World Cup 2022: The Lowdown On the USA and Group B

By  //  July 10, 2022

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With a World Cup on the horizon, excitement levels are slowly reaching fever pitch. Soccer fans will be engrossed for a month and there will be plenty of incredible on field moments, including a few upsets along the way.

In the coming months, the final squad lists will be trimmed to 26, and we will know who will be boarding the plane to Qatar. The World Cup groups have already been announced, and Group B has caught our eye.

The USA will fancy their chances of doing well. As you may expect, there will be plenty of betting sites deluged with a variety of outright odds indicating how far the USA will go in the tournament.

So, without further ado, let’s give you the lowdown on Group B, and see how the USA might fare.

Reunion with a familiar foe

Well, this may be a good omen, but the USA will pit themselves against England once again. In 2010, the USA stunned England when Clinton Dempsey equalized just before the end of the first period to earn a valuable point in a 1-1 draw.

The USA ended up finishing top of Group C by virtue of goal difference, and it was the first time they had qualified for the last 16 as group winners in 80 years.

Although the USA came unstuck in the last 16 against Ghana, where they lost 2-1, there would have been a sense of pride about frustrating England in the group stage.

While the head-to-head record weighs heavily in England’s favor as they have prevailed in eight of their 11 meetings, the USA could be a bogey opponent. England boasts plenty of attacking arsenal, and in Harry Kane, the Three Lions shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the net. USA coach Gregg Berhalter will be mindful of that, and they will have to remain compact if they are going to take anything from their clash with England.

Nevertheless, this game could well be a mouth-watering affair, and one that could go some way to determining the outlook of Group B.

Wales entering the fray

Wales cemented a World Cup berth after beating Ukraine in a playoff last month. But World Cup Finals appearances have been few and far between for the Dragons, and this will be the first time in 54 years that will be participating in international football’s biggest tournament.

On their previous visit to the World Cup, Wales reached the quarter-finals and they have been the surprise package in other tournaments. In 2016, Wales knocked out Belgium in the European Championships en route to the semi-finals, but they came up short against Portugal.

The past few years have been something of a renaissance for Wales, and they shouldn’t be underestimated, as their squad includes Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey. For the USA, Wales is almost something of an unknown quantity. They have only played each other twice before in friendlies, and their last clash was back in 2003. On that day, the USA ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Landon Donovan and Eddie Lewis in the second half.

If anything, Wales represents the biggest danger to the USA’s chances of progress. Wales will therefore be a good litmus test of where the USA is at in the early stage of the tournament.

USA pinning hopes on Christian Pulisic

In any team, there is always a star player that a team will pin its hopes on. With the USA, it is Christian Pulisic, who is arguably the nation’s poster boy. The fleet-footed midfielder enjoyed a fine campaign at Chelsea, and at times he was deployed in a more advanced role as Thomas Tuchel had doubts over Romelu Lukaku.

Pulisic is the heartbeat of the USA team, and he can make things happen, but he will need to be at his best if they are going to get through. He will be ably supported by Giovanni Reyna, who is looking to make his mark at the World Cup after an injury-hit season.

The USA is a well-drilled unit under Berhalter and they will be tough to break down. However, there’s no reason to suggest why they can’t qualify for the last 16 as Group B runners-up, as it seems more likely that England will pinch top spot.