Following USA Manager Gregg Berhalter’s reveal of his squad on Wednesday night, his team is offered at odds ranging from +10000 (at BetMGM) and +15000 (on FanDuel) to win the 2022 World Cup.
USA World Cup Futures Odds
Here are the USMNT’s odds to win the World Cup from top sports betting apps as of November 10.
|USMNT World Cup odds||+13000||+10000||+15000||+12000||+10000|
Numbers for all 32 teams: 2022 World Cup odds
USA World Cup Squad Announcement
We’ll break down who Berhalter selected later in the piece. For now, here are the players who will represent the World Cup in Qatar:
|Matt Turner||Keeper||Arsenal (EPL)||28|
|Ethan Horvath||Keeper||Luton Town (League Championship)||27|
|Sean Johnson||Keeper||NYCFC (MLS)||33|
|Cameron Carter-Vickers||Defender||Celtic (Scottish Premiership)||24|
|Sergiño Dest||Defender||AC Milan (Serie A)||22|
|Aaron Long||Defender||NY Red Bulls (MLS)||30|
|Shaq Moore||Defender||Nasvhille (MLS)||26|
|Tim Ream||Defender||Fulham (EPL)||35|
|Antonee Robinson||Defender||Fulham (EPL)||25|
|Joe Scally||Defender||Monchengladbach (Bundesliga)||19|
|DeAndre Yedlin||Defender||Inter Miami (MLS)||29|
|Walker Zimmerman||Defender||Nashville (MLS)||29|
|Brenden Aaronson||Midfielder||Leeds United (EPL)||22|
|Kellyn Acosta||Midfielder||LAFC (MLS)||27|
|Tyler Adams||Midfielder||Leeds United (EPL)||23|
|Luca de la Torre||Midfielder||Celta Vigo (La Liga)||24|
|Weston McKennie||Midfielder||Juventus (Serie A)||24|
|Yunus Musah||Midfielder||Valencia (La Liga)||19|
|Cristian Roldan||Midfielder||Seattle Sounders (MLS)||27|
|Jesus Ferreira||Forward||FC Dallas (MLS)||21|
|Jordan Morris||Forward||Seattle Sounders (MLS)||28|
|Christian Pulisic||Forward||Chelsea (EPL)||24|
|Gio Reyna||Forward||Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga)||19|
|Josh Sargent||Forward||Norwich City (League Championship)||22|
|Tim Weah||Forward||Lille (Ligue 1)||22|
|Haji Wright||Forward||Antalyaspor (Turkish Süper Lig)||24|
Analysis of USA’s World Cup Odds
Multiple sportsbooks have had the USMNT at around +10000 (100-to-1 odds) since as far back as this summer. While the news of the squad selection – particularly the selections of forwards Haji Wright and Jesus Ferreira at the expense of Jordan Pefok and Ricardo Pepi – is dominating headlines in American soccer media, those decisions have not exactly reverberated among bookmakers.
The fact there are about 16 teams with shorter odds to win the World Cup, when the US roster boasts more players on elite European clubs than several teams with better odds, feels like a bit of a slight. But given the USMNT’s struggles at times in World Cup qualifying in a CONCACAF region largely bereft of World Cup talent, the long odds are reasonable. They also make perfect sense when taking into account the US missing the 2018 World Cup and being lucky not to give up several goals to Belgium in the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup.
Prediction: What are USA’s Chances to Lift the Cup?
It seems totally out of reach for this team to win the World Cup this year.
While players like Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, Juventus’ Weston McKennie, and Leeds United’s Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson give this team a fighting chance, those guys are going to have a much better shot to make noise in a World Cup in 2026. At that point, they will be squarely in the prime of their careers. They’ll also be more accustomed to playing together, and playing at home will also provide a boost.
USA Odds to Win Group B
Oddsmakers agree that England is the favorite to win Group B. Gareth Southgate’s team is as heavily favored as -305 on BetRivers. For some sportsbooks, like Caesars, the US is a slight second-favorite (+550) ahead of Wales (+600). Others, including BetRivers, price Wales (+550) as the group’s slight second-favorite ahead of the US (+600).
|USMNT Odds to Win Group B||+500||+550||+600||+550|
USA Odds To Advance From Group B
As indicated by Wales and USA having similar odds to win the group, they’re also the co-favorites to finish top-two in Group B and advance alongside England. Below are the USMNT’s odds to advance from Group B:
|USA Odds to Advance From Group B||-105||+100||-120||-105|
USA Group B Analysis
While plenty of US fans circled November 25 on their calendar a long time ago in anticipation of an upset against England, oddsmakers believe Southgate’s team is on a different level than the other teams in Group B. That’s evident from not only England’s status as one of the World Cup favorites, but from the Three Lions’ standing as heavy favorites to win the group – and even bigger favorites to advance (DraftKings, for example, has England at -1200 to advance).
So the question is whether the US can edge Wales (Iran is a consensus heavy underdog to advance, much less win the group). Even with Gareth Bale healthy, Wales would have fewer players playing big roles on top European teams or starring in MLS. While Bale was named to Wales’ squad, it’s unclear what level he’ll be at in Qatar after only playing 327 minutes for LAFC since joining the MLS side in July. But his MLS Cup goal last weekend showed he shouldn’t be written off.
Comparing USA and Wales
The positives to opening World Cup play against Wales on Monday, November 21 start with the US likely being healthy and not in need of their backups. The red flags are the fact that the USMNT might take the pitch without its best XI due to lingering uncertainty at a few key positions. For example, does Tim Ream or Aaron Long join Walker Zimmerman at center back? Who starts at striker?
