Grant Wahl passed away during a World Cup quarterfinal.

The United States lost one of its best on Dec. 9 when sportswriter Grant Wahl passed away during a World Cup match in Qatar on Dec. 9.

He was 49.

Wahl, who forged his reputation during his 20-plus years at Sports Illustrated, collapsed late in the Argentina-Netherlands quarterfinal match. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

He died from the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericard after an autopsy was performed him by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office several days later.

Dr. Celine Gounder, Wahl’s wife, said on Twitter: “I am so thankful for the support of my husband @GrantWahl‘s soccer family & of so many friends who’ve reached out tonight. I’m in complete shock.”

Wahl was never afraid to ask a hard question as  she scoured the country and world for stories.

Wahl’s passing reverberated throughout the American soccer community.

“The entire U.S. Soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl,” U.S. Soccer said in a statement. “Fans of soccer and journalism of the highest quality knew we could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game, and its major protagonists: teams, players, coaches and the many personalities that make soccer unlike any sport.

“Here in the United States, Grant’s passion for soccer and commitment to elevating its profile across our sporting landscape played a major role in helping to drive interest in and respect for our beautiful game. As important, Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will remain, an inspiration to all. Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.”

For a story about Wahl’s impact on soccer in the United States, visit: