How Will The Next Generation of the US Soccer Team Do at Qatar 2022?  

By Soccer Blog | Nov 21, 2022

The USA head to Qatar having missed out on the World Cup 2018 in Russia. They had made it to every other World Cup since 1990 – they have since gone through yet another reset and yet another promising generation of Americans are coming through. The question is, will this team be able to match the expectations their talent level brings? 

MNT

There is a lot of expectations on the US team to perform well at the World Cup. The tournament has always drawn a lot of attention from keen sports fans, and even more so now that many states in the US can wager legally on soccer online. All of the big US sportsbooks have markets for all games through the tournament- the MNT are in an interesting group that also includes European finalists England, Wales and Iran.

Unfair Pressure 

There seems to be a lot of pressure on the US soccer team, Americans are used to dominating in sports and soccer has always seemed to be one that they haven’t quite taken to. Sometimes it seems as though American fans expect their national side to be on the same level as teams like Brazil, Argentina, France and England but that is obviously unrealistic.  

Coach Greg Burhalter has quietly gone about revitalising the side, employing an energetic, pressing style designed to combat the top teams superior talent levels. Whilst this USA team has some very good players, as a squad, they cannot compete like-for-like with some of the big guns.  

They will go to this tournament as the youngest, most inexperienced side – 25 of the 26 man squad have never been to a World Cup, with DeAndre Yedlin being the sole survivor of that side. They’ve had two weak showings in their last games before heading to Qatar though- losing 2-0 to Japan & drawing 0-0 against Saudi Arabia.

It hasn’t done much to settle nerves but there’s every reason to believe this side will respond to the occasion when they take on Wales in their opener.  

Numbers Squad

 If You’re Good Enough, You’re Old Enough 

Whilst some may argue that this inexperience could hurt them, others could argue that this side could be unburdened by past failures and buoyant on recent successes. This is Wales’ first World Cup in over fifty years, England are under a mountain of pressure, leaving Iran and the USA to play with the freedom that comes with a lack of expectation.  

From that footballing world that is, the same cannot be said for American soccer fans. 

With this squad being so inexperienced at major tournaments, they could be a fearless underdog, playing with the energy that only a youthful team could play with and make a deep run into the tournament.  

To do that though, they will need some of their young guns to step up. America has a good core of talented young players at the moment, beginning with Chelsea forward – Christian Pulisic.    

America’s New Shining Star- Pulisic 

At 24, Christian Pulisic already seems like a veteran in this USA team compared to a lot of players. He was the player the USA had been waiting to produce for many, many years. He will be expected to lead the line and take up his role as the star player.  

Pulisic

A role he hasn’t always lived up to at club level, with the responsibility appearing to be a little too much at times for the young man. Regardless, Pulisic is a supremely talented player who’s got an incredible list of achievements for someone so young. Fast, creative, dynamic, not afraid to take on a defender, he’s the type of player that gets fans off their seats.  

Giovanni Reyna 

 Son of former US captain Claudio Reyna, Gio is still very young, something that can be forgotten about amongst football fans given his level of experience and talent. Moving to Dortmund in Germany at a young age, he has come through a world class academy and shone in one of the toughest leagues in the world.  

A supremely classy player with an eye for a pass, a goal and often lethal from set-pieces, the football world will be hoping Gio turns up on the biggest stage this month. He’s had some persistent problems with injuries over the past year but there’s no doubt he remains one of the most talented young players in world football.  

When healthy, he has shown the skill level of a world class player, and Burhalter will be doing all he can to keep Reyna fit.   

The Backup Crew 

They have some other notable names who will be expected to make a serious showing in Qatar, from Juventus’ Weston McKennie to Leeds player Tyler Adams. Both will be hoping to run the midfield for the Americans.

This side is strong and has pedigree, even if this doesn’t turn out to be their year, expect this generation to make a deep run in a major tournament at some point.  

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