World Cup predictions: Breaking down USMNT odds, Group B preview for 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off on November 20 in Qatar, marking the first time the tournament has taken place during the winter months. The USMNT will kick off their group stage campaign on November 21 with a game against Wales as they look for an early victory to bolster their chances of advancing to the knockout stages.

Before the action, let’s take a closer look at what awaits the Americans as they make their first World Cup appearance since 2014.

Preview of the 2022 World Cup in the United States

Odds of winning the World Cup: +13000

I think it’s pretty widely accepted that the Americans aren’t going to win the World Cup this year, but they can still find success by making a deep run. They finished third in the CONCACAF Qualifiers and were a little too close to being sent to the Inter-Confederation Qualifiers as they were level on points with Costa Rica, but possessed the goal differential tiebreaker to grab from last place with an automatic place. There are too many world powers in play for the United States to win the tournament, but moving the needle further than their last appearances will go a long way.

Group B win/pass odds: +500 to win, -105 to pass

While England are favorites to win the group at -280, the Americans are next but tied with Wales at +500 in the DraftKings Sportsbook. Their odds of at least advancing are much higher at -105, while Wales come in at +100 to qualify for knockouts. The USMNT will face Wales in their first game, so if they can get a positive result against the Welsh to start the campaign, they will be on course for a round of 16.

Expectations

Gregg Berhalter and his team will at least be looking to make a deeper run than in years past, with their best result coming in 2002 when they reached the quarter-finals. Sure, they reached the semi-finals in 1930, but there were only two knockout rounds in the inaugural edition of the tournament and they lost their first 6-1 to Argentina. .

2002 is the only time they’ve made it past the knockout stages, so they’ll be looking to at least get back to the quarters, or even the semis. The road is tough as they will likely face the Netherlands in the round of 16, assuming the Dutch win Group A and the USMNT finish second in Group B. It wouldn’t be much easier from there. they were successful, as they are bound to come up against the likes of Argentina, Brazil and even Germany if they go far enough.

The average age of the USMNT team is around 25, so they will have plenty of players who will be much more experienced by the time they host the 2026 World Cup. We should expect them to find a some success in Qatar to build on when they hope to make a real title run in 2026.

Key player: Christian Pulisic

While Team USA has an unprecedented number of guys playing overseas in top flight leagues, one player stands out above the rest and that’s Pulisic. The 24-year-old is expected to be the team leader as Berhalter has somewhat built the rest of the team around him whether he plays as an attacking midfielder or on the wing.

Pulisic spent three years with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, starting at the age of 16, where he played 81 games and scored 10 goals. In 2019, he signed with EPL side Chelsea in a record $73 million move where he made 86 appearances and scored 20 goals, while also winning a Champions League title in 2019. He has tallied 21 goals in 52 caps for the Americans and will be looking to add more to that tally in Qatar.

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