The United States Men’s National Team opens its 11th World Cup match against Wales in Al Rayyan, Qatar. USA and Wales are in Group B along with England and Iran.
In its last two World Cup appearances, the U.S. advanced to the Round of 16. However, a group with multiple UEFA teams may not bode well for the USA, with the USMNT winning just three of 21 World Cup matches against European competition.
That hasn’t dampened USMNT manager Greg Berhalter’s confidence.
“I believe we can beat anybody in the world on our best day,” he told ESPN’s Sam Borden. “Nobody.”
Whatever the outcome, the youth will lead the way. Defender DeAndre Yedlin is the only World Cup veteran after making his World Cup debut as a 20-year-old in 2014. 52), Jordan Morris (49), Tim Ream (46).
Still, Yedlin’s experience is more than the Welsh face. Wales are making their first World Cup appearance in 64 years. However, Wales have Gareth Bale, whose illustrious professional career included five UEFA Champions League titles and three UEFA Super Cup victories while at Real Madrid.
Here are the best moments from the USMNT and Wales in Group B action:
Thoughts at the half: The difference in flying yellow cards
The USMNT kept their foot on the gas throughout the first half. Tim Weah scored the difference against a Wales side who had yet to get a clear attacking chance in the first 45 minutes.
Weah almost put the USA up in the first 10 minutes when he crossed a Wales defender in the box but for a clutch save from keeper Wayne Hennessey. But Weah left no question about it in the 36th minute, giving the USMNT their first World Cup goal in eight years.
Both the managers have to be careful now as several key players have been booked with yellow cards. With Sergino Test and Weston McKenney now each on yellow, expect Greg Berhalter to take them out in the second leg. Could Brendan Aaronson or Giovani Reyna come after the break?
For Wales, Rob Page could be looking at his bench with two late bookings for Gareth Bale and Chris Mebham.
Wondergoal from Veea!
Tim Weah got the USMNT on the board after latching on to Christian Pulisic’s beautiful throughball in the middle of the pitch, slotting it past Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey.
The @USMNT Leading 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
TIM WEAH PUTTING AMERICA FIRST pic.twitter.com/vinlFUxWGZ
— Fox Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 21, 2022
Son of AC Milan legend and Liberian President George Wee, the Lilly winger has been knocking on the USMNT door throughout the first half.
Sparse attendance at the World Cup is becoming a growing problem, with some fans even having trouble accessing stadiums. But supporters of both sides are making their presence felt.
The Vulture has landed in Qatar (with Wonder Woman’s help).
Spectacular footage of Wales fans in the stands singing a rousing rendition of their national anthem.
With USMNT World Cup captain Tyler Adams, we have the youngest lineup the team has ever had in the tournament, with an average age of over 25. Younus Musa, who played for England’s youth teams before moving to America, is the youngest at 19.
The oldest on the team? Tim Ream, at age 35, hasn’t started for America in over a year. The Fulham defender will be a steady veteran in the backfield. DeAndre Yedlin, 29, is the only holdover from the 2014 squad.
Queues are out!
The starting XI for the USMNT is out — Since losing in the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup in 2014. The USMNT has seen the emergence of many new faces and exciting new talent under the leadership of Christian Pulisic.
Tyler Adams Wears the captain’s armband for the USMNT (Youngest to wear it at World Cup at 23). A surprising start for Joshua Sargent as a striker, and we’ll see how much he can contribute with Weston McKennie and Sergino suffering test injuries.
Here we go. 🇺🇸
— US Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT) November 21, 2022
If you think it’s been a while since the USMND played in a World Cup, Wales haven’t been to the big show since 1958. Starting with captain Gareth Bale, there are several star playmakers to watch out for. Others to watch out for are Daniel James and Aaron Ramsey, both with big-game experience.
🇺🇸🏴 🁧 🇸🇸 🇪🇸 | Starting XI
— Wales 🏴🁧 🁢 🏵 November 21, 2022
Ask the home team
Family members of each player sent their best wishes to the USMNT ahead of the first match of group play.
— US Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT) November 20, 2022
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