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2020 in review: Did our bold USMNT predictions come true?

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You’d be surprised…some kinda sorta worked out!

FC Bayern München v Borussia Dortmund - Supercup 2020 Photo by M. Donato/FC Bayern via Getty Images

It’s the final day of 2020, the longest and worst year for just about everyone on the planet. Because of the coronavirus pandemic that brought the world to a standstill for several months and still continues to wreak havoc on the world, the thought of having to go back and relive the predictions that were laid out when 2020 was a promise of hope seems agonizing. Some of those predictions were shattered very early on, while some had the thought to wait a while before disappearing into the void.

However, there were a couple that may have come to fruition…in part. Let’s go through what we predicted 92 years ago back on January 1st and see what worked out and what didn’t.

The USMNT will win the Nations League.

Nope...the pandemic ruined those plans. The Nations League playoffs were set to take place in June, but they were postponed early when the pandemic took full flight in March and caused a shutdown of almost every sports competition on the planet. The Nations League has been rescheduled for June.

The USMNT will beat Costa Rica on the road during World Cup qualifying.

We didn’t get a chance to see if this prediction would come true in 2020, and we won’t even get that chance in 2021. The pandemic postponed all of World Cup qualifying to 2021, and the United States won’t begin the Octagon until September (as of now). The road match against Costa Rica is not scheduled to take place until March 2022. So, we have at least a year and some change to wait to see if the USMNT can take its first road victory against Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying.

Christian Pulisic will score 10 goals in 2020.

Well, if we had said that club counts, then Christian Pulisic would have been close. He scored 7 goals in 2020 across all competitions for Chelsea, but none for the USMNT. To be fair to him, there were only 4 USMNT matches this year and he didn’t play in any of them. The only window he was called up was the lone FIFA window the USMNT played in: November. He was injured before camp and though he arrived to train, he was released from camp to heal the injury after a couple days and did not play against Wales or Panama.

Should the USMNT schedule not have any hiccups in 2021, there will be a ton of opportunities for Pulisic to shine and score goals for his country. Keeping him healthy will be priority one, because we have some very important matches on the calendar.

The U-23s will not only qualify for the Olympics, they’ll finish with a bronze medal.

Again, another blown prediction due to the pandemic. The Olympics were postponed to this coming summer, and the U-23s didn’t even get a chance to begin Olympic qualifying. The pandemic forced the cancellation of the tournament just days before it was set to begin. They will get another chance to break the Olympic drought on the men’s side in March.

Jozy Altidore will score 5 goals during World Cup qualifying.

This was the boldest prediction, and yeah...it didn’t go to plan. We’ve had some of the younger guys at the forward position start to make their names known, so it will be an interesting competition to see who gets the playing time when World Cup qualifying rolls around. It will be a crucial year for our forwards, as a collective group, to make a huge leap and make it so Gregg Berhalter has a difficult decision on who to leave at home when the major competitions start back up.

Chris Gloster, Chris Richards, and Richie Ledezma will make their USMNT debuts.

Hey, here’s a prediction that became mostly right! Chris Richards and Richy Ledezma did make their USMNT debuts in 2020. Both of them made their debuts as substitutes in the USMNT’s 6-2 victory over Panama on November 16th. Chris Gloster will be someone fans look to take a huge step in 2021, as he will likely be part of the main core of U-23s that we hope can qualify for the Olympics. Maybe that will help give him his USMNT debut next year.

The USMNT will only lose once in 2020.

This prediction was wrong...but it’s because the USMNT went unbeaten in 2020! Three wins, no defeats, and one draw will be what’s written in the history books about the USMNT in 2020. The pandemic may have taken lots of opportunities away, but it couldn’t stop the USMNT from being unbeaten against Costa Rica, Wales, Panama, and El Salvador. Hopefully, this gives the team some confidence entering what will likely be the busiest year ever for the program.

There it is...2020 is history. Good riddance! Hit the comments to discuss some of the predictions that came true and those that didn’t.