The United States men's national team is going to need some time to digest their run at the 2022 World Cup, which ended Saturday with a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands in the Round of 167
The side had an open mission to "change the way the world views American soccer." The jury's out on whether they proved anything they hadn't in the past, but a place in the knockout rounds after failing to qualify for 2018 in Russia is certainly a good advertisement for the country.
[ MORE: Netherlands eliminates USA 3-1 ]
And Christian Pulisic, who had a solid tournament and was involved in all three goals the USMNT scored at the tournament, is even going so far as to apologize to fans back home.
"We're sorry," said Pulisic, who came back days after being hospitalized for a pelvic contusion suffered while scoring against Iran. "We wanted it so bad and I hope that we gave you some kind of excitement and showed you a little bit of what this team is about, and thank you guys."
Pulisic was sensational for large parts of the World Cup and was fouled a remarkable 11 times in 315 minutes. He had a goal and set up the markers scored by Timothy Weah and Haji Wright.
Yes, he'll lament having a third-minute shot saved in the Netherlands contest, but there's much to like about Pulisic and his young teammates in Qatar. That's especially true since they'll be one of three nations with homefield advantage when the tournament comes to the U.S., Canada, and Mexico in 2026.
"It hurts a lot right now," Pulisic said on FOX after the game. "We thought we could advance and do a lot more this time around but I love these guys and we did a lot.
"It was an incredible experience, one I'll always remember. It hurts right now but give it a couple of days and we can look back and be proud."
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Christian Pulisic on USMNT's exit from World Cup: 'We're sorry. We wanted it so bad' originally appeared on NBCSports.com