Tomorrow, the United States Men’s National Team will begin its journey in the 2022 FIFA World Cup when they take the field against Wales. The USMNT have had a lot of questions about whether they are built for the task of getting out of the group and doing some damage, with many still unanswered as of late. However, the team appears to be focused and want to show that despite being the youngest squad at the tournament, they will play with no fear.
In Wales, the USMNT have a dangerous opponent but one that, on paper, could be a good matchup. It’s the first match of the World Cup, so the energy needs to be present from the opening kick, and the goal is to start the tournament with 3 very important points.
D (0-0) - Saudi Arabia - Friendly
L (0-2) - Japan - Friendly
D (1-1) - El Salvador - Concacaf Nations League
W (5-0) - Grenada - Concacaf Nations League
D (0-0) - Uruguay - Friendly
L (0-1) - Poland - UEFA Nations League
L (1-2) - Belgium - UEFA Nations League
L (2-3) - Netherlands - UEFA Nations League
D (1-1) - - Belgium - UEFA Nations League
L (1-2) - Netherlands - UEFA Nations League
What To Watch For
Intensity, intensity, intensity. The USMNT will have to start out playing with fire and intensity to match the energy that is always present at the World Cup. They can’t come out flat, and it’s important that the team take the approach that they will win every 50/50 ball, every tackle, and take the game to the Welsh.
Put scoring chances away. There may not be many opportunities to get a shot on goal, so the forwards need to be efficient in putting away any chances they create. If they can score early, the pressure is relieved somewhat, so look for the USMNT to be aggressive in taking shots to test the Welsh defense.
Enjoy the moment. This is what so many of these players have dreamed of since they were a kid. Hopefully, while they’re in the moment, they’re able to take a second as a team to realize that their dream is here and they’re able to live it. And that could also help relieve some of the pressure that is already built up due to this being the first World Cup match for the United States in over 8 years.
It appears that any knocks that the team has have been healed, so we could be looking at a full strength lineup to take the field. Of course, there are a couple of questions on who Gregg Berhalter will select at a couple positions. So, here’s what we predict will be the starting XI tomorrow:
Matt Turner is the #1 in goal, with a back line of Antonee Robinson, Walker Zimmerman, Aaron Long, and Sergiño Dest. It wouldn’t be a complete shock to see Tim Ream instead of Aaron Long, but Long has been Berhalter’s preferred choice alongside Zimmerman since Miles Robinson was injured.
The M-M-A midfield will be in full effect tomorrow, with Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, and captain Tyler Adams forming the unit that will help control the game from the middle. Up front, Christian Pulisic will be on the left, Gio Reyna on the right, and Josh Sargent will get the nod at the 9. You can expect to see guys like Brenden Aaronson and Tim Weah off the bench at some point to provide more offensive options in the second half.
The USMNT get off to a great start in the World Cup. They take care of business 2-0 against Wales.