The 2022 FIFA World Cup is on the horizon with host country Qatar facing Ecuador in the opening match on Sunday, November 20. This year’s tournament will mark the first time the international competition has been played in the winter months after being pushed back from its usual summer timeframe. The international competition will be the first World Cup ever to take place in the Arab world, and it will feature the return of the United States Men's National Team after they missed out on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
The United States’ appearance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup will mark its 11th appearance in the international competition, and they join 16 other countries with double-digit appearances in the tournament to date. They first made their debut in the World Cup back in 1930 with Uruguay hosting the competition, which was also the inaugural instance of the tournament. Their debut also marked the United States’ best historical finish in the tournament, having finished in third place after beating Yugoslavia.
The team’s appearance in this year’s World Cup will be their first in eight years, but prior to that, the United States had a running record of qualifying for seven straight World Cups between the 1990 and 2014 tournaments. During those seven straight appearances, the farthest the United States had gone in the tournament was an eighth-place finish in the quarterfinals back in the 2002 World Cup.
This year’s United States roster is the second-youngest squad the country has taken into the tournament, and they will look to exceed expectations after being eliminated in the knockout stage in their previous two World Cups. The last we saw of the United States at the World Cup came in 2014 after falling to Belgium 2-1 in the Round of 16.