Just what should the USA soccer squad expect from the 2022 World Cup? Having failed to qualify for the previous tournament 12 months ago, it’s an achievement just to be in Qatar for the latest edition.
Gregg Berhalter’s team will surely, however, want to go one step further. A place in the knockout rounds will be a minimum aim for USMNT, but the team has been placed in a tricky section. Here’s an analysis of their chances of progression, together with a look at the teams standing in their way.
The US have been drawn in Group B alongside England, Wales and Iran. There has been some question over Iran’s participation in recent weeks, but we’ll assume that they are involved.
England are the highest ranked team and are favorites to progress. With two qualifying slots up for grabs, the remaining place should involve a battle between USMNT and the Welsh.
Who will progress into the knockout phase? Early World Cup betting 2022 markets suggest that it’s going to be close. USA and Wales are joint second favorites to qualify for the round of 16 and it could all come down to the match between these two on November 21.
The betting markets in question are supplied by SBO.net whose sources will update the figures as the tournament develops. Readers can check the updates in real time while taking into account additional information including news stories, opinion articles and useful betting guides.
There will also be opportunities to get involved with World Cup betting. Each sportsbook linking into SBO will be willing to take on eligible new customers who are happy to complete a secure online registration form.
In most cases, a welcome promotion will be accessible, while a range of funding providers can help to get the account underway. Those who choose to stick around can also look forward to some long term benefits.
Effective customer services will be backed by live markets, mobile apps and a choice of other sports. It’s the perfect partner for World Cup betting, but now it’s time to look more closely at the teams standing between USMNT and the knockouts.
It’s a shame for neutral fans that the USA’s most crucial game comes at the start of the qualifying phase. If there is a winner of the match between USMNT and Wales in Al-Rayyan on November 21, that team will have a significant advantage in the battle for qualification.
Wales are playing in their first major tournament since the 1950s, but this is a strong current team that no-one will underestimate. Much will depend on their star man, Los Angeles FC’s Gareth Bale who is the country’s all-time leading goal scorer.
The teams have only met twice and both of those games were international friendlies. The US won 2-0 in 2003 while the 2020 game ended in a goalless draw.
The tie against England in Al Khor on November 25 should prove to be the toughest in this section. Head coach Gareth Southgate guided his team to the semifinals of Russia 2018 and went one better in 2021 with a runner up slot in the European Championship.
Much of the squad remains from those two notable achievements and this is a difficult assignment. The man to stop is Harry Kane who has 51 international goals to date and will be looking to set a new national record in Qatar.
Head to head results offer some encouragement. In two previous World Cup meetings, USMNT have yet to lose to England. USA’s 1-0 win at the 1950 World Cup remains one of the biggest shocks of all time while the 2010 US side claimed a 1-1 draw at South Africa 2010.
USA soccer fans will hope that the World Cup dream is still alive by the time the side plays Iran in Doha on November 29. Berhalter’s men should be targeting at least three points from their first two matches and, in that scenario, victory over the group’s underdogs should be enough to progress.
Iran are the weakest team in the section, but they will look to compete and cause an upset. If USMNT’s campaign is on the line, this could still be a tricky 90 minutes.