USMNT played alongside England, Iran and Wales in Group B of the Football World Cup in Qatar, and one player in particular has already improved his famous father’s record despite not yet taking the field. The United States is returning to the FIFA World Cup this year. and will hope to use the talents of their promising young stars to reach the final stages.
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Now led by 49-year-old coach Gregg Berhalter, they finished third in the CONCACAF qualifying table, having just passed Costa Rica on goal difference, ending their eight-year wait for another chance at the Football World Cup. Release of 2018 in Russia.
While they are somewhat lucky to have booked their place in the upcoming tournament, there is fresh hope that the new crop of young talent will help the US beat expectations, starting with breaking out of what looks like a test group along with England, Iran and Wales.
Timothy Weah, son of Liberian icon George, is one of the standout players of the current squad. The 22-year-old continues to showcase the great promise he showed with clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic with Lille. Since his arrival in 2019, he has made 81 appearances for the French giants, scoring eight goals. Since then, he has played 25 matches for USMNT.
While it remains to be seen if he will get his first Football World Cup chance in the US Group B opener against Wales, he could already improve the career of his extremely talented father. George, the 1995 Ballon d’Or winner, is considered one of the most talented players to have never played in a FIFA World Cup.
Speaking about his father’s impact on his upcoming tournament, Weah Jr said, I know he [George] is thrilled deep down because he didn’t have the opportunity to play in the Football World Cup with his country. I feel that he is living this moment through me.
“He is excited, like any father or mother. They [Weah’s family] want me to do my best and I just want to perform.”
Although the upcoming tournament will be a turning point for Timothy and the entire Weah family, the youngster is just one part of a promising and talented team. Leeds United duo Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronsohn have been named to Berhalter’s squad and are looking to play in Qatar.
Whites boss and former USMNT head coach Jesse Marsh has already predicted big things for the duo, which he calls the “golden generation” of American talent. He was quoted by The Athletic as saying: We all want the team to do really well now, but everyone at home is looking to 2026 and imagining what it can really become when the Football World Cup returns to the US.
“It’s stupid to even say it out loud, but can we be rivals at home? Even saying it out loud is ridiculous. But we think this is the golden generation of players.”
With so many promising talents at Berhalter’s disposal, it’s impossible to forget Chelsea star Christian Pulisic. The former Borussia Dortmund player remains an American football icon despite his troubles at Stamford Bridge. Fans are certainly looking forward to seeing the striker’s celebration in Qatar and thereby securing his place in USMNT folklore alongside Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. Speaking exclusively to Mirror Sport, the 24-year-old laid out his ambition to surprise some of the big boys.
He said: We know that if we look at the odds, it will be the regular names that are the favorites to win Qatar Football World Cup. Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, England and one or two more. We know that we will not be considered in this group.
“But we don’t look at the odds, and we’re not at the Football World Cup just to count the numbers. We go, we do our best in every game we play, we make America proud. Wherever this leads us, we must wait and see.”
Pulisic and his teammates certainly have a tough task ahead of them. USMNT have advanced beyond the Round of 16 only once since their semi-final finish at the 1930 World Cup – their first appearance. For more know about Football World Cup Tickets.
Their run to the quarter-finals of the 2002 championship in South Korea and Japan was a sliding door moment for the national team, but they failed to really capitalize on it in the next tournament with a group stage elimination in Germany. Given the talent on the team, there is hope that this will not happen in Qatar World Cup, but everything depends on a promising crop of starlets to ensure that this becomes a reality.
Expectations for Wales have fluctuated wildly but now is time to let world know what we are all about
Wales is about to play in the Football World Cup for the first time since 1958. Wales and the World Cups are not unfamiliar neighbors, as many would like you to believe. Over the years, Welsh teams have competed in all sorts of world cup, from rugby and hockey to roller derby and lacrosse. It was only two years ago that Wales actually won the FIFA World Cup thanks to our darts superstars Gerwyn Price and Johnny Clayton.
But when it comes to the Football World Cup, we’ve had to spend the last six decades watching enviously from afar. Having waited all this time for Wales to return to the biggest football arena, our presence in Qatar still seems surreal.
Before the playoffs against Ukraine in June, I said that qualifying would be the highest achievement, and everything we do in the tournament itself would be just a bonus. Wales have played in two other major tournaments in recent years, but it will be incredible to play in the biggest one.
There were only 13 places for UEFA countries in this tournament. Euro 2020 champions Italy won’t be in Qatar, but Wales will be. Apart from the host country that qualified automatically, Wales has the smallest population of any country in this Football World Cup and we are the fifth smallest country to qualify for the FIFA World Cup this millennium.
This should highlight what an outstanding feat it is for our small country to simply be here. With that in mind, I’m inclined to stick with my original opinion that just being here is accomplishment enough, and who really cares how we stand against the US, Iran, and England?
