2022 World Cup: Before “their” 2026 World Cup, United States took lead in North American football

of the three co-organizers of the next World Cup, only the United States will compete in the knockout stages in Qatar on Saturday, against the Netherlands.

by Anthony Hernandez ( Special envoy to Doha) and Clément Martel (Special Envoy to Doha)

In 2026, will the soccer took precedence over the Futbol during the second World Cup in North America, the first organized jointly by three countries? The free trade association between the United States, Canada and Mexico may help decide this linguistic dilemma. In the meantime, in Qatar, it was the American footballers who have carved out the lion’s share, the only survivors of the trio at the Stade des Extième de finale du mondial 2022. Saturday, December 3, against the Dutch favorites, Team USA will try to find the quarters final of the competition for the first time since 2002. The Mexican players, thirds of group C, and Canadians, fourths of group F, are already on vacation.

This first round paints a portrait of a North American football family with different trajectories. The big brother Yankee is a giant of international sport, where soccer is far from being the most popular discipline but whose demographic reservoir makes it possible to produce good footballers. In the north of the Great Lakes, the Canadian cousin, often mocked by his neighbor, is better known for his hockey players than for his footballers. Inspired by its female team, one of the best in the world, Canada has however bet on a daring plan to develop its male elite.

South of the Rio Grande, Mexico is the only one of the three countries to have a historic “football culture”. Accustomed to the World Cups, which he organized twice in 1970 and in 1986, he had remained since 1994 on seven consecutive qualifications in the round of 16.

“It all starts”

North American hopes are now based on “boys”, the second youngest team in the tournament (25.15 years). The starting eleven in the long-awaited match against Iran (1-0) on Tuesday was the youngest aligned since the start of the World Cup with an average of 24 years and 321 days. Behind the amazing captain Tyler Adams (23 years old), as comfortable on the lawn as in front of journalists’ microphones, the United States team can count on early talents like Yunus Musah (20), Giovanni Reyna (20 years old) or Weston McKennie (24), who play in large European clubs in Leeds, Valence, Dortmund or Juventus Turin.

Undefeated in three games, with in particular a 0-0 against the English-watched by 20 million viewers across the Atlantic-, the United States, who had missed qualification in 2018, this time responded.

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/Media reports cited above.