Just days after the United States booked their place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the draw was made in Doha where they were pitted against England, Iran, and either Scotland, Wales, or Ukraine.
Although there are no easy games at a World Cup, and the United States are still very much underdogs, generally speaking, Gregg Berhalter’s side have received a favourable draw.
Aside from England, who are one of the standout favourites to win the competition, the USMNT will fancy their chances of making it out of the group stages.
A fascinating tie awaits between the US and Iran, in a match that not only has interest on a football level, but also on a geopolitical level.
The rivalry off the pitch bears a long history, and the diplomatic tensions between the two nations still remain to this day.
The pair famously met at the 1998 World Cup, where Iran came away 2-1 victors through goals from Hamid Estili and Mehdi Mahdavikia, despite a Brian McBride consolation.
England and the US met at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with a 1-1 draw being played out between the two sides, as Steven Gerrard and Clint Dempsey got the goals.
While England are fully expected to take the top spot in Qatar, the US have the right to dream in a group that is very much open beyond Gareth Southgate’s men.
“For most of the first seeds, they would be pleased with the group they get. There are some highly ranked teams in pot two – the U.S. is an interesting one – I know Gregg Berhalter well and we’ve met a few times and had long chats. They’ve got some very good players and we know what they could be capable of as a nation – that’s an intriguing game.”
“We think it’s a good group – we know every opponent in the World Cup is difficult but with England, you get an exciting matchup, with Iran it’s a diverse opponent and they’ve done well in qualifying and then we’ll have to wait to see who the third opponent is.
“Overall pleased with the group and excited to get started. We played Wales recently in a friendly game, we know Scotland and their history. And then with Ukraine, you’re pulling for them naturally just because of everything that’s going on and you want to give the people hope and spirit so it would be nice to see Ukraine pull through.”