But now that the tournament is close, that attitude has changed. I don’t want my team to just come up with numbers and feel like it’s going to be almost a waste of time if we don’t have some impact. My expectations from this tournament have changed a lot. I was very happy when the draw was first made, thinking that the group was weaker than any of the Wales groups at Euro 2016 and 2020.
But over time, this confidence has been shaken. The Wales Nations League campaign, though rife with misses and late heartache, highlighted the team’s naivety. This great opportunity to test yourself against top European nations eventually led to one draw, five losses and relegation.
I was more and more worried about the club form of individual players. At the start of the season, it seemed like very few of our likely starters looked ready for the Football World Cup. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey only occasionally played for their new clubs. Neither Brennan Johnson nor Neko Williams made an impact as Nottingham Forest struggled for their return to the Premier League and Harry Wilson was sidelined for months with injury.
Wayne Hennessy was just warming up the bench while Danny Ward had a nightmarish start to life as Leicester’s first choice. Dan James was sent to Fulham after failing to find his charm at Leeds and Joe Rodon had a rocky start after moving to Rennes. For more know about England Vs Wales Tickets.
Connor Roberts lost his place in Burnley’s starting lineup, Ethan Ampadu won only one of his first nine Serie A games with Spezia and Wales key player Joe Allen suffered an injury that turned out to be more serious than expected. Aside from Chris Mepham’s remarkable renaissance at Bournemouth and the steady form of the reliable Ben Davies, there weren’t many potential players enjoying a stellar season.
But recent games have given me hope. Many of these players, who have had a rocky start to the season, will head into the Football World Cup in high spirits. Bale equalized for Los Angeles in his last game before the tournament, while Ramsey impressed in midfield with 90 minutes in consecutive Ligue 1 games.
Johnson started and Williams came off the bench last Saturday as Forest scored a rare but important victory over Crystal Palace. Harry Wilson has started back-to-back matches for Fulham and appears to be in full health from his injury. His teammate James struggled to establish himself in the starting XI at Craven Cottage but he scored a solid goal in an impressive cameo against Manchester United last weekend.
Kieffer Moore also hit the target as Bournemouth thrashed Everton 3-0. Hennessy did not play many minutes for his club, but Ward put his first season fluctuation behind him, conceding just one goal in over 550 minutes of league football to help take Leicester out of the danger zone. It will be interesting to see who Page picks in goal on Monday.
Ampado has been moved to the Spezia midfield, where he usually plays his best football. Two weeks ago he scored a spectacular assist in a draw against Udinese and secured a valuable away win against Verona last weekend. There are still players who haven’t started in recent times, including Roberts and Rodon, but these are two people who always improve their game for Wales, so I’m not too worried about their club form.
The news that Allen is back in training is also a big boost and we hope he can play his part in these group games because our midfield options look weak without him. Wales suddenly have a lot of players who seem to be coming into this tournament in good shape and that raised my level of optimism ahead of the first match on Monday.
Obviously, the upcoming games will be challenging. USA is a young and hardworking team that will support themselves to keep up with the energy and pace of Wales. With Tyler Adams and Weston McKenney in the squad, they’ll be imagining their chances to intimidate Wales in midfield, but their recent results on foreign soil suggest they’re not traveling well and they only finished third in North American qualifiers, only dodging an intercontinental playoff. -off on goal difference.
Iran is seen as the dark horse of the group. Their performance in Russia four years ago surprised many neutrals as they almost made the playoffs. With Carlos Queros back in power, they are expected to sit deep and frustrated, a tactic Wales have traditionally fought against.
They must be well adapted to the scorching heat of Qatar World Cup and must have strong travel support to cheer them up, so they are likely to give Wales a lot of trouble. And then there’s England, the old enemy, and the match no one wants to think about right now. They are the undisputed favorites in this group, and anything less than first place will make the London tabloids foam at the mouth.
After a few disappointing Nations League appearances, the pressure may have been frustrating for Gareth Southgate’s men, but we know their squad has the most individual qualities in this group. It’s an awkward final game if Wales needs a win to progress. This is not a group of death or a walk in the park. It will probably be a tense, brash and exhausted group, but it is a group that gives Wales a real chance to progress.
Wales have reached the knockout stage in all three of their previous tournaments and Rob Page’s side will be determined to push that record further into the Qatari desert. There are factors that this time are not in favor of Wales. Many of Wales’ star players have been out of their prime for several years now, and all three of their rivals have more players at Champions League clubs.
But all four countries have had their problems and Wales knows they were more than capable of competing at this stage in their time. Wales may be a tiny country by Football World Cup standards, but we shouldn’t let that scare us. We know the spirit this team has and we know these players are capable of some magical moments. Just being at the FIFA World Cup is great, but we’ve worked so hard to get here and now it’s important to make our mark and let the whole world know what we’re about.
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