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USA’s Squad for FIFA World Cup 2022 & Team Profile

Check out here the USA’s Squad for FIFA World Cup 2022 & Team Profile. Coach Gregg Berhalter revealed the final squad of USA for the 2022 FIFA World Cup with the North American nation desperate to make a mark in the tournament.

MB
Last updated: 11.11.2022
usa squad for 2022 fifa world cup

Coach Gregg Berhalter revealed the final squad of USA for the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, 9th November 2022 with the North American nation desperate to make a mark in the tournament after failing to qualify for the last edition in 2018. The squad included some star names and also left a few with the nation possessing the most youthful team in Qatar at an average age of 25 years and 175 days. Berhalter can make changes up until Monday, 13th November which is the FIFA deadline for submitting the official list. After then, injured players can be replaced until 24 hours before the USA’s opening match against Wales two weeks from now.

 

History

The United States participated in every World Cup starting with the 1990 edition in Italy, hosting the 1994 tournament, till the 2014 tournament in Brazil after their run broke down failing to qualify for the 2018 competition losing to Trinidad & Tobago in the fifth round of CONCACAF qualifiers. That was the first time they did not manage to get into the finals since 1985. Undoubtedly, the 2002 World Cup in Japan was the most productive edition for the USA in terms of reaching the quarterfinals and collecting the most wins in the tournament. Claudio Reyna and Landon Donovan were the stars for the tournament as well as in the previous edition they competed in. Legends like Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller, Eric Wynalda, Cobi Jones and Clint Dempsey among others have written their name in the tournament for U.S Men’s soccer. However, they have failed to get beyond the round of 16 stages in each of their previous two World Cups.

 

Previous Tournament

The U.S Men’s national team last competed in the World Cup in 2014, hosted by Brazil where they were paired in a difficult group alongside Germany, Portugal and Ghana. The performance of the team was remarkable in the group stages starting with an exciting 2-1 win against Ghana. Clint Dempsey scored one of the fastest goals in World Cup history in just 30 seconds to kick things off before the Black Stars drew in the 82nd minute. Defender David Brooks then clinched a dramatic winner three minutes later. Goals kept flowing as the USA played another nerve-racking 2-2 draw against Portugal which ultimately worked to their beneficiary as a slender 1-0 loss to eventual champions Germany was not enough to prevent them to gain a spot in the last 16. They clinched the second spot ahead of the Selecao having a superior goal difference. Though their journey ended in the very next round against Belgium in another pulsating game which was not decided until the 105th minute in extra time when opposition striker Romelu Lukaku scored the winner for 2-1 despite Tim Howard producing the best shot-stopping show in the tournament history with a record 16 saves in a single game.

      

Qualification

The qualification for the finals in Qatar was far from comfortable for the U.S Men’s national team but they managed to get the third automatic spot just ahead of Costa Rica. They finished on the same points as them after 14 games in the final round yet advanced on the virtue of superior goal difference even after losing 2-0 to Los Ticos on the final day. Although, only three points separated them from second-placed Mexico and round winners Canada. Berhalter’s side scored 21 goals in the third round of qualification conceded 10 and registered seven wins, four draws and three losses. Christian Pulisic rippled the net five times in the qualifiers, the most for his nation and Ricardo Pepi also chipped in with three as the team failed to have one definite striker to score goals for them unlike Canada who had three. Left-back Antonee Robinson delivered three assists whereas now Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner kept four clean sheets.  

           

Preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

USA had two friendlies lined up in June after sealing a berth in the 2022 World Cup in March, starting with an excellent 3-0 win over a disfigured Morocco team and then playing a well-earned goalless draw against Uruguay. In the CONCACAF Nations League this season, the USA began the competition with a 5-0 thrashing of Grenade but then a disappointing 1-1 draw away at El Salvador. The preparatory friendlies in September also did not go well with a 2-0 Japan and a surprising goalless draw against 51st-ranked Saudi Arabia, the second lowest-ranked nation in the World Cup this year. While the defense did not leak goals against big sides, the attack let them down which needs sorting out in the main event.


Also Read | 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Full Schedule         

  

USA FIFA World Cup squad 2022

 

Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

 

Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Serginio Dest (AC Milan), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (Nashville SC), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

 

Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Kellyn Acosta (Los Angeles FC), Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Luca de la Torre (Celta de Vigo), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)

 

Forwards: Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Norwich City), Tim Weah (Lille), Haji Wright (Antalyaspor)

 

Gregg Berhalter has decided to leave out goalkeeper Zack Steffan, USA’s hottest talent Ricardo Pepi, Paul Arriola and Jordan Pefok from the squad in a surprising way. The Middleborough shot-stopper on loan from Manchester City could have been an addition to the team knowing Matt Turner barely got to play for Arsenal even though he has been the preferred choice for the national team lately. Both Steffan and Turner could have made a solid goalkeeper pair although Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson have done enough to earn a call-up. Ricardo Pepi was supposed to be the big talent coming out of US soccer and the World Cup was the place he could have demonstrated his skills although his move to Germany after a breakout season in MLS did not go down well. He has since shined in the Eredivisie on loan at Groningen scoring five goals and delivering two assists in just eight matches showing what he is capable of. However, that was presumably not enough for Berhalter to call him up to the team as he did at the beginning of the North American qualifiers. Paul Arriola’s exclusion is another eyebrow raiser with the winger enjoying a decent campaign in the recently concluded MLS. Pefok only managed one appearance in the qualifiers clearly not in the manager’s books, hence, he being left out was more obvious than the rest. Antalyaspor’s Haji Wright has got on the plane to Qatar scoring nine goals in 12 matches in the Turkish league this season to add to his 14 strikes of the last campaign. The 24-year-old has also scored a goal in three appearances since being inducted into the national team in May this year. Chris Richards and Miles Robinson could not make it due to long-term injuries while Weston Mckennie and Luca de la Torre are recovering well from their recent injuries. Only DeAndre Yedlin has the experience of being on a World Cup stage when the USA last competed in the tournament in 2014 while four players in the squad witnessed the 2-1 loss toTrinidad & Tobago that eliminated the USA from contention in the finals back in 2018 namely Yedlin, Christian Pulisic, Kellyn Acosta and Tim Ream. Apart from the 29-year-old right-back, the rest will make their debut in a World Cup competition.


