The United States secured their spot in Qatar after finishing third in Concacaf World Cup qualifying. They ended the octagonal standings with 25 points – the same as Costa Rica – but a superior goal difference ensured Gregg Berhalter’s men clinched one of the three automatic qualifying spots alongside Canada and Mexico.
It was a suitable redemption for the team who failed to reach the tournament in Russia 2018, missing the World Cup for the first time since 1990, and a fitting reward after three years of growing success. The USA head into this campaign as the reigning Concacaf Nations League champions and the Concacaf Gold Cup holders having beaten Mexico in both finals in 2021.
The manager has a host of talent to choose from and many of the players will be familiar to European audiences such as Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic who shoulders most of America’s hopes for this tournament. Leeds United’s Tyler Adams captained the side through the majority of qualifying and they have the attacking threats of Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna and Norwich City’s Josh Sargent whilst youngsters Malik Tillman, Ricardo Pepi and Brenden Aaronson are all exciting prospects.
The United States have a solid recent record of making it out of the World Cup group stages and they’ll take heart from the prospect of facing Iran and Wales though England should prove to be a much tougher affair. One win and a draw may be enough for them to clinch second place and reaching the last-16 would be seen as a triumph.
Here is everything you need to know:
Group fixtures (all times GMT)
Monday 21 November: USA vs Wales – 19:00
Friday 25 November: England vs USA – 19:00
Tuesday 29 November: Iran vs USA – 19:00
Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Matt Turner (Arsenal).
Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Sergio Dest (AC Milan), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (Nashville SC), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami CF), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC).
Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Tyler Adams (Leeds), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC).
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).
Ones to watch
Star – Christian Pulisic: Easily the team’s best player, the 24-year-old Chelsea forward hasn’t featured as much as he’d like for the Premier League side this season but has 21 goals in 52 appearances for the United States and remains an ever-present threat in front of goal. There’s a reason his nickname is Captain America.
Breakout talent – Giovanni Reyna: An injury plagued 2021/22 halted his progress at Borussia Dortmund but the 19-year-old looks set to be a brilliant player after being given the number seven shirt when Jadon Sancho joined Manchester United. He’s only made a handful of appearances for the German side this term but became the first American player to provide two assists in a Champions League match during a 3–0 win against Copenhagen back in September.
Odds to win the World Cup (taken from Betfair)
There is potential for the USA to reach the knockouts having been drawn in a group of winnable games. Iran and Wales are the two nations they’ll be targeting beforehand yet the United States have fond memories of facing England at the World Cup having earned a 1-1 draw against the Three Lions in the group stages of the 2010 edition in South Africa. It won’t be a complete shock if they get through, but with England and Wales being the stronger teams in Group B on paper that feat seems unlikely. Knocked out in the group stages.