The US Males’s Nationwide Staff returned to the World Cup stage this yr filled with optimism after lacking out on the match in Russia 4 years in the past.

In the long run, Qatar 2022 turned out to be a combined bag. On the one hand, the Stars and Stripes went unbeaten in Group B alongside England, Iran, and Wales, impressing many with their high-energy urgent. However then again, the way of their 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands within the round-of-16 was disappointing, whereas the US did not get the perfect of their ahead line.

As co-hosts alongside Mexico and Canada, the USA have already turned consideration to 2026; studying from previous errors and growing younger expertise to ensure they go a lot additional on residence soil.

How totally different may the facet be that strains up in 2026 in comparison with that of 2022? Let’s construct a really early beginning XI:

GK: Gabriel Slonina – Matt Turner was one of many high American performers in Qatar however the truth stays his scenario at Arsenal, caught behind Aaron Ramsdale, will not be splendid. Within the meantime, the US have numerous supremely gifted prospects rising on this place, with new Chelsea signing Gabriel Slonina chief amongst them. Breaking in at Stamford Bridge can be powerful, but when he can handle it, Slonina has all of the instruments to be an elite goalkeeper and one of many first names on the teamsheet in 2026.

RB: Sergino Dest – Sergino Dest was principally wonderful in Qatar and his pace and skill to press supplied the USMNT one other dimension. Age may be very a lot on his facet, with the one complication for Dest proper now determining whether or not he ought to return to Barcelona following his mortgage spell with AC Milan, keep the place he’s now, or strive one thing new. Regardless, he ought to be peaking by 2026.

CB: Chris Richards – Had he been match, Chris Richards would nearly definitely have gone to Qatar and, doubtless, performed intensive minutes. He would have been higher for that have however over the approaching years, the defender is primed to thrive at Crystal Palace. By the point the subsequent World Cup comes round, he’ll be 26, seasoned and, hopefully, enjoying the perfect soccer of his profession.

CB: Miles Robinson – Who strains up subsequent to Richards is the most important query. Present choices like Tim Ream and Walker Zimmerman can be pushing nicely of their 30s, whereas it appears to be like like John Brooks’ worldwide profession is over already, not to mention in 2026 when he’ll be 33. One participant you should not sleep on is Miles Robinson. He doubtless would’ve partnered Richards in Qatar had it not been for an ACL harm suffered earlier this yr. Nonetheless, he is able to return for Atlanta United and continues to attract curiosity from Europe.

LB: Kevin Paredes – There’s each likelihood Antonee Robinson will keep his left-back spot, however we wished to provide you some meals for thought. Kevin Paredes was typically neglected as probably the most thrilling skills within the league throughout his time in MLS with DC United, however Wolfsburg did not miss him and even paid over $7m to safe his providers in January ’21. Paredes has all of the attacking attributes to be an elite full-back, and is an unimaginable presser. He simply must refine his defensive instruments and acquire expertise, however he has 4 years to try this.

CM: Tyler Adams – At 23 years outdated, Tyler Adams is already the USMNT captain and among the finest gamers on the staff. He is thriving within the Premier League with Leeds United and all being nicely, appears to be like set to stay on an upwards trajectory. Adams is the whole package deal and can keep his spot in 4 years.

CM: Weston McKennie – There have been a few dissenting voices calling for Weston McKennie to be dropped in Qatar previous to the match, however as soon as there, he greater than proved his price. There are areas McKennie must work on and his health is likely to be a problem, however his skill to reach late within the field and coordinate the press are invaluable. If the USMNT follow a midfield three, he’ll be there.

CM: Yunus Musah – Musah impressed in Qatar maybe greater than some other American. The 20-year-old’s pace, talent, and work price put him on the map, however his passing skill and the way in which he drives the ball ahead should not be neglected both. Musah has the potential to be the right all-rounder and is drawing the eye of a number of Premier League giants. No purpose to foretell something aside from him being a key piece in 2026.

RW: Christian Pulisic – There’s an argument to say Christian Pulisic is not the USMNT’s most vital participant. Nonetheless, he is nonetheless ‘Captain America’ and has the flexibility to individually flip a sport on its head like no different on this staff. The possibilities of him nonetheless being at Chelsea in 4 years are very slim, however the possibilities of him nonetheless being with an elite European membership? Significantly better.

ST: Ricardo Pepi – Few, if any, ommissions from the USMNT’s 2022 World Cup roster damage greater than Ricardo Pepi. The teenage striker burst onto the scene in qualifying and went to nice lengths to show his type round on mortgage with FC Groningen. In actuality, he ought to’ve been on the aircraft. Pepi now has 4 years to maintain growing and make himself indispensible for the USA; we’re backing him to just do that.

LW: Giovanni Reyna – On a pure expertise degree, Giovanni Reyna is each the perfect prospect the USA have and, most likely, the perfect they’ve proper now. That makes his restricted minutes in Qatar and all of the fallout that got here after all of the extra stunning. Whether or not it is Gregg Berhalter or another person, they merely have to ensure they handle Reyna correctly and put him within the positions to succeed. He’ll do the remaining. A possible elite of the sport by 2026.

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