Should we take the United States seriously in the World Cup

After missing out on the World Cup in 2018, the United States is back and better than ever.

It’s been eight years since the United States last played in the World Cup. After failing to qualify for the World Cup in 2018, the U.S. is back in the World Cup. The team is now rejuvenated and younger and has some of the best American talents they have produced in a while.  

The U.S. was drawn into Group B and will face the likes of England, Iran and Wales. They will begin their quest for the Jules Rimet Trophy on Nov. 21 taking on Wales; followed by England and Iran.

If there is one game you should watch it has to be the game against England on Nov. 25 that could decide who top’s the group. There is nothing that unites Americans together than hating the English. In the head-to-head matchup between the two teams, it’s all squared, one win, one draw and a loss. The last time they faced off against each other was in 2018 in a friendly that saw a 3-0 thrashing of the U.S. by the Three Lions. This will be the third time the two will be facing each other in the World Cup. The U.S. earned a hard-fought draw in 2010 and beat England in 1950. So, get the Thanksgiving leftovers ready because this will one of the most entertaining games in the group stage of the competition.

Names to Know

The U.S. is led by star forward Christian Pulisic. Nicknamed, “The LeBron James of Soccer” Pulisic has been one of the best American talents playing in Europe. He began his career with Borussia Dortmund at the age of 16. Pulisic flashed for the German team showcasing his quick feet and agility. This earned him a big money move to Chelsea for a fee of $73.1 million, making him the most expensive American soccer player. His career at Chelsea has had its ups and downs, but he did win the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021; becoming the first American to win it in the process. For the national team, he has 52 appearances, scored 21 goals and had 10 assists. As one of the most creative players on the team, Pulisic is the key to leading the U.S. to victory.

Along with Pulisic, 25 other players have been selected to represent the U.S. in the World Cup. In goal, the U.S. is led by former New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner. Turner moved to Arsenal this past summer to become their backup keeper, and to gain experience in Europe. In 20 appearances he has 14 wins and 14 shutouts. Pretty good for a guy who picked up the game at the age of 16.

The defense is the weakest part of the team. Although they have only conceded eight goals this year, the U.S. suffered three losses by a score of 2-0 to Canada, Japan and Costa Rica. Defender Sergiño Dest is the most important player in defense. Dest’s offensive-minded play will help the U.S. attack on the right side of the pitch. Although Dest does not come without defensive issues. Dest has struggled to make an impact with his team in Europe AC Milan. Shoring up the defense will be a key point for the U.S. to have any success in the competition.

The midfield for the U.S. is highlighted by Weston McKinnie and Tyler Adams. These two will be the key for the midfield for the U.S. as Adams’ ability to intercept the ball and make strong tackles allows McKinnie to go further up the pitch and create chances for his forwards. McKinnie missed time dealing with injuries last season. If he stays healthy he will be an integral part of the team. 

Everyone knows about Pulisic’s talent, but what about the other forwards? 19-year-old Gio Reyna has become one of the most exciting American talents to watch in Europe. Reyna has dealt with injuries that have stopped his progress with Dortmund. However, when healthy Reyna’s speed and skills make him one of the most dangerous players going forward for the U.S. In 14 appearances he has four goals and one assist.

A player who could have a breakout tournament for the U.S. is midfielder Brendon Aaronson. Aaronson is the newest breakout star for the U.S. He gives a source of creativity in the midfield that could help break down tough defensive-minded teams such as Iran. Whether he starts or comes off the bench he will have a lot of eyes on him during the tournament.

The U.S. is coached by Gregg Berhalter. Berhalter eased the storm after failing to qualify for the World Cup in 2018. However, the daunting task of having a successful tournament will be stressful. This U.S. team is the youngest and most talented team they have had in a long time. Many have deemed them as the “Golden Generation”. This added notion creates more pressure for Berhalter to succeed. With recent poor showing in friendlies, people have asked the question of whether is Berhalter the right guy for the job, and whether he might ruin this so-called “Golden Generation”.


This World Cup will be an interesting one. First of all, this will be the first World Cup played in the winter. The decision by FIFA has come with a lot of controversies. Many vital players for teams have gotten injured and will be forced to miss the competition due to the domestic leagues beginning already. The World Cup is also being played in Qatar, a country known for treating their workers building stadiums for the competition terribly and their horrific labor laws. FIFA stated that because of Qatar’s intense summer heat, they thought having it be played in November through December would be better for the players. The 2022 World Cup will be one to remember, but it could be for the wrong reasons. 

On paper, the U.S. is not the favorite to win the World Cup. They are a huge underdog with Vegas having them at +15000. “Listen, I don’t know what the odds are,” said Pulisic in an interview with GQ Sports. “We’re going in there with the goal of winning the World Cup.” 

Pulisic echoes the right mindset the U.S. should have. It’s all about gaining experience for this young team. The minimum expectation for the team is to at least get out of the group stage. If they can make it to the quarter-finals that will be a step in the right direction. If they crash out of the World Cup, then changes will be needed. With the tournament beginning in a week, the excitement is building.

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