World Cup Draw: Who Is the USMNT Playing in the 2022 World Cup?

In 2017, the U.S. Men’s National Team lost to Trinidad and Tobago in its last chance to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. It was the first time the USMNT missed out on the world’s most prestigious soccer tournament since 1986.

Just over four years later, a resounding 5-1 win over Panama guaranteed USMNT’s place in at least a World Cup qualifying playoff, and a 0-2 loss to Costa Rica officially punched the team’s ticket to Qatar in 2022.

Now that the USMNT is in, the question becomes, who will the USMNT play in the 2022 World Cup?

The 2022 World Cup draw is now official

The World Cup itself doesn’t kick off until November 28, 2022, and runs until December 18 (which is a departure from the tournament’s usual June/July schedule). That’s because average summer temperatures in the Middle Eastern host nation soar to 108-degrees during the day.

Although the 2022 World Cup is still almost eight months away, FIFA held its World Cup draw on Friday, April 1, 2022, in Doha, Qatar.

The draw sets the schedule for the all-important group stage. Each group consists of four teams, and the World Cup starts with every team playing three games, one against each side in its group.

The points are added up after this round-robin portion of the tournament, and the top two teams in each group move on to the knockout round of the competition.

The 2022 World Cup draw went as follows:

Group AGroup BGroup CGroup DGroup EGroup FGroup GGroup H
QatarEnglandArgentinaFranceSpainBelgiumBrazilPortugal
EcuadorIranKSA*ICP1**ICP2***CanadaSerbiaGhana
SenegalUSAMexicoDenmarkGermanyMoroccoSwitzerlandUruguay
NetherlandsEUR****PolandTunisiaJapanCroatiaCameroonKorea
*Saudi Arabia, **Winner of Intercontinental Playoff 1: Peru vs. Australia or UAE, ***Winner of Intercontinental Playoff 2: Costa Rica vs. New Zealand, ****Winner of European Playoff: Wales vs. Scotland or Ukraine

This World Cup draw sets up a host of fascinating matchups, including in the USMNT’s Group B.

The USMNT’s World Cup draw

The USMNT stands for the national anthem during a FIFA World Cup qualifier. The 2022 World Cup draw put the USMNT in Group B.
The USMNT | Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

FIFA put the USMNT in Group B in the 2022 World Cup draw. That means the stars and stripes’ schedule in Qatar will look like this:

  • 11/21 vs. Wales, Scotland, or Ukraine
  • 11/25 vs. England
  • 11/29 vs. Iran

In the latest FIFA World Rankings, the USA is ranked No. 15. Here is what you need to know about USMNT World Cup opponents in Group B.

Winner of the European Playoff

We won’t know who the first squad the USMNT team will face until a later date, likely in June. The reason for the uncertainty is that Ukraine has to play Scotland before the winner moves on to face Wales. With a war raging in Ukraine, neither of those matches has a concrete date yet.

On the international soccer front, all three of these countries field solid national teams. Wales is ranked No. 18, Ukraine No. 27, and Scotland No. 39. If rankings hold and Wales emerges from the playoffs, the USMNT will have its hands full with Welsh Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.

England

England shows up at No. 5 in the most recent FIFA rankings after a second-place finish in the 2020 Euros (played in 2021 due to COVID-19). The team is chock-full of marquee names from the English Premier League, including Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, and Jack Grealish.

On paper, England is a much better team than the USMNT. But the stateside squad always plays England tough. At the 2010 World Cup, England and the U.S. also shared a group. The USMNT got a 1-1 draw in the head-to-head matchup and ended up winning the group.

And, of course, who can forget that little contest in 1776 where King George III and his English squad were massive favorites, but a plucky American named George Washington led his newly-formed U.S. “team” to victory?

Iran

While we can joke about the tension between England and America 250-plus years ago, the current-day animosity between the U.S. and Iran is no laughing matter. This game will get enormous attention on the geopolitical stage, but it shouldn’t be much of a contest on the soccer pitch.

Iran is ranked No. 21, but that is largely inflated by its team beating up on lesser Middle Eastern and Asian sides during World Cup qualifying. The country has made the World Cup six times but has only won two games. As such, they’ve also never made it out of the group stage.

However, one of those two victories was over the USMNT in 1998.

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