USA World Cup Draw 2022: Fixtures, Matchups and Players to Watch in Qatar

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 1, 2022

United States' Christian Pulisic carries the ball for a corner kick during a qualifying soccer match against Costa Rica for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in San Jose, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
Moises Castillo/Associated Press

The United States men's national team was drawn with two familiar foes from World Cups past during Friday's 2022 FIFA World Cup draw. 

England is the headliner in Group B. The Americans and English squared off in the 2010 World Cup group stage. 

Iran also has a World Cup history with the Americans. The Asian nation defeated the Americans at the 1998 World Cup in France. 

The USMNT's final group-stage foe will not be determined until the final European playoff takes place in June. 

Wales, Scotland or Ukraine will be the USMNT's first opponent in Qatar. The winner of the Scotland-Ukraine playoff game will take on Wales for a spot in the World Cup. That part of the UEFA bracket was rescheduled because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Gregg Berhalter's squad will open its World Cup campaign on November 21 against one of the three European playoff sides. 

The marquee clash of Group B takes place on Black Friday when the Americans face England in what could be a battle for first place. 


USMNT Group B Fixtures

November 21: USMNT vs. Wales, Scotland or Ukraine

November 25: USMNT vs. England

November 29: USMNT vs. Iran 


Players to Watch

Christian Pulisic

Christian Pulisic has been the face of the USMNT since the team failed to qualify for the last World Cup. 

The Chelsea star is perhaps the brightest of the young generation of stars who were burdened with the pressure of returning the USMNT to the global stage. 

Pulisic made an emphatic statement in the USMNT's 5-1 win over Panama, which got it one step away from qualification. 

The 23-year-old completed a hat-trick against Panama to keep the goal differential tally between the USMNT and Costa Rica high enough to avoid a collapse on the final day of qualifying. 

The Pennsylvania native scored five goals in World Cup qualifying. He will be tasked with either scoring or setting up a majority of the USMNT chances in Qatar. 

He has appeared in 15 Premier League matches for Chelsea this season and faces competition for a starting spot every week. 

Pulisic's form for the Blues in England will be carefully watched by USMNT fans during the close of the season and the start of the new campaign.


Tyler Adams

An argument can be made that Tyler Adams is the most important player within the USMNT squad. 

Adams thrived in the defensive midfield role in Gregg Berhalter's system, and the drop-off in quality from him to the backups at the position is one of the largest in the USMNT talent pool. 

Adams played in 13 of the 14 World Cup CONCACAF qualifying matches, and he should be one of the first names on the teamsheet in Qatar. 

At its best, the USMNT midfield of Adams, Weston McKennie, Pulisic, Yunus Musah and Brenden Aaronson could propel the Americans to the top of their group.

Adams serves a major role in midfield connecting the center backs with the more creative midfielders in the squad. He also is a vital part to the defensive structure. 

Without Adams, the USMNT could be in trouble on the defensive side of the ball. The key for Adams over the next six months is to stay healthy. He has appeared in 19 of RB Leipzig's 27 matches in the Bundesliga this season.