Did you take the day off? Are you practicing your “sounding ill” cough? Have you come to terms with Qatar hosting? Been getting into full-time footy watching shape?
Match one of the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup is Sunday as the hosts take on Ecuador at 10 am CT on FS1 in a Group A battle. Monday is when the Cup really takes off with U.S. Group B combatants England and Iran at 7:00 am CT on FS1, the second Group A match featuring Senegal v Netherlands at 10:00 am CT on FOX, and finally the United States’ debut v Wales at 1:00 pm CT on FOX.
The youthful US side has potential running through its veins, some moderate, some strong, some high. Tim Weah is one in the high potential range. The 22-year-old plays in France with Lille, mostly at winger. However, the former PSG man may lineup elsewhere at some point for the US:
Got an intriguing response from Tim Weah today when I asked him if Gregg Berhalter has had him training at the centerforward position and not just as a winger. Story: https://t.co/RXyfq26DPk pic.twitter.com/ixqMckgxnR— Subscribe to GrantWahl.com (@GrantWahl) November 16, 2022
The Brooklyn-born Weah is a dangerous man. Keep an eye on him... unless you are Welsh, English, or Iranian...
Made this a few months ago but here to remind everyone that Tim Weah is our biggest X-factor in the World Cup— St8tes FC ⚽️ (@FcSt8tes) November 12, 2022
Some feel that left back is where the US lacks depth. To that end, perhaps, Seattle Sounders’ veteran Cristian Roldan has been training there, as well as at his usual #8 in the midfield.
Lineup conjecture can get crazy! But playing with a lineup is one of the best parts of being a pundit or fan and a great way to bide the time until play begins. Here’s one:
Serginio Dest is another highly talented 22-year-old. The dual national (Netherlands) is a definite asset going forward at right back, sometimes a detriment in defense. Dest belongs to FC Barcelona, but he is currently on loan at AC Milan. His playing time there has been limited due to injury, per this Miami Herald article from The Associated Press:
“The club said last week that Dest was bothered by adductor fatigue. Loaned to Milan from Barcelona, the 22-year-old Dest has been limited to two starts and six substitute appearances this season. He last played Oct. 30 at Torino, entering at the start of the second half. Dest has played one 90-minute match for Milan, at Chelsea on Oct. 5 in the Champions League.”
At training Wednesday in the US camp in Doha, Dest was not initially with the main squad.
Let’s hope Dest is ready to go come Monday, cuz this:
Oh. My. Gooooooooooooood!— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) October 13, 2021
This is not a goal, it's a GOLAZO! Sergiño Dest with a strike directly to the right angle of Keylor Navas. Tie game in Columbus!
1-1 #CaminoACatar | #USMNT | #SoloPaLante
TUDN y @unimas
Despite plenty of other talent in the US side, Christian Pulisic is still seen by many as the face of US Men’s Soccer. The 24-year-old Chelsea winger (for now) saw his dream crash four years ago when the US failed to qualify for the 2018 Men’s FIFA World Cup in Russia. Yet, according to Kevin Baxter’s article titled “Pulisic embracing the pressure of spearheading US World Cup ambitions” in the Los Angeles Times, “Captain America” has settled his mind, even amidst continual mental struggles.
“I try embrace to it and use it positively. That pressure wouldn’t be there if people didn’t expect us to do great things,” Pulisic said. “There’s always pressure to do great and perform at the highest level every time you step onto the pitch.”
It could be that Pulisic’s experiences of playing in Europe during his entire professional career has prepared him well. Indeed, social media posts have shown Pulisic all smiles, despite his club situation being in flux. It is the World Cup after all.
“Good experiences are great, bad experiences teach you more about yourself and others. And most importantly, they make you appreciate the good times more,” Pulisic stated.
Even at the world’s most popular sporting event, the little things are important. Ironically, maybe the most important. The caretakers of the USMNT get it:
In addition to the #USMNT barber they've been flying to all their camps (he arrives today), US Soccer says the team has brought an Italian chef they met in El Salvador, all the way back at the start of World Cup Qualifying.— Meg Swanick (@Meg_Swanick) November 14, 2022
Lastly, maybe this hype video will help you wind away the days in anticipation of Monday.
Of course, we at thebluetestament.com encourage you to discuss all things USMNT and the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup below and all around the coverage coming the next month!