The 2022 FIFA World Cup has welcomed several young stars, and Team USA is one of the youngest squads. The underdog in many perspectives, these young talents can emerge this winter.
Many nations have put out their 26-man squad list for the upcoming tournament, and the United States Men’s national team has joined in with their 26-man squad for their campaign in Qatar later this month.
Unlike the regular World Cups of the past, which would take place in June-July, this year, there has been a change in the tournament date because of the venue.
Since Qatar is a desert country, the fierce heat of the middle east during the summer would have made the playing conditions very hard. Also, the players would find it extremely difficult to combat the temperature and focus on their game correctly. Hence, the Qatar World Cup will be the first ever held during the winter season in the northern hemisphere.
The United States, who qualified for the World Cup as the third-ranked nation in the CONCACAF region behind Canada and Mexico, has been placed in group ‘B’ for the tournament along with England, Iran, and Wales.
Coach Gregg Berhalter announces his 26 man squad
The USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter released the USMNT 26-man squad for the World Cup. And of those 26 players on the roster, only the defender DeAndre Yedlin aged 29 has some World Cup experience as he is the sole member of the USMNT’s 2014 world cup campaign.
However, it is not unusual because the USA had failed to qualify for the previous edition of the tournament, the 2018 Russia World Cup.
Although it would have helped to have a more experienced and tested squad for such an event, USMNT nonetheless has some cracking players amidst their rankings.
The squad consists of 3 goalkeepers, 9 defenders, 7 midfielders, and 7 forwards.
Let’s take a look at some of these amazing talents and new faces that USMNT has to offer.
1. Timothy Weah
Son of the legendary George Weah, Timothy is one of the exciting young talents and is rising the ranks in Europe as a dynamic player. His father, George Weah, the current president of Liberia, was the first African player to win the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award while playing for AC Milan.
He mainly plays as a forward or a winger. He started his youth career as a child in West Pines United back in Florida. Later, he also played for a team in the U.S. soccer development system until he moved to Paris, France.
While in Paris, Timothy joined the Paris Saint-Germain youth team. He moved into the first team in 2018 after spending a year with the PSG B team. While at PSG, Neymar was reported to praise Timothy, saying ‘he has everything needed to be one of the best players in Europe’.
After PSG, he joined Celtic on Loan for a brief stint and recently has been plying his trade at Lille since the 2019 season.
For the USMNT senior team, Timothy has pulled the US shirt 25 times and scored three times. He started from the US's under-15 squad and gradually became a USMNT regular in 2018.
Like most of his peers, this is his first world cup, and we can expect some particular play from the youngster.
2. Giovanni Reyna
Another USMNT player playing for a European side is Giovanni Reyna. Giovanni is a promising young talent seen as a future starman for the USMNT moving forward.
At just 19 years of age, Giovanni Reyna is a vital member of the German club Borussia Dortmund, whom he started playing for in 2019 after he joined their youth system. Before that, he was playing for New York City FC.
He graduated to the Borussia Dortmund first team in 2020 and has been playing significantly since then. He has 92 overall appearances for the German club and contributed 12 goals during this time.
His prominent position is as an attacking midfielder and or a winger. He could’ve selected England for an international career as he was born in England. However, he decided on the USA as his father had previously.
Giovanni Reyna is also among the finalists for the 2022 Golden Boy award, and we expect amazing things from him in the upcoming tournament.
3. Josh Sargent
Yet another attacking option for the coach in the USMNT team is Josh Sargent. The 22-year-old prefers to play as a center forward or a right-winger.
Born in Missouri, USA, he started his youth career back home in St. Louis at Scott Gallagher soccer club. He then Played for the IMG Academy for a year until he moved to Germany and joined the Werder Bremen youth academy.
He was with Werder Bremen until 2021. In 2021, he signed with the premier league side Norwich City FC. He was doing good; however, the overall disastrous season for the club, which saw it relegated, impacted Josh Sargent’s international career.
Nonetheless, his recent collection of good performances for Norwich City at the championship level has seen him get a call-up for the world cup. Should he get an opportunity to play in the world cup, we can some good football.
4. Sergiño Dest
Sergiño Gianni Dest plays full-back for the USMNT and the Italian club AC Milan. The Dutch-born youngster started his youth career with Ajax. Upon moving up to the senior team of Ajax, he impressed the hierarchy at FC Barcelona.
Hence, he was bought by Barcelona in 2020. While at Barcelona, his playing opportunities got shortened, and he was mainly sidelined due to tough competition at the club.
Recently he joined AC Milan on a one-year Loan from FC Barcelona with an option to buy. At Milan, he has appeared sporadically and has shown flashes of greatness. Still young, Dest is still growing and improving as a player.