Strength

The strength of the side is their rich talent all around the pitch being the youngest team in the tournament and the second-highest roster from the nation since the 1990 event. They are able to bring a lot of youthful blood into the tournament ready to trouble sides with their sprightly nature and pace. Their debut tournament will bring the best out of them to make themselves a mainstay in the national team for future tournaments with the World Cup experience of DeAndre Yedlin and Europe’s big league experiences of Weston Mckennie and Christian Pulisic coming in handy. The midfield looks to be the more dominant sector for the side with Kellyn Acosta, Juventus’s Mckennie and the talented Tyler Adams of Leeds United whereas the 19-year-old Musah could do his bits at given chances on the pitch. Brenden Aaronson and Gio Reyna are poised to create some delightful moments in the one-month tournament. The defense is also pretty stacked with 35-year-old Tim Ream enjoying a fruitful season with Fulham in the Premier League, Cameron Carter-Vickers tasting success in Scotland, Antonee Robinson and Joe Scally ideal choices for the full-backs region with Sergino Dest. Center-backs Walker Zimmermann and Aaron Long have guarded the back four for recent friendlies as well as in the qualifiers.

   

Weakness

While the USA brings in full of energy with their young-looking squad and have some experience to count on, it still does not look enough for the side. With all but one having the first taste of the mega event in Qatar handling the pressure of such an occasion is a huge ask. Secondly, the group stages do not give them chance to have some early tournament buoyancy as they go head-to-head with 2018 semifinalists England, Wales and Iran. Even though Wales are in the World Cup after a long time, they are a side more than capable to upset the others while Iran’s solidity could frustrate the USA national team with their inefficiency in scoring goals lately a concern. Jesus Ferreira, Josh Sargent or Tim Weah are talented and can cause a threat to the opposition’s backline but they do not carry a killer instinct in them. Haji Wright has been among the goals although it is hard for him to translate his excellent club form straight away to the first major international tournament of his career.

 

Star Player: Christian Pulisic

USA will look to their skipper Christian Pulisic to make things happen for them even though the 24-year-old has hardly got a run-off games from the start with Chelsea. Even if he did, Pulisic was asked to play a variety of roles including right wing-back for club manager Graham Potter. Injuries played a huge role in his stop-start career in the last years with the chance to move somewhere else this summer to gain more time on the field because of the World Cup knocking not exercised by the club. As a result, Pulisic has to take the onus on himself and play for the pride of his nation to help USA in crucial games in the group stages and maybe beyond. His finishing has often lacked in recent outings but his ability to take defenders on in driving towards the box is intact and will help him to build on that in this tournament. One positive thing for Pulisic is the talent that has got him on the scoresheet more often than not for his national team. Those signs of encouragement will certainly help him to have a proper tournament in Qatar to refigure his career and live up to his sobriquet ‘Captain America’.

      

How USA will Lineup at FIFA World Cup 2022?

 

Gregg Berhalter will have a headache in selecting the best eleven for the World Cup in Qatar presumably without a definitive choice in each position other than the captain Christian Pulisic. The real dilemma is for the striker who will lead the line with none other than Wright in scoring form but Jesus Ferreira looks to be a bit ahead of others for the place. The center-back pairing is an interesting take as it is left to see whether Berhalter sticks with Zimmermann and Long for consistency or uses the European league experience of Carter-Vickers and Tim Ream from the start with the Celtic player a better passer of the ball should USA decides to hold a bit of possession. The full-back region also needs choices more on the right with Serginio Dest and Joe Scally offering different attributes although neither in the best of form for their club. The Milan player is also struggling with a groin injury so Scally could seize the opportunity. If fit, Mckennie should partner Adams and one of Musah or Acosta in midfield which is the most composed area on the pitch. Brendan Aaron will be an offensive option should USA needs any time otherwise the squad will look very much the same.    

 

Opponents & Fixtures

USA vs Wales - 22 November 2022, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium (12:30 AM)

England vs USA - 26 November 2022, Al Bayt Sradium (12:30 AM)

Iran vs USA - 30 November 2022, Al Thumama Stadium (12:30 AM)

 

USA need to use their full force in the first game of the season against Wales on 22 November and try to pick up full points if they want to secure qualification to the latter rounds to avoid chaos in the last group stage game against Iran a week later. A lot will be riding on that game before the high-voltage fixture against England on 26 November the side willing to take a damage control route or be nippy as in the past meetings of the tournament to grind out a draw which will do them a flurry of goods. Ultimately, they have to win the last game against the Iranians to keep their hope of qualification hope alive if other paths are not possible to walk on.

  

Prediction

If the current USA squad can show a certain level of maturity with youthfulness, they can dream to escape the group stages and carry whatever momentum gained to the knockouts. It is a big ask from the squad that have almost zero experience of tournaments like this and also haven’t had the easiest of qualification. With fewer players plying trade in Europe, Canada topped the qualifiers so a lot of improvement is needed. The group itself is a big challenge to undertake although qualification to the knockouts is still feasible. The team is raw and will develop in years to come so at the present moment it will be better for them to test themselves out in their first World Cup without setting any definitive objectives to build potential and experience for the next one which is at their home.

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