Team USA’s best player has been buried on his club’s bench, starting just two games this season. Two goalkeepers were demoted to the English second tier and the third didn’t get a single Premier League minute.
The Americans are returning to the World Cup after failing to reach the 2018 tournament with what will likely be the youngest team among the 32 nations, a qualified team from the country’s most talented generation, but inconsistent and unproven. They secured the region’s bottom spot purely on goal difference after a loss on the final day.
“I’m definitely worried,” said former US goalkeeper Kasey Keller, now a TV analyst. “There hasn’t been anything in these last two friendlies that has boosted confidence. We are still seeing key players struggling with playing time at clubs. We are also seeing key players recovering from injuries. there is nothing in the preparation that should give you much confidence.
After ending a streak of seven consecutive appearances at the World Cup, the United States open Group B against Wales on November 21, then face England on November 25 and complete the first round against England. Iran on November 29.
Former USA striker Landon Donovan believes getting a good result against Wales is key.
“If it all happens early, we could be a very dangerous team in this tournament,” Donovan said. “If it’s not, I could see it’s not going well at all. I don’t see too much common ground just because young and inexperienced teams tend to be really, really high and really good or really low.
The Gregg Berhalter-coached side head into the tournament after a 2-0 loss to Japan and a 0-0 draw with Saudi Arabia, leaving the United States with one win, three losses and three draws in his last seven games against the World Cup. linked nations. Americans have been cleared six times.
“Obviously these are not the results we were really hoping for for the World Cup,” said USA midfielder Christian Pulisic.
Still, given the unique timing of this World Cup in the middle of the European season, some are hoping the American players will step up.
“I still believe in this team, based on what they have done in the great moments of the past,” said former USA midfielder Stu Holden. “When the pressure is the highest and in the big, big moments, in the spotlight, these guys have this confidence that I think will keep them going.”
THE PULISIC SITUATION
Pulisic, the first American to play in and win a Champions League final, struggled for minutes under Chelsea coaches Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter. The expectations were a burden.
“It’s always when I come to the national team, it’s: How is it going at Chelsea? How – what is it, what is it? And yes, it is hard. It’s difficult,” Pulisic said last year. “Mentally, it was sometimes difficult.”
Berhalter, 49, became the first person to coach the Americans after playing for them at a World Cup.
Hired in December 2018 and brother of Jay Berhalter, then the commercial and strategic director of the American Football Federation, he used 91 players, debuting at 56. He favors a 4-3-3 formation from the back.
Only one likely remnant of the 2014 squad is 29-year-old right-back DeAndre Yedlin.
The average age of the United States team in qualifying was 23.82 – Ghana were the second youngest at 25.67 – and the average of the 31 teams that secured berths was 27, 5 years, according to the USSF.
“It’s a feat for these guys. It really is,” Berhalter said.
USA hasn’t been this volatile in goal since the 1980s, before the position became a backbone with Tony Meola, Kasey Keller, Brad Friedel and Tim Howard.
Matt Turner, who started in goal for eight of 14 qualifiers and both September friendlies, is Aaron Ramsdale’s replacement at Arsenal and will likely travel to Qatar awaiting his Premier League debut. Zack Steffen, largely restricted to cup games at Manchester City, has been loaned out to Middlesbrough, and Ethan Horvath has been loaned out from Nottingham Forest to Luton.
The central defense was weakened when Miles Robinson tore his Achilles tendon in May. Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long, who started September friendlies, were at clubs that were knocked out of the Major League Soccer playoffs on October 15 and will have a layoff of more than a month before the first game .
Right-back Sergiño Dest, unwanted at Barcelona, has been loaned to AC Milan and has made just two starts since April.
Winger Gio Reyna, sidelined with repeated leg injuries, has played a 90-minute game for Borussia Dortmund since April 2021. Lille winger Tim Weah missed the first two months of this season in due to foot disease.
Due to injuries and suspensions, Pulisic, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie have only started together five times: a friendly against Ecuador in 2019, World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Canada in January, and friendlies against Uruguay in June and Saudi Arabia in September.
“They’re not a perfect team and I think Gregg Berhalter will be the first to say that,” former USA defender Alexi Lalas said. “Ideally you want your players to play and you want them to play well.”
(with AP inputs)
Administrator: Gregg Berhalter
United States World Cup record:
When does the United States play the World Cup?
November 22 – USA vs Wales – 12:30 a.m. – Al Rayyan Stadium
November 26 – England vs USA – 12:30am – Al Bayt Stadium
November 30 – Iran vs USA – 12:30 a.m. – Al Thumama Stadium
Where can I watch USA matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
The FIFA World Cup will be broadcast live on Sports18 and Sports18 HD in India.
Where can I live stream USA matches in the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be broadcast live on VOOT Select and JioTV.