The inability to answer these questions between now and the start of the tournament could prove costly against a Wales squad loaded with Championship players complemented by a few in the Premier League (including Tottenham’s Ben Davies).
USA boasts 11 players valued at $10 million or more, including five at $20 million or more.
Wales, on the other hand, has just six worth $10 million or more — and just two (Davies and Nottingham Forest striker Brennan Johnson) worth $20M or more.
The total Transfer market value of the 26 US players is $281 million, while the Wales squad value is just $165 milllon – the likes of Ukraine ($175 million and Mali ($185 million) have more expensive rosters.
The biggest reason the US is considered a toss-up against a less valued (if not less talented) Wales side likely has to do with Wales regularly competing against better competition in Europe than what the US sees in CONCACAF. The youth of the US side is another possible reason bookmakers have their doubts about this team.
USA’s World Cup Game Betting Lines
Here are odds from DraftKings Sportsbook on the USA’s three Group B games:
USA (+155) vs. Wales (+200), Draw (+200)
USA (+475) vs. England (-165), Draw (+275)
USA (+115) vs. Iran (+240), Draw (+230)
Which stars will shine? Odds to win 2022 Golden Boot
USA Qatar World Cup Roster Selection Analysis
All but a few of the players Berhalter chose for the Qatar World Cup were essentially slam-dunk decisions. A midfield of Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah has felt like a certainty for months, as long as those players are healthy — more on McKennie’s status later in this article.
Sergiño Dest and Antonee Robinson have been the likely starters at right back and left back, respectively, for a while. Up top, Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna (health permitting) and Brenden Aaronson should all play a ton of minutes, even if the exact combination – and who lines up where – is not yet settled.
That left questions regarding a few backup positions. But most of the intrigue — and, for some, frustration — has to do with the selections of Wright and Ferreira as strikers, with Pepi and Pefok left off. The other position that will be discussed ad nauseum is center back, where Aaron Long and Tim Ream will battle to solidify the back line alongside Walker Zimmerman.
In addition to wingers Pulisic, Reyna and Aaronson, Berhalter has Timothy Weah and Josh Sargent as additional solid attacking pieces. But this team will mostly likely need key minutes from a traditional center forward, and while Sargent figures to play a role, so too will Ferreira and Wright.
Berhalter Surprises at Forward With Inclusion of Ferreira, Haji Wright
Ferreira is just 21 and has had his ups and downs for the USMNT. He’s also coming off an uninspiring finish to his MLS season, which is why his selection has drawn scrutiny.
Wright, 24, has been outstanding in Turkey this season (he’s scored nine goals in 12 starts for Turkish Super Lig side Antalyaspor). But he’s played just one match in his career for the US, a friendly back in June.
His selection ahead of Pefok, who has three goals and four assists in 12 starts this season for surprising Bundesliga contender Union Berlin – the club is currently in second place behind Bayern Munich – has turned heads.
USA World Cup FAQ
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Below is the schedule for the USA’s Group B matches.
- USA vs. Wales: Monday, November 21, 2 p.m. ET
- USA vs. England: Friday, November 25, 2 p.m. ET
- USA vs. Iran: Tuesday, November 29, 2 p.m. ET
For the 16 teams that advance to the knockout rounds, the Round of 16 games and beyond are scheduled for:
- Round of 16: December 3-6
- Quarterfinals: December 9-10
- Semifinals: December 13-14
- Finals: December 18
Below are the USA’s finishes in previous World Cups. In addition to its failure to qualify in 2018, the USMNT did not participate in the World Cup in 1938, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982 and 1986.
- 2018: Did not qualify
- 2014: Eliminated by Belgium in the Round of 16
- 2010: Eliminated by Ghana in the Round of 16
- 2006: Did not advance from group play
- 2002: Eliminated by Germany in the quarterfinals
- 1998: Did not advance from group play
- 1994: Eliminated by Brazil in the Round of 16
- 1990: Did not advance from group play
- 1950: Did not advance from group play
- 1934: Eliminated by Italy in the Round of 16 (16 teams participated)
- 1930 (inaugural World Cup): Eliminated by Argentina in Semifinals (13 teams participated)
The USMNT finished in third place in the eight-team CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers. The team earned 25 of 42 possible points after posting a record of 7-4-3, with 21 goals for and 10 goals allowed. Christian Pulisic led the team in scoring with five goals.
In the CONCACAF table, USA finished behind first-place Canada (28 points) and Mexico (28 points).
The US’s losses in World Cup qualifying were against Costa Rica, Canada and Panama.
The stars of the US team, in no particular order, include:
- Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
- Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
- Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United)
- Weston McKennie (Juventus)
- Tyler Adams (Leeds United)
- Yunus Musah (Valencia)
- Sergiño Dest (AC Milan)
- Antonee Robinson (Fulham)
- Matt Turner (Arsenal)
- Walker Zimmerman (Nashville)
Two players who have missed significant time for their clubs this season are McKennie and Reyna. The good news is that Reyna has played in three games for Dortmund in November. After his injury-plagued last few years, it’d be a huge lift for the US to have Reyna healthy in Qatar.
McKennie started five games in a row for Juve from October 11 through October 29. But he suffered a hamstring injury in the Juventus-Lecce match on October 29. He’s expected to be fit by the start of the World Cup, but his progress will be under a ton of scrutiny.
Two players who will miss the World Cup squad due to recent injuries are keeper Zack Steffen and center back Chris Richards. Those two, along with center back Miles Robinson (who suffered a torn Achilles in May), were shoo-ins to make this roster, if not the starting XI, if they were healthy.
In the inaugural World Cup in 1930, the US advanced to the semifinals. Since then, their deepest run took place in 2002, when they lost to Germany in the quarterfinals.