With the FIFA World Cup finals fast approaching, with the tournament having been moved from its traditional summer slot, we pose the question. What can the USMNT achieve in Qatar at the 2022 World Cup?
What Can the USMNT Achieve at the 2022 World Cup?
In recent World Cup tournaments, the US has done relatively well, considering their overall standing in the sport, but anyone considering backing Gregg Berhalter’s side to win the whole competition should perhaps try their chances with online slots, as the likelihood of a payout would be significantly improved if they did indeed do so.
Since 1990 the US has found qualifying for the World Cup something of a breeze. 2022 will be their eighth tournament out of the last nine that they’ve got into, and on the whole, once they are in the finals, they tend to do better than most would expect.
In 2002 they famously went all the way to the quarter-finals in Japan and South Korea, but they are going to find things very tough from the very start when the Qatar tournament gets underway.
Berhalter’s side didn’t ease into the finals and was reasonably mediocre in qualification and had to rely on individual brilliance from players like Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic. Usually, the US thrives on a collective approach, with the sum of the team’s parts being more considerable than those that make up the squad. They’ll need that collective spirit just to get out of the group stages.
The draw hasn’t been kind to the US as they have to take on England, Iran, and Wales, and it’s going to prove very tricky to come out of this four-team selection in the top two places, but it is something they can achieve.
The USA squad, which will be named nearer the tournament itself, will include a good portion of players who are plying their trade outside the MLS. These may be the players that really do the damage.
The aforementioned Pulisic is, without doubt, their best player, and though he is still only 24 years of age, he has over 50 national team caps and knows how to produce the goods at the highest level.
New Arsenal signing, keeper Matt Turner, is also a genuinely quality player, and he should be Berhalter’s first-choice goalie for the finals. Elsewhere there’s Sergino Dest, the former Barcelona man who is now with AC Milan, DeAndre Yedlin, former Schalke man Weston McKinnie (now at Juventus), and new Leeds United signing Brendan Aaronson.
There are some players who can certainly hit the headlines at the World Cup, and their opening fixture, against Wales, is going to be the pivotal one. England is more than likely to run away with the group, and that will leave the United States and Wales fighting it out for the second spot.
Whoever loses that first match will have a mountain to climb, and a draw would let Iran into the picture.
Then Berhalter sees his side face England in their second game and finish the group with an interesting match-up with Iran.
It may only take four points and a good goal difference to get through to the knockout stages, and the US can do it, but it will require a great deal of hard work and more than a bit of luck in order to do so.