In ten days, the USMNT players selected by Gregg Berhalter begin their World Cup conquest in Qatar.
While some players round out playing for European clubs, those representing Major League Soccer clubs are done for the season. Therefore, they are among the first to arrive in Qatar for the tournament.
For example, Walker Zimmerman from Nashville SC, Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris and FC Dallas’s Jesús Ferreira all flew over to Qatar. In total, nine USMNT players touched down in Qatar for the World Cup early on Nov. 11. The remainder of the squad joins them soon after this upcoming weekend. The European club calendar is taking a six-week hiatus for the World Cup.
The other six players from MLS are Sean Johnson (NYCFC), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Shaq Moore (Nashville SC), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders) and Deandre Yedlin (Inter Miami). Yedlin is a particularly interesting choice. He is the only player on the squad to have World Cup experience. Each of the other 25 players, should they play, is making their World Cup debut.
USMNT players arrive in Qatar
The squad representing the United States begins their tournament on Monday, Nov. 21, against Wales. The US’s group also features England and Iran. There are mixed expectations for the United States at this World Cup.
The USMNT has the youngest squad attending the World Cup, at least based on the average age of players during qualifying. There are three teenagers, Gio Reyna, Yunus Musah and Joe Scally. In total, there are 15 players aged 25 or younger. Consequently, the USMNT’s average age of just over 24 is remarkable.
That being said, the United States will expect to make it out of the group. While England, Wales and Iran present a challenge individually, the United States made it out of the group in each of its past two appearances at the World Cup, 2010 and 2014.
That all begins in that first game against Wales.
PHOTOS: Mohamed Farag – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
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