The US men’s national team completed a 1-0 win over Iran at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha on Tuesday night to qualify for the Round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup.
Forget what happens from here onwards. Let’s just reflect on what the USA has achieved here, and how it bodes well for them in the bigger picture - which is the World Cup in 2026, which the USA is jointly hosting.
2022 FIFA World Cup; Don’t underestimate what the USMNT has achieved
The USMNT has just come through a group unbeaten. And it was a group that consisted of England, Wales, and Iran. In the current FIFA rankings, England are 5, USA are 16, Wales 19, and Iran 20.
Based on rankings, you might believe that the USA should have got through. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Make no mistake, this was a tough group, and in no way should the USA’s performances be played down here. The USA outplayed Wales in the first half of their opener. They did fade badly in the second half, and could consider themselves lucky to have held out for a draw in the end. But based on the 90 minutes, the USA were well worthy of their 1-1 draw.
In their second match, they then had the better of England, holding them to a 0-0 draw. A result which saw England get plenty of criticism from their own fans and media.
A memorable night in Doha for the USMNT
And then in the crunch game of the group, they defeated Iran 1-0 to take the second qualifying spot.
This was a huge result. Especially given this US team is young, and is basically a team preparing for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. So to have such big game experience, and to show such courage, is really encouraging for the future.
To come through this group unbeaten, and to only have conceded one goal is a phenomenal achievement. And the goal was a penalty as well.
2026 FIFA World Cup Betting
There’s no betting yet from the sportsbooks for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, but when there is, expect the USMNT to feature prominently.
This is a team heading in the right direction, and the US Sportsbooks will have to carefully select their moneyline odds when they price up the next competition, as it’s likely that punters in America will be wagering on their team ahead of the finals.
Plenty of betting incentives and bonus offers can also be expected on the USA team in 2026. And there is also likely to be plenty of offers from casinos, who will also be looking to celebrate the USA national team when soccer comes back to the States. The current best offers from US casinos can be found at casinoreviewers.com - who are experts at finding and reviewing the best online casinos in the United States.
And with betting laws in some conservative states being challenged, there could be an unprecedented number of betting offers from both sportsbooks and casinos ahead of the next world cup.
Can the US hang onto Greg Berhalter?
Such are the achievements of the US team at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, it’s inevitable that clubs might start sniffing around head coach Greg Berhalter. So, could hanging onto the current coach be the biggest immediate problem facing the team?
The MLS is growing in strength every year. And it's also not impossible that a big European club might not come calling for the services of the man in charge of the USMNT.
As Jesse Marsch has shown, taking jobs at lesser known clubs in Europe can provide a pathway to bigger jobs. Marsch started his European journey at Red Bull Salzburg in 2019. He then graduated from the Austrian Bundesliga to the German Bundesliga in 2021, taking over at RB Leipzig. Things didn’t go quite as planned at Leipzig, but Marsch had already proven himself in Austria. A few weeks after leaving the German side, he found himself managing in the English Premier League with Leeds United.
If he does a good job in the north of England, then who knows where Marsch might end up. He is certainly now in the shop window, that’s for sure.
So could Greg Berhalter be tempted now his stock is flying high? There is no doubt he will now be on the radars of domestic clubs around the world. And after four years in charge of the USMNT, will he be tempted?
There is already a huge incentive for Berhalter to stay on for another four years though. The chance to lead his nation into a world cup is huge, and no one will want to miss out on that.
But if the right offer comes in, the thought of eight years in the same job for Berhalter, might just become a little less appealing.