USA World Cup group
Having qualified for international soccer’s showpiece tournament, the USMNT finds themselves drawn into a Group B that also includes Wales, Iran and potential title-challengers, England.
For USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter, navigating his young team out of the group could be a challenge. England head into the tournament on the back of an appearance last summer in the Euro 2020 Final. Although Gareth Southgate’s team lost the final to Italy, they made a strong showing in the tournament, which was postponed for a year due to COVID.
Also in Group B are Wales, a team led by superstar Gareth Bale. Bale, a serial winner with Real Madrid, has experience against North American teams, having scored the tying goal in the 2022 MLS Cup Final that saw Los Angeles FC go on to win the tournament on penalties.
The fourth team in the group, Iran, is also not to be taken lightly. Although Iran lacks the star power of England or Wales, it is currently ranked fifth in the Asian Football Confederation and is ranked 20th in the world by FIFA. The USA is ranked at 16.
USA World Cup squad
Berhalter has a talented young team at his disposal heading into the tournament. Gone are the veteran players like Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey that led the team last time around. In their place is a new crop of players, many of which play their club game at top teams in top leagues in England, Italy and Spain.
The key man for the U.S. is likely to be Christian Pulisic. The 24-year-old missed out on making his debut in Russia after the Yanks failed to qualify. Since then, he’s gone from Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga to Chelsea in the English Premier League. With the London club, he’s won the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Other notables in the squad include Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie, Barcelona defender Sergino Dest and Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner.
Click here for a complete look at the 2022 US World Cup roster.
USA World Cup Schedule
Here’s a rundown of the Group Stage schedule for the USMNT:
- United States vs. Wales — Monday, Nov. 21, 11 a.m. PST
- England vs. United States — Friday, Nov. 25, 11 a.m. PST
- Iran vs. United States — Tuesday, Nov. 29, 11 a.m. PST
What success looks like for the USA
If the U.S. is to equal its performance in the last two World Cups it appeared in — 2010 and 2014 — and progress beyond the group stage, getting a good result in its tournament opener against Wales could be essential before its Black Friday meeting with England. A good showing against Wales and at least a draw against England, could put the USMNT in a position to qualify for the Round of 16.
With the talent at its disposal, the U.S. will have a puncher’s chance of making it to the next round, provided it can avoid being drawn against one of the powerhouses of the game.