The US men’s national team learned their World Cup 2022 draw fate on Friday afternoon, placing in Group B alongside England, Iran and the winner of Europe's Path A playoff that contains Wales vs. Ukraine or Scotland.
Here’s the breakdown of what awaits head coach Gregg Berhalter's team in Qatar come November and December.
When they’ll play
Who they drew
From Pot 1, the USMNT will reprise their 2010 World Cup showing with The Three Lions, when they battled to a 1-1 draw that included goalkeeper Robert Green's infamous gaffe on a Clint Dempsey goal just before halftime.
- FIFA World Ranking: 5
- How they got here: UEFA Group I winner
- World Cup history: 15 previous appearances; won in 1966
- Key players: Harry Kane (F, Tottenham); Phil Foden (F, Manchester City); Trent Alexander-Arnold (D, Liverpool)
- Coach: Gareth Southgate
The USMNT met Iran at the 1998 World Cup, falling 2-1 despite a late goal from Brian McBride. That was the second match of the Yanks' three-and-out performance under former coach Steve Sampson.
- FIFA World Ranking: 21
- How they got here: AFC Third Round Group A winner
- World Cup history: 5 previous appearances (all group stage)
- Key players: Sardar Azmoun (F, Bayer Leverkusen); Mehdi Taremi (F, Porto); Alireza Jahanbakhsh (F, Feyenoord)
- Coach: Dragan Skočić
Europe Path A winner
The USMNT's third opponent will be determined in June when Wales face either Ukraine or Scotland in Cardiff to determine the Europe Path A winner. The second semifinal was delayed after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Below is some quick-hit info on each possible opponent:
- Wales (18th in world): Now led by Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale and Rangers midfielder Aaron Ramsey, they made a Euro 2016 semifinal run. Wales last made a World Cup in 1958.
- Ukraine (27th in world): Now led by West Ham midfielder Andriy Yarmolenko and Benfica forward Roman Yaremchuk, Ukraine last made the World Cup in 2006 when reaching a quarterfinal and losing to eventual winner Italy.
- Scotland (39th in world): Now led by Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson and Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn, Scotland are chasing their first World Cup appearance since 1998.
USMNT’s path to Qatar 2022
The USMNT placed third in the Concacaf Octagonal standings, marking their World Cup return after missing out on Russia 2018. They were tied with Costa Rica on 25 points but had a goal differential advantage (+11 to +5), joining Canada and Mexico as the region’s guaranteed representatives.
Throughout the 14-game slate, Berhalter’s starting lineups averaged 23 years and 302 days, which is the youngest in team history for a qualifying cycle. Left back Antonee Robinson and defensive midfielder Tyler Adams led the way minutes-wise, while stars like attacker Christian Pulisic, midfielder Weston McKennie and right back Sergino Dest had varying degrees of availability due to injuries, suspensions and more.
But the job is done and now a seven-month sprint awaits as a new generation of players across Europe, Bongda3s.com and elsewhere look to make a statement to the world.
World Cup schedule
Rather than being held in the summer, the quadrennial event is being held during November and December. Qatar 2022 will be contested at eight stadiums across five cities.
The schedule breakdown is below:
- Group stage: Nov. 21 to Dec. 2
- Round of 16: Dec. 3-6
- Quarterfinals: Dec. 9-10
- Semifinals: Dec. 13-14
- Third place: Dec. 17
- Final: Dec. 18