The FIFA World Cup kicked off in full swing when the opening match saw Ecuador defeat tournament hosts Qatar 2-0 in the first match of the World Cup. North American teams would be looking forward to make an impressive impact on the 2022 World Cup aguwe previous editions haven’t favoured the continent yet. In what promises to be yet another footballing spectacle, we take a look at the chances of the North American footballing continent on football’s biggest stage.
- UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (THE YANKS)
The North American World Cup qualifiers saw 8 teams justle for the 3 automatic qualification tickets and 1 playoff ticket with 8 teams playing each other over two legs in a bid to make the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup cut. USA had to finish third and thus taking the last qualification ticket finishing behind Canada and Mexico to ensure ‘The Black and Stripes’ made up for their 2018 heartbreak where they lost to Trinidad and Tobago and failing to qualify for the 2018 edition.
The United States Men’s National Team has made has made a World Cup cameo 10 times in the past with the Nation’s best return a third placed finish in the first ever World Cup in 1930. The team has had a steady impact in the World Cup, qualifying for all editions since 1990 with only the 2018 edition being the only World Cup they have missed since then. They have made the semi finals once (1930), Round of 16 four times (1934, 1994, 2010, 2014) and the quarter finals once (2002) and would be looking to make yet aniywhr impressive showing with the team brimming with young talented players who may very well make their nation proud.
Placed in Group B, USA would kick off their 2022 World Cup campaign against European exciting side Wales before taking on 2018 World Cup semifinalists England before ending proceedings with Asian powerhouses Iran in a group where qualification would be open for one more slot with England overwhelming favorites to win the group.
HEAD COACH – Gregg Berhaltar
CAPTAIN – Tyler Adams (Leeds United FC)
STAR PLAYER(S) – Christian Pulisic (Chelsea FC), Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Yunus Musah (Valencia CF), Weston McKennie (Juventus FC), Giovani Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Timothy Weah (LOSC Lille), Breden Aaronson (Leeds United FC)
PREDICTED FINISH – Round of 16
- COSTA RICA (LOS TICOS)
Costa Rica had to make the World Cup 2022 event via the luxury of the playoffs after the team came 4th in the North American qualifiers. They settled for a playoff with New Zealand and came out victors 1-0 courtesy a Joel Campbell goal as they ensured they made ensured they made their third consecutive World Cup finals.
In what would mark their 6th appearance at a major World Cup Finals, Costa Rica have found qualification easy with the team’s first appearance in 1990 followed by a cameo in 2002, 2006 and three consecutive cameos in 2014, 2018 and 2022. Their best ever finish was in 2014 where they made the quarter finals stages after a series of impressive matches but ultimately lost via a penalty shootout to Netherlands. They head into this event with their heads raised high as they seek to make a lasting impression in Qatar.
Costa Rica were drawn in a very tough group where qualification may seem hard for the North American team with European heavyweights Spain and Germany sharing the same group alongside Asia’s top gun Japan in a group that would surely be demanding for them.
HEAD COACH – Luis Fernando Suarez
CAPTAIN – Bryan Ruiz (Alajuelense)
STAR PLAYER(S) – Keylor Navas (Paris Saint Germain FC), Joel Campbell (Club Leon), Celso Borges (Alajuelense)
PREDICTED FINISH – Group Stages
- MEXICO (EL TRI/THE TRICOLOR )
Mexico made the World Cup via an automatic slot after finishing second in the qualifiers to ensure CONCACAF’s most successful team gain yet another entry into the Finals as they seek to maintain their good run of form heading into the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Mexico have qualified for the World Cup 17 times with the team being in the very first edition in 1930 and have yet another record that has seen them qualify for every World Cup tournament since 1994 and also have qualified from every World Cup group since 1994 also (a record they share with Brazil). They head into Qatar with the intent of making it past their best ever finish in the World Cup (Quarter Finals, 1970 and 1986).
Mexico were drawn in Group C with top favorite – Argentina, European team – Poland and exciting Asian prospects – Saudi Arabia and would kick off their campaign in a clash with Poland as they seek to make it out of the group and potentially making a mark in this event.
HEAD COACH – Gerardo Martino
CAPTAIN – Andres Guardado (Real Betis)
STAR PLAYER(S) – Guillermo Ochoa (Club America), Hector Moreno (Monterrey), Edson Alvarez (AFC Ajax), Hector Herrera (Houston Dynamo), Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Hirving Lozano (SSC Napoli)
PREDICTED FINISH – Round of 16
- CANADA (THE CANUCKS)
Canada were the first team in the North American continent to qualify for the World Cup in style as they racked in more points and scored lots of goals too to send an exciting chill amongst their fans as they make they World Cup Finals for the first time in 36 years.
The Canadian National Team are yet to have any major showing as a country on this stage with their last appearance dating back to 1986 where they were eliminated in the group stages. Mexico 1986 was the Canucks’ one and only World Cup. Admirably, they gave reigning European champions France a strict examination in their opener, a 1-0 loss courtesy of a late Jean-Pierre Papin goal, before back-to-back 2-0 defeats to Hungary and Soviet Union.Canada hadn’t come close to qualifying for the global finals again until John Herdman’s charges won the Concacaf Octagonal to reach Qatar 2022 in style. They would be heading into Qatar hoping their golden generation would make an impact.
Canada were drawn in Group G alongside Belgium, Croatia and Morroco in what would be an engaging group. Coach of the Canadian National Team in an interview said – “When Belgium and Croatia came out of the hat, we were just rubbing our hands, saying, ‘This is going to be an amazing experience’, ”We want to create a freedom and have them go in against the De Bruynes, Lukakus, Modrics and relish that chance of pushing their limits against these immortals of the game. As coach, I know that I’ll either be a hero or a zero.”
HEAD COACH – John Herdman
CAPTAIN – Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas SK)
STAR PLAYER(S) – Junior Hoilett (Reading FC), Cyle Larin (Club Brugge), Jonathan David (LOSC Lille), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich FC)
PREDICTED FINISH – Group Stages
In what promises to be yet another footballing spectacle, not much is expected from the North American flag bearers but one would be keen on the kind of trouble they can cause any team on their day and would look to perhaps break the curse and have a nation in the semi finals for the first time since 1930.