David Beckham, LeBron James and NFL star JJ Watt led tributes pouring in on social media for the USMNT, with the latter hailing Christian Pulisic for putting his body on the line to score against Iran, as the US advance to the Round of 16 at the World Cup.
‘Sacrificing the crown jewels for a massive goal in the World Cup… that’s dedication @cpulisic_10,’ tweeted the Arizona Cardinals defensive end after the final whistle was blown at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
‘@USMNT CONGRATS MEN on advancing,’ LeBron James shared minutes later. ‘Keep going!!!’
Soccer star David Beckham later congratulated the USA, writing on Instagram: ‘Amazing achievement @USMNT. Well done Gregg.’
David Beckham, JJ Watt, LeBron James and Carli Lloyd led the charge of congratulatory tweets following the USMNT’s 1-0 win over Iran on Tuesday
Christian Pulisic scored in the 38th minute before clashing into Iran’s Alreza Beiranvand
Former USWNT striker Carli Lloyd, who scored 134 goals in 316 appearances for the Star and Stripes, reacted: ‘What a fight!!! Well done boys. Way to lay it all on the line to get that [ball] in the back of the net @cpulisic_10! Onto the next! #WorldCup2022 #USA’
Pulisic scored while crashing headfirst into Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand in the 38th minute from a Sergino Dest cross. The Chelsea winger sprawled on the field and was lying in the goal for about three minutes as he received treatment from the US staff. He reentered the game but was replaced at the start of the second half.
‘Exhale…my goodness…Onto the knockout,’ tweeted a relieved Stuart Holden, who is Fox Sports’ play-by-play announcer in Qatar.
‘WE’RE NOT PACKING OUR BAGS. WE’RE NOT GOING HOME. WE’RE MOVING ON!!!,’ the US men’s soccer team shared seconds after the team emerged victorious from Tuesday’s win-or-go-home game.
Landon Donovan, Stuart Holden and Alexi Lalas also tweeted congrats after big win in Doha
US midfielders Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams embraced after taking lead in the first half
‘Proud of my team. Proud of my country. Moving on,’ wrote ex-US captain Alexi Lalas.
‘Lets gooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!,’ tweeted Landon Donovan, the US’ joint-tied all-time leading scorer with 57 goals along with Clint Dempsey.
‘Next on the menu for USA Soccer is some Dutch Apple pie,’ said former Washington, Browns and Ravens player Robert Griffin III, referring to the US’ next opponent.
The Americans finished second in Group B with five points, two behind England, and will play the Netherlands on Saturday with the chance to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002.
Iran finished third with three points. The team has failed to advance in all six of its World Cup appearances.
There was heightened tension surrounding the match because of the strained relations between the United States and Iran’s Islamic government. Iran had famously upset the U.S. 2-1 in the 1998 tournament in France, eliminating the Americans.
Surprise US roster omission and goalkeeper Zach Steffen was among other high-profile athletes celebrating Tuesday’s win on Twitter
Yunus Musah, Brenden Aaronson and Walker Zimmerman celebrate qualifying for knockouts
‘Round of 16… Congrats gents,’ tweeted US goalkeeper Zach Steffen, who was omitted from the Star and Stripes’ 26-man squad heading to the tournament.
‘I feel all warm and fuzzy inside,’ shared ex-USMNT defender Jimmy Conrad. ‘I love you, @USMNT!’
‘SURVIVED AND ADVANCED,’ the Premier League’s USA account on Twitter said.
‘Congrats to @USMNT and @cpulisic_10 for delivering in a big way. #USMNT,’ Taylor Twellman wrote online.
The ex-New England Revolution forward then tweeted a picture of Pulisic celebrating Team USA’s win from a hospital bed in Doha, along the caption: ‘Stud #USMNT’
Taylor Twellman called Pulisic a ‘stud’ on Twitter and shared a picture of the winger celebrating Tuesday’s win
Among professional sports team, the LA Rams led the charge in congratulating the Star and Stripes for extending their stay in the Middle East.
‘MOVING ON! LET’S GO,’ the reigning Super Bowl champions tweeted along a GIF of head coach Sean McVay beaming.
The New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars also sent their regards among NFL teams.
The Los Angeles Rams were among many NFL teams congratulating the USMNT for their World Cup progress
Academy-award winning actor Matthew McConaughey also congratulated the US men’s team, sharing on Twitter: ‘wanted, needed, gotten, on to 15 #USA #WorldCup2022’
‘What was your max hear rate during the last 20-25 minutes? Go USA!!,’ said two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Mia Hamm.
Meanwhile, Cameron Carter-Vickers, the son of former NBA player Howard Carter, made his World Cup debut in place of Walker Zimmerman and gave the U.S. an entirely Europe-based lineup for the first time ever in World Cup play on Tuesday.