Can USA Win The 2022 World Cup?
As the 2022 World Cup in the Middle East, Qatar, edges closer, can the United States of America win the most coveted football prize on the biggest of stages?
The United States, going into the Mundial, has more young and talented stars currently than they ever had before. Players such as Christian Pulisic, Sergino Dest, Aaronson, and Gio Reyna are set to lead the American team to the tournament.
With this year’s World Cup on the horizon, the Stars & Stripes will be appearing in their 11th successive Mundial, having been placed in group B with teams such as England, Iran, and Wales.
However, what are the chances that USA could win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar? Let’s explore together.
United States: World Cup History & Previous Finishes
Qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar took the Stars and Stripes’ blood and sweat on the final match-day against Panama to confirm their spot at the 2022 men’s soccer event in far Middle East, Qatar.
The best finish for the United States at a men’s FIFA World Cup was at the 1930 edition, which was the inaugural tournament, where they reached the semi-finals in the tournament that only featured a four-team knockout bracket which means there was no round of 16 or quarter-finals.
After the expansion of the World Cup to 16 teams for the 1934 edition and then 32 teams in 1998, the United States have failed to progress past the quarter-finals stage since 2002.
At the 2002 edition in Korea/Japan, the Stars and Stripes also had a wonderful performance in the tournament, where they faced Germany and gave them a run for their money in the quarter-finals.
Since performing well at the World Cup in 1930 and 2002, respectively, their subsequent involvement at the Mundial hasn’t been fruitful in 1934, 1994, 2010, and 2014, where they were ousted in the round of 16.
While their journey at the 1950 edition, 1990, 1998, and 2006 ended in the group stages, the Stars and Stripes missed out on the 2018 tournament four years ago in Russia before a return to this year’s showpiece in Qatar.
United States: Strengths & Weaknesses Heading Into The World Cup
The next obstacle to overcome for the CONCACAF nation is to get to the tournament’s knockout rounds in Qatar, particularly with the help of their golden generation.
With the progression of the United States men’s team on a great trajectory presently, let’s take a look at the team’s strengths and weaknesses going into the tournament.
The United States have have the slimmest of chances when it comes to winning the World Cup, and are definitely not among the favorites expected to win the trophy.
Nonetheless, with the trajectory of their golden generation scattered across Europe, they will be expected to have a decent campaign in Qatar.
Looking at their competitive edge in major tournaments, particularly in the Gold Cup, which they’ve won seven times, with the recent one back 2021, it is safe to say one of their major strengths going into the tournament is their unrelenting competitiveness.
Amongst all of the teams that will be appearing at the World Cup with a young squad, the United States stands top in such conversation with players who are young with a blend of experience like Christian Pulisic, Sergino Dest, Brenden Aaronson, Yunus Musah, Giovanni Reyna, Antonee Robinson, Weston McKennie, Timothy Weah, and Tyler Adams.
The United States are also coming into the world in great form.
The USMNT’ qualified for the 2022 World Cup after they finished third in CONCACAF qualification with a 7–3–4 record. In the qualifying campaign, they had an unbeaten record at home.
The Yanks goalkeeping department is obviously up for grabs, with Matt Turner and Zack Steffen in line to be in between the sticks for the United States at the World Cup.
However, should the manager opt for Zack Steffen, that position could be one of the team’s weakness.
Returning to the tournament for the first time since 2014 with a new generation of talented young players should be a moral booster for the Yanks. But the fact that the majority of the players haven’t played at a major tournament as huge as the World Cup will tell on their performance.
While it is a known fact that the yanks are well stock in midfield and attack with young and experienced guys, however another major weakness of the team is the defense should the likes of Sergino Dest et al. bring their A-game to the fore, the team should be good to go in Qatar.
United States Star Player Going Into The World Cup
The United States’ most accomplished and arguably best player Pulisic will finally get to be the star of the team on the grandest of stages in Qatar next month.
Though ‘Captain America’ hasn’t been in great form for Chelsea recently, he still remains the USMNT’s leader and star man ahead of the World Cup. He showed that in his previous international games for the American that he can be a leader.
Pulisic has set innumerable records and headlines for the CONCACAF nation with 21 international goals and 10 assists in 51 caps. Should he get to take the tournament by storm, then the Chelsea winger will be quite instrumental for the Stars and Stripes.
Can the united states make it out of Group B in the World Cup?
The Yanks are in the same group with 2018 semi-finalist England, Wales, one of the dark horses going into the World Cup, and Iran, one of the best Asian team currently.
The fact that the Stars and Stripes are presently blessed with a golden generation of young players who are also well-experienced, having been playing for some of the best sides in Europe.
Picking a maximum of three points against England could be very difficult due to the qualities of world-class players they have in their squad.
However, should some of the Yanks’ best players put out a tremendous performance, they can flex muscles against Gareth Southgate’s side.
As for Wales and Iran, it should be a fight to finish between the three teams because anyone can cancel out anyone if they take each game with all seriousness and also play as a team who knows the purpose of being at the World Cup.
United States’ Notable Absentee at the World Cup
The good news for the yanks is that non of their key players has been injured, and a few days into the tournament, Gregg Berhalter will be hoping non of his players pick up an injury.