The primary weapon he has in his arsenal is his pace and attacking prowess, which the USMNT can utilize in their right flank. Sergiño Dest, who is going to his very first World Cup like his friends, can be a real weapon for the USMNT in the world cup.
5. Weston McKinnie
Just 24 years of age, Weston McKinnie is one of the star players for the USMNT. As a midfielder, McKinnie already had 37 caps for the USMNT.
Born at Fort Lewis, Washington, Weston Mckinnie spent his early childhood years in Germany, where his father was stationed as a US Air Force Officer.
While his years in Germany, he joined and played for the local FC Phönix Otterbach until he moved back to the USA and joined FC Dallas, for whom he played from 2009-2016. The last youth team he played for was Schalke 04 back in Germany.
He was with Schalke 04 until 2021, when he moved to the Serie a giants Juventus. He has since been an integral part of the Juventus team. Looked upon as a legit box-to-box midfielder, he has grown a lot during his time at Juventus.
McKinnie’s abilities in the midfield will be essential for the USMNT’s success in the world cup.
6. Brenden Aaronson
Brenden Aaronson is an exciting and promising young talent. He has proved his worth over the past few seasons with RB Salzburg and Leeds United.
The 22-year-old midfielder and winger is one of the top-tier talents the USMNT has at its disposal for the upcoming World Cup and the future.
Having started his career with the Philadelphia Union as a youth player, he has become a great player in his own right. RB Salzburg was his ticket to European football, and during his two short seasons with the club, he impressed both in the league and the champions league.
For this new 2022 season, he has moved to Leeds United and has been an absolute star for the team in the midfield position. If the USMNT wants to perform in the World Cup, he needs to be one of the protagonists for the team.
7. Tyler Adams
Just like Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams moved to Leeds United this season. Just 23 years old, Tyler Adams has been playing top-flight football for a long time.
Mainly playing as a midfielder, Tyler Adams kickstarted his career with his hometown New York Red Bulls. He moved to Europe in 2019, joining the Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.
After impressing in his stint with the German side, he joined the premier league side Leeds United and his USMNT teammate Brenden Aaronson. Together, they have been pivotal for Leeds United this campaign.
Tyler Adams is usually given the captain's armband to lead his national team and peers.
8. Joe Scally
Joseph Michael Scally, the 19-year-old right back for the USMNT, plays for German club Borussia Mönchengladbach. He is a regular starter for the club.
Having first started his career with New York City FC in 2915 as a youth player, he moved to Germany in 2021 after playing three senior years at NYCFC.
At just 19, Joe Scally is a regular in his club and has gained valuable experience from his time in the German league. Having just earned his first cap in 2022, Joe Scally is an energetic new talent with a lot to provide for his national team in the upcoming tournament.
9. Yunus Musah
Yunus Dimoara Musah is a 19-year-old midfielder who plays for the USMNT and Valencia CF in the Spanish La Liga. He is a regular starter for the national team and has been for some time soon after his debut.
Born in New York, Musah moved to Europe and spent his childhood between England and Italy, where he developed his football.
Having represented England’s youth teams at the international level, it wasn’t until 2020 that he selected the USA as his choice for playing out his international career.
Musah has also established himself as the starter for his club side and has matured his defensive and passing skills. Musah will play a critical role for the USMNT even at his young age.
10. Jesús Ferreira
Jesús Ferreira is the only entrant in this list of players we’ve looked at who plays in the MLS. Jesús Ferreira, who is only 21, plays for FC Dallas as their central forward and has been in stellar form.
Thanks to his club form, Jesús Ferreira is believed to be the starting striker for the USMNT in the upcoming World Cup. His exploits at goal could determine what the USMNT’s world cup campaign looks like when it's all said and done.
Having started his career in the Dallas youth system, he has continued to represent them until now, bar the brief stint he had at Tulsa Roughnecks in 2018 on loan from Dallas FC.
With just 15 caps to his name, he could have a great world cup which might help cement his place moving forward in the national team.
We’ve taken a brief look at some of the young and exciting new faces in the USMNT for the upcoming World Cup, which the fans might have heard or might not have heard. We can say that all these individuals have talent, bringing something different to the table for the US men’s team.
What can we expect from the USMNT?
The USMNT has never had such a collection of talents who have played at European clubs and leagues simultaneously.
This is a huge plus, and a win for the USMNT as a whole, and all these players paying overseas bring a lot of experience and nuances that the coach can try and exploit to his team’s advantage.
Along with these players, the team also has Captain America himself, Christian Pulisic, who plays for the premier league side Chelsea FC and several other players who are playing abroad mixed with home-based talent.
Some pundits and fans alike have pointed out that this version of the men’s team is one of the best collections of talent USMNT has ever had at its disposal. Hence, we can expect some dazzling football this winter from the American team in Qatar, and there is a real possibility that this team can reach the latter stages of the tournament.