The United States Men’s National Team are back at it in their second group stage match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tomorrow when they take on England at Al Bayt Stadium. The second this matchup was confirmed at the World Cup draw, the date on the calendar was circled: Black Friday. As most of America is off work today and tomorrow, the stage was set for one of the most anticipated USMNT matches of all time. And with it comes a ton of importance.
With the draw on Monday against Wales, the USMNT are sitting tied for second in Group B with 1 point, staring up at England. A result against the seeded team in the group would be massive to not only increase the USMNT’s chances of advancing, but to also open up the group a bit entering the final group stage matchday. A loss doesn’t eliminate the USMNT, but it will take destiny out of their hands and they’ll have to count on other results happening to get out of the group.
D (1-1) - Wales - 2022 World Cup Group B
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
W (6-2) - Iran - 2022 World Cup Group B
D (3-3) - Germany - UEFA Nations League
L (0-1) - Italy - UEFA Nations League
L (0-4) - Hungary - UEFA Nations League
D (0-0) - Germany - UEFA Nations League
What To Watch For
Keep eyes on Saka. Bukayo Saka had a terrific match for England against Iran, and he has emerged as a star over the last couple of years for the Three Lions. His creativity on the field combined with his knack for putting shots on frame means that the defense has to make sure they keep tabs on him and not let him get free.
Play like the first half against Wales. The team we saw in the first half on Monday was one of the best USMNT fans have seen in ages. They played extremely well and was aggressive in taking the game right to their opponent. Let’s see more of that tomorrow against England, but this time, it has to be a full 90 minutes.
Go right at Harry Maguire. If Harry Maguire starts, there’s your weak link at the back. Our midfielders should be able to keep Maguire on his back foot, where he tends to mess up at times. The USMNT needs to exploit any holes created by England’s bad positioning and go right at them.
With news that Gio Reyna is available to play on Friday, we really are at a squad that’s fully ready to play. With all that in mind, here’s the predicted lineup that Gregg Berhalter will start against England:
The prediction is pretty simple: no changes for the USMNT. We can expect to finally see Gio Reyna make his World Cup debut, while Brenden Aaronson will also see the field earlier in relief. There shouldn’t be any surprise if Sergiño Dest or Weston McKennie come off early given that they both hold yellow cards, but Berhalter will still likely start them given their importance to what the team wants to do on the field.
Call this a homer pick if you want, but it’s another draw for the USMNT. 1-1.