Let’s analyze the Qatar 2022 Group Stage

This is a desirable group for the USMNT.

This is a desirable group for the USMNT.
Image: Twitter / FIFA

As the men’s national team of the United States back to FIFA World Cup on Wednesday night, Friday’s draw practically couldn’t have gone better for them.

Returning to the World Cup for the first time since 2014, the Yanks will meet again with England, Iran – the two teams they faced in the recent World Cup group stage match – along with the winner of the European playoffs. in table B.

War-torn Wales, Scotland or Ukraine will be the United States’ first opponents at the 2022 World Cup on the tournament’s opening day, November 21. Black Friday’s game against England on November 25 will be the middle match of the group stage. Iran ends the Americans’ three guaranteed matches in Qatar on November 29. Perhaps Group B is the dreaded “Group of Death” for some. If Wales were to advance, the lowest FIFA ranked team directly in the USMNT’s path would be Iran No. 21. You’d be wrong. This is an American dream group

Teams in other groups have more experience in the knockout stages of the tournament. The North American teams participating in the qualifiers have an elite opponent in front of them, while many will not fear England, the top team of Group B. Mexico was drawn into the OVER group alongside Argentina and Poland, with world-class striker Robert Lewandowski. Costa Rica, should they overtake New Zealand this summer in an intercontinental playoff, will await a challenge from both Spain and Germany. Canada opens Group F with a match against Belgium and will only advance to the Round of 16 if they have a better record than 2018 runner-up Croatia.

Here’s a look at the eight groups:

The USA last faced England in a competitive match in both teams’ opening game of the 2010 World Cup, a 1-1 draw, best remembered by the huge blunder from British goalkeeper Robert Green, allowing a soft Clint Dempsey shot to roll out of his grasp and over the goal line. The Ted Lasso crossovers are going to be epic for the showdown with the Three Lions. Iran and the U.S. faced off at the 1998 World Cup, a competition where the Americans didn’t pick up a single point.

The American-Iranian match was dubbed the “most politically charged game in World Cup history” because of the confrontational political relationship between the two countries i.e. the hostage crisis of 1979 when Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held U.S. diplomats prisoner for 444 days. Per FIFA regulations, the team listed second on the matchday sheets, Iran, needed to walk toward the first team listed, the United States, for pre-match handshakes. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave the order that the Iranian team “must not walk towards the Americans.” After negotiations with FIFA, a group photo was taken instead.

The Americans have never faced Scotland, Ukraine or Wales at the World Cup. The European play-in between Scotland and Ukraine was delayed because of Russia’s senseless invasion of Ukraine. The winner of that playoff will face Gareth Bale and Wales for a spot in Qatar. Should Ukraine win those two matches, who wouldn’t be rooting for its success on the world stage? Facing a player the quality of Bale would be the toughest challenge a sometimes-shaky USA defense have faced in years. Scotland entering the same World Cup group as United Kingdom rival England would be epic.

As Iran was placed alongside England and the USA in Group B, one of three scenarios were guaranteed to play out. Either Cameroon, Ghana or the European qualifier would have completed the quartet. Getting the Euro playoff winner the Americans got the path of least resistance. Ghana and the United States would have faced each other for the fourth consecutive time the Yanks played in the tournament. Cameroon looked as impressive in World Cup qualifying as any African country.

The USA has a clear path to win Group B because of the deep talent team, with a second-place team easily beaten out of Group A, a return to the quarterfinals is entirely possible. There is also a reliable path to being knocked out of the World Cup and not winning a single match. Iran can defend as well as most of the teams in the league. Britain has the potential for excellence, although it frequently falls short. And the third US adversary will have sure attack options.

Coach Gregg Berhalter needs to have phoned any European country ready to watch the World Cup against the USMNT, whether it’s home or away. Playing against a team like Serbia or Switzerland, both on the other side of the table, will help prepare the US for the real game at the end of November. One small advantage the Americans will have is the squad of players in the country that Berhalter called. Most leagues around the world will pause their seasons to make room for the World Cup. Major League Soccer will be 100% complete by the opening ceremony. Guaranteed to have some MLS calls to Qatar. Can you see the USMNT play during the event without Kellyn Acosta, Miles Robinson or DeAndre Yedlin? Only one some others are closer to the 23 player limit.

Friday couldn’t be better for the US. The Yanks have months to prepare for any European team to be the first in line before them on November 21. The biggest hurdle has been overcome when returning to the World Cup after the embarrassment of sitting out the edition. 2018. The long process with hosting in 2026 is currently under a microscope until the end of the tournament. Any chance Berhalter has to take the lead The USMNT at home World Cup could easily end in Qatar. Greggy was also able to silence a lot of people about the tedious US play of recent months, myself included.

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