The United States men’s national team begins its 11th World Cup appearance against Wales in Al Rayyan, Qatar. The US and Wales are in Group B along with England and Iran.
In its last two World Cup appearances, the US advanced to the round of 16. However, a group featuring multiple UEFA sides might not bode well for the US The USMNT has won just three of 21 World Cup matches against European competition.
That has not dulled the confidence of USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter.
“What I do believe is that on our best day we can beat anyone in the world,” he told ESPN’s Sam Borden. “Anyone.”
Whatever the result, youth will lead the way. Defender DeAndre Yedlin is the lone World Cup veteran after the right back made his World Cup debut as a 20-year-old in 2014. After Yedlin’s 75 caps, the most experienced players on the roster are Kellyn Acosta (53), Christian Pulisic ( 52), Jordan Morris (49) and Tim Ream (46).
And yet, Yedlin’s experience is more than the Welsh can counter with. Wales is making its first appearance in the World Cup in 64 years. However, Wales have Gareth Bale, whose illustrious pro career includes five UEFA Champions League titles and three UEFA Super Cup wins while at Real Madrid.
Here are the best moments as the US and Wales face off in Group B action:
Lineups are out!
The starting XI for the USMNT is out — their first since losing to Belgium at the 2014 World Cup in the Round of 16. Since then, the USMNT has seen the emergence of so many new faces and exciting new talent, led by Christian Pulisic .
Tyler Adams wears the captain’s armband for the USMNT (the youngest ever to don it at 23 years old). A surprise start for Joshua Sargent up top as striker, and we’ll see how much Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest can contribute as they’ve been hampered by injuries.
Here we go. 🇺🇸
Full Lineup Notes » https://t.co/DvhSXPvqRy#USMNT x @Visa pic.twitter.com/V8VpU1oBMG
— US Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT) November 21, 2022
If you think it’s been a while since the USMNT played in a World Cup, Wales hasn’t been to the big show since 1954. There are several star playmakers to keep an eye on, obviously starting with captain Gareth Bale. Others to note will be Daniel James and Aaron Ramsey, both with plenty of big game experience.
🇺🇸🏴 | STARTING XI
HANNAH! CWPAN Y BYD! #ArBenYByd | #FIFAWorldCup | #TogetherStronger pic.twitter.com/IGtOt7HJsL
— Wales 🏴 (@Cymru) November 21, 2022
Let’s hear it for the home team
Family members of every player send their well wishes to the USMNT ahead of its first match of group play.
24 hours from the biggest moment of their lives, the families of all 26 #USMNT players send a heartfelt ‘good luck’ from back home ❤️💙🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/sh8fLRQtsP
— US Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT) November 20, 2022