For several months, soccer fans in the United States tried to reckon with failing to qualify for the World Cup.
The disappointment in Trinidad and Tobago ran the gamut of reactions. Rage turned into disappointment. Sadness yielded to inquisitiveness. Anger and envy eventually rose to the fore.
None of those reactions — or the gamut of ways people tried to place the failure to qualify in context — really provides a varnish for the frustrating truth. The World Cup is taking place in Russia this month. And the United States isn’t a part of it for the first time in three decades.
This reality leaves many soccer fans across New England without a natural team to support. This is particularly true for those poor souls who usually support Italy or the Netherlands as a first- or second-choice side.
No, you don’t have to pick a team. It’s more than fair to just watch the World Cup because it’s the World Cup. How can you resist it?
But if you are compelled to track one team or turn out for one country, then there are options. You just have to look a little further than the usual dash toward the red, white and blue.