After failing to qualify for Russia 2018, the USA are now back for the 2022 World Cup with a vengeance, with their second game of the tournament against England on Friday, November 25.
They started their campaign with a 1–1 draw against Wales with Gareth Bale undoing Timothy Weah’s opener in the 36th minute.
American coach Gregg Berhalter said afterwards that Wales’ switch to a more direct style of play after the break was difficult for his side to comprehend. “They have a big team and they made it very difficult. They put the pressure on,” he said. “But I thought the boys handled it well. We held on to the end, it was a hard-fought game and we left everything behind.”
Next is Gareth Southgate’s England, the day after Thanksgiving celebrations in America and around the world.
There will be a strong Premier League contingent on the US side, with Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic and Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner joined by the Fulham duo of Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream.
Leeds’ Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams join them in the set-up, with the latter hoping to lead the side to a famous victory on Friday.
“It would mean a lot,” said the 23-year-old captain as the US try to maintain their unbeaten World Cup record against England, which includes a famous 1-0 win in 1950 and a 1-1 draw 60 years later.
Group stage fixtures
USA 1 Wales 1Monday 21 Nov
England vs USA: Friday, November 25, 7pm (GMT), 10pm local time, 2pm (ET), 1pm (CT) and 11am (PT) (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor)
Iran vs USA: Tuesday, November 29, 7pm (GMT), 10pm local time, 2pm (ET), 1pm (CT) and 11am (PT) (Al Thumama Stadium, Doha)
Latest USA news from Qatar
United States boss Gregg Berhalter called England a “formidable opponent” and praised Gareth Southgate to the max – despite being ignored by the England manager ahead of Friday’s World Cup game.
An impressive 6-2 win against Iran in Monday’s Group B opener means Southgate’s men will seal progress to the last 16 with a game to spare if they beat the US in Al Khor.
The United States head to Al Bayt Stadium on Friday to build on their 1-1 draw with Wales, but Berhalter is wary of the threat posed by England, which he called a “scary” prospect in the run-up.
“He has done a great job with his team. They started well and are a formidable opponent. It will be a difficult game for us.”
The United States defied FIFA’s decision to avoid controversial issues outside football during the World Cup final and showed solidarity with the gay community, criminalized in Qatar, by redesigning its rainbow-colored federation crest at its training base.
The stance on gay rights, which goes against FIFA’s order for squads to “focus on football,” was announced by head coach Gregg Berhalter. The decal is located in a media room at the team’s training ground, Al Gharafa Stadium in northern Doha.
The question of how to show solidarity with marginalized groups, especially LGBT, in Qatar has been a thorny issue for teams ahead of the tournament in a country where homosexuality is illegal.