The USA Football World Cup team can breathe a sigh of respite after finishing FIFA World Cup qualifying in March with just enough points (and goals) to guarantee its advert among the 32 teams in Qatar. The team can also take a moment of a break, as there are just six matches on the 2022 USMNT schedule before the start of the Qatar World Cup in November.
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On March 30, the USMNT qualified for the World Cup after missing the prior edition. Two days later, the Americans erudite their group in that tournament well, most of it, as the final member will be resolute in June. FIFA World Cup showdowns against England, Iran, and of Ukraine, Scotland, or Wales will be the showcase of 2022 for U.S. Soccer. Before that, Gregg Berhalter’s team doesn’t have much on the program.
After playing 15 games in six months, the 2022 USMNT schedule will feature six games over the next six months, with two more FIFA-sanctioned international windows before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar. There are no summer tournaments. There is a double window in June trailed by a window in September. That’s it. We’re six games away from the Qatar World Cup four friendlies and two almost empty Concacaf Nations League matches.
Next up for the 2022 USMNT timetable is the June window (precisely it’s May 30-June 14). The 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League begins during this June window, but the U.S. doesn’t play in the first half of the window and will instead use the start of June for a pair of friendlies before USA Vs Euro Play Off matches.
Concacaf has given the three teams who have already been competent for the Qatar World Cup (U.S., Canada, and Mexico) the first half of the window off to play friendlies. Costa Rica, which can still qualify with a win over New Zealand on June 14, will play two matches in the head window of the CNL before flying off to Doha, Qatar, to play the All Whites.
The Americans will crowd two friendlies in the States on June 1 and 5. As of printing, those opponents haven’t been publicized, but recent reports suggest the matches will be against Argentina (June 1) and Uruguay (June 5), the latter of which would allegedly be played at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, the same site of the USMNT’s last home game, a 5-1 win over Panama. To know more about England Vs USA Tickets click here.
After those friendlies, the U.S. will crowd Grenada to open the Nations League on June 10 at a location TBD. The final match of the window will be a Nations League match in El Salvador, likely San Salvador, and the site of the USMNT’s 0-0 draw to open FIFA World Cup qualifying in September.
After the June window, there isn’t another FIFA authorized international window until late September, when clubs must release players between the 19th and 27th. Two matches are tolerable during that window, both will be friendlies USA Vs Euro Play Off teams.
While U.S. Soccer has yet to proclaim plans for the USMNT in September, Gregg Berhalter will likely famine to play in Europe against European rivalry, especially with two European opponents in the Americans’ World Cup group. Another option would be an Asian team like South Korea or Japan to make for Iran. My finest guess says the U.S. schedules a road-friendly against a top European team like Belgium or Portugal and another against a more middle-of-the-pack European team like Serbia or Croatia, all of which couldn’t play the U.S. in the World Cup until the later rounds.
After the September friendlies, that’s it for the full national team before the Qatar World Cup kicks off on Nov. 21. Clubs are required to release players by Nov. 14 for sharing in the World Cup, which runs through Dec. 18.
The U.S. plays on the inaugural day of the World Cup against the winner of the UEFA playoff, meaning Berhalter will only have a week with his full squad. During most World Cup years, national teams are permitted a few weeks to prepare, during which time they play two or three friendlies. This time, because of FIFA’s contentious decision to award the tournament to Qatar and then move the tournament to November-December, teams will have very little time to get ready for the World Cup and no time for display games.
If there aren’t any friendlies outside of FIFA windows, the USMNT has just six matches before the World Cup initiates. The first match on Nov. 21 will be against either Ukraine, Scotland, or Wales, none of which present an easy match but all are fully winnable. The second group-stage match is against England on Nov. 25, Black Friday for USA Vs Euro Play Off.
If the USMNT becomes out of the group stage, it will open the knockout rounds on Dec. 3 or 4 against a team from Group A. The matches would be on either Dec. 9 or 10 followed by the semifinals (Dec. 13-14) and third-place match/final (Dec. 17-18).
So to abridge the 2022 USMNT schedule, the Americans play two friendlies in early June, two Concacaf Nations League matches in mid-June, two friendlies in September, and the Qatar World Cup in November, and if they get out of the group phase, December.
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