USA World Cup 2022 Odds: Qualifying Up Next For USMNT
Patrick Surlis | 13 mins
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The United States Men’s National Team under Gregg Berhalter enjoyed a memorable summer, beating old rival Mexico in consecutive finals to win both the CONCACAF Nations League and the Gold Cup.
It was the perfect precursor to qualification for the next World Cup, to be hosted in Qatar in November and December 2022. It's still more than a year until the tournament kicks off and, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it's important to remember qualification is a critical first step for the United States. After all, the Americans failed in their bid to reach the the previous World Cup in 2018, when hopes were dashed by a humiliating 2-1 qualifying defeat to Trinidad and Tobago.
But, after this recent summer of success, expectations are understandably high for the U.S. men looking forward to next year. Its young stars, including Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams, have earned more experience at the highest level of European leagues. The USMNT's squad depth, highlighted by its “B” team beating Mexico 1-0 in the Gold Cup final in Las Vegas, has arguably never been stronger. And its confidence, buoyed by its new-found status as top dog in CONCACAF, makes it a dangerous opponent for more traditional powers next summer.
USA In Third Tier Of Contenders
It looks like oddsmakers at the top sportsbooks and betting sites agree, too. The USMNT is +6500 to win the 2022 World Cup at DraftKings ➜, putting it in the third tier of favorites for the tournament. Its odds have come in slightly from +8000 earlier in 2021, in recognition of its strong showings in the Nations League and Gold Cup.
At the top of the board at soccer betting sites you have the perennial contenders – France ( +550 ➜), Brazil ( +550 ➜), Spain ( +800 ➜), Italy ( +850 ➜), Germany ( +900 ➜) and Argentina ( +1000 ➜) – as well as England ( +750 ➜), who in years past routinely flopped at major tournaments but under Gareth Southgate has made a World Cup semifinal and a European Championship final.
Oddsmakers have a small second tier – Belgium ( +1200 ➜), Netherlands ( +1600 ➜), and Portugal ( +1600 ➜) – before a much larger third tier. That’s where you find the USA at +6500 ➜ on most betting apps, alongside the likes of Croatia ( +3500 ➜), Denmark ( +4000 ➜), Colombia ( +5000 ➜), and Mexico ( +5000 ➜).
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World Cup Qualification Up Next
The United States’ double success in 2021 was a solid step in putting to bed the nightmare of 2017. That ill-fated qualification campaign saw the USMNT fail to make the World Cup for the first time since 1986. And Gold Cup and Nations League titles will ultimately count for nothing if Berhalter cannot steer the U.S through qualifying for Qatar.
The campaign begins with a three-game slate in September, when the U.S. travels to El Salvador on Sept. 2, before facing Canada in Nashville on Sept. 5, and rounding out with a trip to Honduras on Sept. 8. The other four teams in the eight-team group are Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico and Jamaica.
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On the subject of Canada, it has only reached the men's edition of the World Cup once, in 1986. Its team has quality this World Cup cycle, especially in Jonathan David and Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies, so it will be looking to cause an upset against the U.S. in Nashville, and to push for qualification itself. With single-game sports betting in Canada set to launch shortly, Canadians may be able to wager on the national team games in time for the World Cup, should Canada qualify. Canada is one of the biggest long shots at +150000 ➜ to win the 2022 World Cup at DraftKings sportsbook.
The qualification schedule lasts for six months and 14 games in total, with the top three from the group advancing to the 2022 World Cup. The fourth-place finisher moves into an inter-confederation playoff which will determine the final two spots in Qatar.
The U.S. (currently ranked No. 22 in the world) is the second-highest ranked team in the qualifying group behind only Mexico (ranked No. 11). So Berhalter and Co. should have no trouble in qualification, especially having just proved their superiority over their higher-ranked rivals. But that was the case for the previous World Cup, too.
The 2017 defeat in Trinidad should serve as extra motivation to make this qualification campaign as smooth as possible. You can be caught cold once, that happens in soccer. But not twice.