What is the meaning of "It" at the beginning of the sentence below?

"It the USMNT isn’t quite ready to join soccer’s elite nations, the sport is finding record success at home. "

Guessing from the context, I think the sentence before the comma means "even though~" or something like that, but I'm struggling to know what role the "It" plays grammatically.

Here is the full article I excerpt the sentence from in case you need it. It's in the 3rd paragraph. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/12/12/football/soccer-popularity-us-world-cup-spt-intl/index.html

Thank you in advance!

  • 1
    Aren't there two errors? "It" should be "If" and then a couple words back "it" should be "them".
    – Sam
    Mar 12, 2023 at 3:26
  • The previous "it" refers to the men's team. In American English, "team" is nearly always "it", in British English, you sometimes use "them" for words like team, but "it" is still correct.
    – James K
    Mar 12, 2023 at 4:47

1 Answer 1


This is almost certainly a typo. They meant to write:

If the USMNT isn't quite ready...

  • Thank you so much! You helped me a lot. And thank you to peple who commented as well!
    – wakaran
    Mar 12, 2023 at 5:29

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