Does the USMNT stand any chance at 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar?

Beyond the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup in soccer is the biggest and most popular sporting event in existence. The iconic tournament has been hosted every four years since 1930, when the first global international championship was hosted and won by Uruguay. The only interruption came in 1942 and 1946 because of World War II, before resuming again in 1950.

Interestingly, the 1950 tournament in Brazil is where the USMNT achieved one of their most famous victories, beating a powerful England side 1-0 thanks to a solitary goal by Joseph Gaetjens. But as the ‘beautiful game’ grows ever more popular throughout America, what are the expectations for our national team ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar?

Well, before deciding to back the USMNT for success, the best first step would be finding out how to bet on the World Cup 2022 tournament, the first of its kind ever to be hosted by a Middle East country. The latest Arabian Betting guide covers every angle, both in English and Arabic, focusing on what markets are available and which sportsbooks offer competitive odds.

As for the USMNT, they undoubtedly face a difficult challenge ahead, after being drawn in Group B alongside England, Wales, and Iran. Progress to the knockout stage will be the target marked, although even the most optimistic sportsbooks are wary. Let’s take a quick look at the stiff opposition our USMNT will face at the 2022 World Cup.


The USMNT will open their participation at the World Cup against Wales, one of the neighboring countries to England within the United Kingdom, although they haven’t featured at the elite tournament since way back in 1958. While this is just the second appearance for Wales, by comparison, the United States has featured at nine previous tournaments.

According to the latest FIFA Men’s Ranking of national teams, the United States are in 14th position, and Wales are slightly lower down in 19th place, suggesting that on paper the USMNT should go into that opening match as favorites. Nevertheless, the best Welsh player is Gareth Bale, a genuinely world-class talent who coincidentally joined Los Angeles FC in the MLS this year.

This first game at the World Cup will give fans an early indication of USMNT chances, given that if they lose the game against Wales, it will inevitably be an uphill struggle to reach the knockout phase of the tournament. For this reason, the opening encounter is arguably the most important.


Including memorable 1-0 win against England at the 1950 World Cup, the USMNT has faced the ‘Three Lions’ on eleven occasions in total. Following what is considered the biggest shock in World Cup history for the English, they subsequently thrashed the United States in each of the next four meetings, all of which were friendly matches.

Then in 1994, the USMNT finally recorded another shock victory, comfortably beating the English 2-0 during the US Cup friendly tournament. Ever since then, duels between the two sides have been much closer and competitive, albeit with the US team typically losing. Still, there is the capacity to frustrate, given the USMNT held England to a 1-1 draw at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Heading into the 2022 World Cup, the vast majority of sportsbooks have England amongst the top three key contenders, when browsing through the outright winner futures markets. Therefore, the USMNT will be hoping to frustrate their cousins from across the pond once again, if they are to harbor any possibility of progressing from the group phase.


As if being drawn alongside two British countries wasn’t interesting enough, given the constant geopolitical tensions which span several decades, the United States getting Iran in the same World Cup group will inevitably spice things up even more. Then consider this tournament is being played in the Middle East, there’s extra pressure on the shoulders of both teams.

Without any shadow of doubt, the Iranians will relish the prospect of defeating one of their fiercest enemies, especially on such a massive global sporting stage. But ensuring that doesn’t happen could also be all the inspiration required for the USMNT, against arguably the weakest rival they will face in Group B.

Known as ‘Team Melli’ by the Iranian fans, their national soccer team has reached the World Cup tournament on five previous occasions, albeit without ever progressing beyond the group stage. Predictions would suggest they are unlikely to enjoy any further success in 2022, although the USMNT would be wise to avoid any complacency against them.

Possibilities of progress

Right now, sportsbooks believe England will have little difficulty in qualifying for the knockout phase, while Iran are considered to be rank outsiders. The authentic World Cup battle in Group B will be between the USMNT and Wales, with both given fairly even odds of making further progress. Let’s hope the United States can achieve their full potential.