This is the season for wall charts and fans gathering around to choose their starting teams for the Football World Cup in Qatar. And as countries announce their squads for football’s premier international competition, the debate has escalated to breaking point. On Wednesday, the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) announced its 26-player roster that will travel to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup, with head coach Gregg Berhalter choosing a young and inexperienced group.
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However, Berhalter’s choice was not without controversy. The biggest surprise was the decision not to select Manchester City goalkeeper Zach Steffen. The 27-year-old, who is on loan at English second-tier club Middlesborough this season, has traded with Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner for a starting position but did not make the final squad.
In some cases, it’s more about what we have than what we don’t have, Berhalter said at a press conference following the announcement. With three goalkeepers on the list, we feel great, we feel very good.
“We’ve seen a lot of progress with Matt Turner over the past six months, we know that Ethan Horvath has performed at a good level at Luton in the Championship and Sean Johnson has been a mainstay in this group from day one.”
The other major surprise was the choice of Hadji Wright over Ricardo Pepi. Wright, who is the second top scorer in Turkey’s top flight, was selected ahead of Pepi, who had become Berhalter’s favorite in recent games. For more know about Football World Cup Tickets.
“In the case of Ricardo, it was a really difficult conversation that I had to have with him, Berhalter said. It’s always difficult when a guy helps you get to the Football World Cup, scores three goals in FIFA World Cup qualifiers and is not going to participate in the program. Again, it’s more about who we added, what we liked.”
All but one of the 26 teams will make their Qatar Football World Cup debut this year, and according to the USMNT, this will be the youngest team to qualify for the Football World Cup. According to the team, USMNT’s 11 to 14 qualifier average age was 23.82, nearly two years short of the next closest team.
Cardiff forward admits nerves over Wales Football World Cup selection
Cardiff City striker Rubin Colwill says he feared he would miss out on Football World Cup qualification due to a series of injuries this season. Colwill was included in Robert Page’s 26-man squad for the final in Qatar starting in Wales against the United States on 21 November. Included is a 20-year-old player who has played less than 15 minutes for his club since September.
“It was definitely a big concern, Colwill said. – Obviously, I was a little nervous, I didn’t play much, as injuries did not allow me to play. Even if you go back to the beginning of the season when I got a hamstring injury this season I thought ‘That’s not great. I wanted to take on Cardiff this season, I think it’s a big year for me and for the club as a whole.”
When I found out about the injury, I thought that the Qatar Football World Cup was coming. Over time, I slowly came back to it, and then got another injury and went back to it again. It was up and down, and the closer it got, the more worried I got. But the medical staff were incredible and worked so hard for me and I am very grateful for how much effort they put in.
Colwill’s long-awaited return to Cardiff came on Tuesday, the day before Page’s squad was announced, when he came off the bench for the last 14 minutes of their league loss to Hull City. He learned that he was included shortly before the official announcement, but did not initially share the news with his family.
“I didn’t tell them right away and was going to leave them to watch it on TV, but then my mother was too stressed out and I had to tell her, Colwill added. Being named to the team is a great honor. and I can’t put it into words, to be honest. I am incredibly lucky to be part of such a wonderful team. I can’t wait to leave now.”
Colwill was a surprise name in Wales’ Euro 2020 squad as he only made his senior Cardiff debut in February 2021 but did not feature in four Wales games. Obviously, last time I was burning with the desire to leave and could not believe it, he said. It was still incredibly special and very grateful that I had the chance to leave, but I was obviously a little upset that I didn’t get to continue or be part of a playing team.
“I really hope that I can get into the playing team and maybe go on the field.”
Colwill will be looking to get more minutes to his credit for Cardiff at home to Sheffield United on Saturday, the club’s last game before the Football World Cup. I rush forward – I was sort of locked in a cage and released. I can’t wait to get on the field and get a few minutes. We’ve had some ups and downs this season, but if it’s our day, we can definitely score points.
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