USMNT schedule: Concacaf qualifiers format, what needs to happen in the road to the 2022 Qatar World Cup, more

The US males’s nationwide crew will start their qualifying journey in September with hopes of sealing a spot within the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar lengthy earlier than the cycle is over in March of 2022. World Cup qualifying in Concacaf sees its last spherical start in September with eight groups preventing for what are basically 3.5 spots on the 2022 World Cup. You’ll be able to watch all of the USMNT’s away matches — except for the Mexico away match — together with over 70 different Concacaf World Cup qualifying matches solely on Paramount+. After shockingly lacking out on the final World Cup, the People enter because the favorites to complete first in qualifying due to a massively profitable that included profitable the Gold Cup and the Nations League, whereas boasting its most proficient squad, probably in historical past.

Forward of Thursday’s showdown towards El Salvador (follow here for live updates) in San Salvador, this is the whole lot to know:

Craving much more protection of america nationwide crew? Hear beneath and observe ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast the place we take you past the pitch and across the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and extra.  

Format for Concacaf World Cup Qualifying

For many who have lengthy been followers of the U.S., you have heard concerning the hex. That was the hexagonal spherical of motion the place six groups would struggle for these 3.5 World Cup qualifying spots. Effectively, as a result of pandemic forcing a format change and schedule change, there at the moment are eight groups preventing for these 3.5 spots, that means 14 video games in seven months for the entire nationwide groups concerned.

Along with the U.S., the opposite groups taking part are El Salvador, Mexico, Canada, Honduras, Jamaica Panama and Costa Rica. 

The highest three groups advance on to the 2022 World Cup, whereas the fourth goes to the playoff route. The final 4 are eradicated.

USMNT Concacaf Schedule

(All instances U.S./Japanese)

Thursday, Sept. 2 (Matchday 1)
“Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers In the present day,” 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network and Paramount+)   
El Salvador vs. United States, 10 p.m. (CBS Sports Network and Paramount+)  

Sunday, Sept. 5 (Matchday 2)
United States vs. Canada, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 8 (Matchday 3)
Honduras vs. United States, 10:30 p.m. (Paramount+)  

Thursday, Oct. 7 (Matchday 4)
United States vs. Jamaica, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 10 (Matchday 5)
Panama vs. United States, 9 p.m. (Paramount+)  

Wednesday, Oct. 13 (Matchday 6)
United States vs. Costa Rica, 7 p.m.

Nov. 11-13 (Matchday 7)
United States vs. Mexico

Nov. 14-16 (Matchday 8)
Jamaica vs. United States (Paramount+)  

Thursday, Jan. 27 (Matchday 9)
United States vs. El Salvador

Sunday, Jan. 30 (Matchday 10)
Canada vs. United States (Paramount+)  

Wednesday, Feb. 2 (Matchday 11)
United States vs. Honduras

Thursday, March 24 (Matchday 12)
Mexico vs. United States 

Sunday, March 27 (Matchday 13)
United States vs. Panama

Wednesday, March 30 (Matchday 14)
Costa Rica vs. United States (Paramount+)  

What number of factors are wanted to qualify?

It is exhausting to say, actually. Previously, on common, about 15 factors has been sufficient to qualify. That may seemingly be completely different this time round with every crew having 4 extra video games. However, in the event you handle to get factors from about 60 % of your matches, you need to have sufficient to qualify. Previously, in the event you ended up with 5 losses from 10 video games, you have been out. 

Needing about 1.5 factors per recreation prior to now would imply reaching about 20 factors ought to from these 14 video games needs to be sufficient. 

What occurs if the U.S. would not end within the prime three?

Effectively, they could possibly be in deep trouble. If the U.S. completed in fifth place via eighth, they’d not be on the subsequent World Cup. In the event that they end in fourth, which feels just like the worst they might end this time round, they’d go to the inter-confederation playoffs, which is a harmful recreation probably having to face a crew from, say, South American in a two-legged affair to qualify. The U.S. is concentrated solely on ending within the prime three and never leaving issues to likelihood.

The place is the U.S. robust?

For the primary time in its historical past as a soccer enjoying nation, the USMNT has an abundance of younger expertise. There are gamers at large golf equipment like Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Dortmund) and Weston McKennie (Juventus) to call just a few. They’re American stars who every have the power to vary a recreation in a matter of seconds. All of them did it within the Nations League last, scoring within the 3-2 win over Mexico.

Moreover, the U.S. can also be in nice form in purpose, having three goalkeepers in Zack Steffen, Ethan Horvath and Matt Turner that followers ought to all be snug with, regardless of who begins.

The expertise on the wing in assault shouldn’t be solely fairly robust, but in addition deep. With Pulisic main the way in which adopted by Reyna, Konrad de la Fuenta, Brandon Aaronson the U.S. can boast world class younger attackers going three or 4 spots deep. Most years shedding a player like Timothy Weah to harm days earlier than the beginning of qualifying would have been an enormous blow, however for this facet it is, perhaps not an afterthought, however actually not a significant subject. Even when Pulisic would not make the journey, the crew ought to have greater than sufficient firepower to get the job achieved.

The place is enchancment wanted?

The striker place is one the place no one has taken over. Will it’s Josh Sargent? Will it’s Ricardo Pepi? Each are younger strikers who should not be anticipated to provide at a excessive degree persistently simply but.

Moreover, the protection wants to determine who the person is subsequent to John Brooks. Likelihood is it’s Mark McKenzie, although a lot of U.S. followers need to see Chris Richards subsequent to Brooks. Richards shouldn’t be with the crew for these matches after securing a mortgage transfer to Hoffenheim from Bayern Munich.

Within the center, questions will probably be requested as to who could be this crew’s artistic drive, and rather a lot will depend upon if supervisor Gregg Berhalter decides to tuck Reyna in a bit and let him be the No. 10. 

Ought to USA followers be anxious about them qualifying?

It is solely pure to fret after that nightmare of 2017 that may by no means be forgotten. However this appears like that one final push that the U.S. might want to ever have to fret about qualifying once more. The 2026 World Cup is within the U.S., Mexico and Canada, and the People mechanically qualify as hosts. That may even be the primary World Cup expanded to 48 groups, that means extra spots for every area, which additionally means the U.S. has extra probabilities and a better likelihood of qualifying from right here on out. So, in the event that they qualify now, the facet will not even have to consider it once more till the lead as much as the 2030 event.

2021 USMNT recreation jerseys now accessible

Get the newest USMNT kits earlier than play opens Sept. 2. Buy home and away gear, plus shirts, cornhole kits, hoodies, tracksuits, and more. Shop here and show your pride.

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