should able to play Argentina hard and beat them. The only issue here is the scrum as the Argentinians are known for their strong scrum. That will be a key factor here.
France is another story. The French have been a very inconsistent side of late and you never know what to expect of them. Sure they have had some very good defensive matches, but you never know what squad shows up. If they show up well, then the United States should struggle, but if they don’t, you could expect an upset. France may be ranked seventh, but they are only ranked ahead of Japan, a tier two nation like the Eagles and whom beat them recently, should suggest the competition is closer than it appears. This match may be closer than appears.
Going into this tournament it was thought that the best finish for the US was fourth as most thought that they would beat Tonga. Tonga has always been a strong and physical team and a “guaranteed” win should have never been the mindset. That being said, if the US does win that match, what a result it would be. If the Eagles were trying to make it to the Quarterfinals by the Tonga match, then this would be a good opportunity.
So let’s review this, if the US could beat Argentina and France, they essentially advance if the outcome of the Tonga match proves to be true. The Eagles have been putting up solid performances for the last year and it only suggests that the closer the competition is in the rankings, the better the outcome will be for them.
It’s not like the United States has no world class players, they have AJ MacGinty, Hanco Germishuys, Titi Lamositele, Nick Civetta, Shaun Davies, Ben Landry, Blaine Scully, Joe Taufete’e, and Bryce Campbell, as well with other great players as Cam Dolan, Tony Lamborn, Nate Augspurger, Nate Brakeley, Will Hooley, Will Magie, Paul Lasike, Paul Mullen, Marcel Brache, Dylan Fawsitt, and Greg Peterson. There’s a lot of quality there. They can match up well with most of the world. They are also led by a world class coach in Gary Gold, who is doing wonders for the national side.
Now, the likelihood is that the Eagles will not move out of group play and win one match. That’s fine, but still, it ignores the fact that the United States are way better than people think. They’re going to be aggressive and they are going to play solid defense. They also have confidence which is dangerous in any sport. With the recent upset of Japan over Ireland, it shows how much better the Tier Two nations are. The rest of the world is lucky that the US is as not in the sport as possible for the moment, otherwise, Americans would dominate this sport. France and Argentina should be careful with the Eagles, they’re much more dangerous than one would think, they could actually pull off some upsets and move on as the matchups are closer than they appear.