clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 in review: Did our bold USMNT predictions come true?

We recap our predictions for the year and see how right (or wrong) we were.

Trinidad & Tobago v United States: Quarterfinal - Leg One - CONCACAF Nations League Photo by Elizabeth Kreutz/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF

It’s New Year’s Eve, the final day of 2023. It was a year that the United States Men’s National Team had a couple of major competitions while they launched fully into the status of co-hosts of the 2026 World Cup. They were able to have some successes in the midst of some controversy, and they overcame injuries to a few very important players while welcoming a new potential star into the fold. The USMNT went 10W-3L-5D in 2023, with their biggest wins coming against Mexico, Canada, and Ghana.

We tried to go bold with our 2023 predictions, and some of the results were nearly spot on. Let’s review them and see how they turned out.

The USMNT will repeat as Concacaf Nations League champions.

We start with one that occurred, but to get the full grasp of the prediction, let’s see it here in full:

Yeah, we’re going to claim 100% accuracy on that one! The USMNT thrashed Mexico in the semifinals before beating Canada in the final to repeat as Concacaf Nations League champions. This is as perfect of a prediction as we’ve had on this series.

The USMNT will once again beat Mexico in the Gold Cup final.

Welp, snap back to reality, to borrow from Eminem. The USMNT lost on penalties to Panama in the Gold Cup semifinals, and Mexico eventually lifted the Gold Cup trophy.

The USMNT will finish just shy of the top 10.

The prediction was that the USMNT would finish just outside the Top 10 of the FIFA rankings at #11. They finished the year ranked 12th in the world, so this prediction was very close to being 100% correct.

Gregg Berhalter will still be the coach at the end of the year.

This one is incredible considering what we knew on January 1st and what we would find out on January 3rd. Again, for posterity, the full prediction:

Of course, we all know what transpired with the controversy between Gregg Berhalter and the Reyna family that prompted an investigation that led to a permanent division between the two families, Berhalter being declared eligible to be rehired, and then U.S. Soccer doing just that, signing Berhalter to a new 4-year deal. Berhalter is signed on to be the coach for the 2026 World Cup, not just the 2024 Copa América, so we’ll take 95% accuracy there.

The USMNT will beat a European team on the road.

This one will be a dud, as the USMNT never faced a European team on the road. In fact, the only road matches the USMNT took were in Nations League play, against Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago. The USMNT were 0-2 against European teams in 2023, losing a January Camp match to Serbia and an October friendly to Germany.

Only 5 goals will be conceded by the USMNT in 2023.

The USMNT played exactly 18 matches in 2023, giving up 13 goals in those matches. The defense wasn’t quite where it needed to be throughout the year.

The USMNT will score 9 goals in one match.

This was a bold prediction, one that came close a couple of times. The USMNT scored 7 goals on the road to Grenada in March and then had 2 back-to-back 6-0 wins in the Gold Cup group stage against St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago. However, they did not set a record with 9 goals in a single match.

So, the 2023 predictions had a couple hits and a few duds. As we close out the year, discuss in the comments which prediction you were surprised went the way it did.