Europe-based USMNT players set to lead World Cup charge

Gregg Berhalter’s United States Men’s National Team have been drawn in group B for this year’s World Cup along with England, Iran and either Scotland, Wales or Ukraine, depending on the outcome of June’s playoff matches.

The team performed admirably in qualifiers, finishing just three points behind group winners Canada and runners-up Mexico and comfortably ahead of Costa Rica in terms of goal difference.

Despite such a strong qualifying campaign the USMNT is not expected to challenge for the trophy. The soccer experts at OddsChecker, whose no deposit free bets can be used on the World Cup, rate the chances of times like Brazil, France, Spain, Argentina and England much more highly. However, Berhalter’s young team will be confident of qualifying from the group stage thanks to the impressive talent on the roster.

While the manager has used several domestic-based players during the qualifiers, the USMNT campaign was led by Europe-based players, who are gaining vital experience in the world’s top leagues. These players will be expected to assume a lot of the responsibility in Qatar.

Christian Pulisic

Abdoulaye Doucoure battles for possession with Chelsea's Christian Pulisic. (Getty Images)
Abdoulaye Doucoure battles for possession with Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic. (Getty Images)

Christian Pulisic is a name that has been on the lips of US Soccer fans ever since he signed for German Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund as a 16-year-old. He made his debut the following season and quickly established himself as a key player for the club, as well as the national team.

He has earned the nickname “Captain America” for his heroic performances for the USMNT and has already racked up nearly 50 appearances at the age of 23. Not only that, but he moved to Chelsea in 2019 and won the Champion’s League in 2021, becoming only the second American player to do so.

Weston McKennie

Like Pulisic, Weston McKennie’s rise to the top was given a significant boost by a move to Germany as a teenager. After spending 7 years in the FC Dallas youth system, joined the academy at FC Schalke to return to the country where he spent three years as a young child due to his father’s job being based there.

He made his Bundesliga debut in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since, impressing fans with his passing, ball-winning ability and work rate before earning a move to Italian club Juventus. Although currently injured McKennie has become a key component of the USMNT, with key contributions in the 2020 Nations League win and the World Cup qualifiers, so Berhalter will hope he’ll be back in time for Qatar.

Tyler Adams

Versatile midfielder Tyler Adams is another player whose career has benefitted immensely from a move to Germany as a teenager. After starting his career in the Red Bulls Academy in New York he made his MLS debut at 17 and amassed over 50 appearances before moving to RB Leipzig of the Bundesliga.

Now in his third full season at the club, Adams has become an important part of their success while also outlining his importance to the national team.

Yunus Musah

Yunus Musah’s journey to becoming a star for the USMNT is one that not many could have predicted. He was born in New York to Ghanian parents before moving to Italy, where he lived until the age of 9. He started his career at a local club before moving to London and joining the Arsenal Academy in 2012.

He spent 7 years with the English club, during which time he represented England in youth international football. In 2019 he turned down a professional contract from Arsenal to move to Valencia in Spain, where he has become a star player.

He switched allegiances to represent the United States the following year, and is sure to be relishing the opportunity to face England in the World Cup group stages.

Sergiño Dest

Despite having been born in the Netherlands, where he started his career with Ajax, Sergiño Dest has represented the United States since playing for the under-17 side in 2016. Now at FC Barcelona in Spain, the full-back has built himself a reputation as one of the fastest players in world football.

He impressed in his one and only season at Ajax, which convinced FC Barcelona to pay a reported fee of over €20 million for him, but he has struggled to replicate that form with the Catalan Giants. However, he has looked a player reborn since legendary former midfielder Xavi became his manager, so Berhalter will hope he will feel confident at the World Cup.

Written by Balachandran B

Co-founder & Head of Operations @ SoccerSouls Sports Network. Nick Name: Jin. Favorite Sports team: Arsenal
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