With their big 5-1 win over Panama on Sunday, the US Men’s National Team is on the brink of punching their ticket to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. It would essentially take a miracle for the Americans to finish any lower than third with just one match left to go, as their final opponent is fourth-place Costa Rica.
Los Ticos are sitting on 22 points while the USA sits at 25. However, the Americans boast a goal differential of +13 while Costa Rica is at +3, so even with a USA loss on Wednesday, the Costa Ricans would have to win by at least six goals to jump ahead in the octagonal table. A five-goal win would tie the two sides on goal differential, but the next tiebreaker is total goals scored. The Americans are ahead in that column by 10, outscoring Los Ticos 21-11 throughout this final round of qualifying.
Is it possible? Sure, but it’s extremely unlikely.
With that in mind, we’re just going to assume for now that the USMNT will, in fact, advance to the World Cup finals for the first time since 2014. It’s been a long road for coach Gregg Berhalter and the USMNT, but it seems as they’ve finally made it back to the big stage. The team was firing on all cylinders against Panama on Sunday, with the young Chelsea phenom Christian Pulisic leading the way as he bagged a hat trick. Paul Arriola and Jesus Ferreira provided the other two goals in the contest.
We won’t know where USMNT will finish until after Wednesday’s match, as third-place Mexico is tied on 25 points but sits six goals behind the Americans in both goal differential and total goals scored. But we can move ahead assuming that they won’t finish in fourth, so they’ll grab one of the automatic berths instead of having to head to the intercontinental playoff in hopes of qualifying for Qatar. The Americans could still potentially finish in first with a win over Costa Rica combined with a Canada loss to Panama, depending on how many goals are scored in each.
The Final Draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place this Friday, April 1 in Doha, the capital city of Qatar. All 28 teams who are already qualified will be divided between four pots, based on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings that will be updated and published on March 31, after the final round of qualification is finished. Pot 1 will contain hosts Qatar with the top seven ranked teams who are qualified, while Pot 2 will have ranks 8-15, and Pot 3 with teams ranked 16-23 in order. Pot 4 will include ranks 24-28, plus three placeholders that represent the winners of the playoffs that will take place in June.
The draw will start by drawing from Pot 1, pulling one team at a time as well as a ball from a group pot as well. That will continue until each pot is emptied and all the groups are full, setting the stage for November in Qatar.
The draw will get started at 12 p.m. ET on Friday, April 1, and will be broadcast on FS1 and Telemundo in the United States, with a livestream option on fuboTV.