Stars and Stripes: A USA World Cup Preview

by Ethan Diamond and Evan Lagemann

The World Cup has finally arrived, and there’s nothing like it. For the first time in tournament history, the World Cup will be taking place in the wintertime due to Qatar’s extreme heat: this year’s edition will run from the opening match on Nov. 20th to the finale on Dec. 18th. France, led by superstars Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema, will look to defend their 2018 title and fight off contenders like Brazil, Argentina, and more. However, one team that has been flying under the radar is none other than the United States.  

After missing out on the 2018 tournament, the US squad has high ambitions going into the tournament this year, and the team is better than ever. Star winger Christian Pulisic is set to be the main piece for the team. At 24 years old, the Hershey, Pennsylvania native will lead the charge in attack. 

The team is also going to need their key pieces in the midfield to step up in order for success. Juventus star Weston McKennie will be a big asset with his great playmaking abilities. Alongside McKennie is Tyler Adams, an excellent all-around player for Leeds United. The team will also need major help from Arsenal goalie and Park Ridge, New Jersey native Matt Turner, with his stellar goalkeeping skills. Other important pieces include Gio Reyna, Yunus Musah, and Sergiño Dest. All these star players must contribute and lead the team in hopes of glory in Qatar.

As members of Group B, the Stars and Stripes will have to navigate through a relatively tough schedule to make it to the knockout stages. Manager Gregg Berhalter and his team will begin their group play with a tough test against Gareth Bale and Wales on November 21st. Then, they’ll have to turn around and England, a notoriously difficult opponent, just four days later. Finally, they’ll wrap up the group stages by taking on a strong Iran team on the 29th. All games will take place at 2 PM and will be aired on FOX. 

Where the US will finish in the tournament is entirely up in the air. Berhalter’s men have the potential to make a deep run but have been in poor form as of late. Only time will tell where this extremely talented squad, one of the United States’ best in recent memory, will end up finishing.