Many fail to remember that the United States have been participating at the World Cup since its inception in 1930 (where they reached the semi-finals) and then again in 1934. But despite initial success at the tournament, the nation has only ever progressed beyond the round of 16 once, in 2002.
After their shock failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Gregg Berhalter is certainly under considerable pressure as he leads what some consider the most gifted crop of players to ever don the stars and stripes at an international tournament in a deceptively tricky group that contains England, Wales, and Iran.
With the squad blessed with attacking depth and a core of midfield options that can be found across Europe, the US brings credible ability on paper, but in practice under Berhalter, have failed to impress. Something has to give.
USA World Cup 2022 Tips
Read the latest USA odds ahead of the World Cup, including their odds to win the tournament, odds to claim the golden boot, 101 Great Goals’ top tip and more 2022 World Cup predictions and tips.
USA World Cup Predictions
With one of the best squads they have taken to the World Cup - at least in terms of European representation in terms of clubs - the USA will be a tricky opponent for anyone. While they don’t have a straightforward group - second is their most realistic achievement - they have players capable of causing problems.
USA Golden Boot Prediction
Christian Pulisic is a key player for USA. While he doesn’t get the game time he would like at Chelsea, the USMNT is largely built around getting the best out of him so they will need him to fire if they are to progress. He is not a natural goalscorer though, so racking up those sort of numbers will be a big ask.
Having been in the role since December 2018, Berhalter has been on the scene for a while and in that time led the USMNT to the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2021, before securing an appearance at their first World Cup since 2014 after missing out last time in surprise circumstances. He has an embarrassment of riches to pick from, at least compared to his predecessors, so there will be some kind of pressure on Berhalter to deliver. With a 64.29% win rate as manager, he has a good record but will need to deliver in a global tournament.
Total appearances: 11
First qualification: 1930
Most recent: 2014
Best achievement: Semi-finals (1930)
World Ranking: 16
Overall record: P33, W8, D6, L19
Still viewed as one of the best-ever players to emerge from the United States, Christian Pulisic has performed at the highest levels in Europe during spells with Borussia Dortmund as well as current employers Chelsea, while also impressing during the Champions League. He may not currently be viewed as a first-choice option at Stamford Bridge, but when he represents the United States he is another animal entirely and he will unquestionably lead by example.
One of the standard-bearers that proves MLS can produce young talent capable of making it big on the continent, Brenden Aaronson has already turned heads at Elland Road since his arrival from RB Salzburg this summer, and the multi-faceted forward is now already one of an important core of attacking talent under Gregg Berhalter.
Another product of MLS academy programs, Weston McKennie burst onto the scene at FC Schalke 04 before arriving at Juventus, where he still fights for minutes at one of the most legendary clubs in Europe. A box-to-box player with a balanced and flexible tactical profile, McKennie contributions on both sides of the ball will be valuable in a group that will see them clash with both England and Wales.
101′s USA World Cup Tip
101 Great Goals thinks USA will have enough to get out of what is a tough group with England, most likely to finish second. They might not have enough to make it any further from there, but they are likely to be a side to keep an eye on.
USA stats, fixtures and results
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