USA World Cup 2022 squad list, fixtures and latest odds

Yunus Musah of the United States attends a press conference before a closed United States team practice at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022 - AP Photo/Ashley Landis
Yunus Musah of the United States attends a press conference before a closed United States team practice at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022 - AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Yunus Musah has revealed he had to move away from Arsenal as he saw no pathway to the first-team, then rejected England when he was offered international football as a teenager with USA.

The Valencia midfielder, 19, on Friday will face the country that he played for at Under-18 level after going through the system at St George’s Park. But his determination to start in senior football saw him move to La Liga, then Gregg Berhalter selected the Bronx-born player for the United States.

“I felt at the time maybe that I wasn’t able to be in the Arsenal first team so early,” Musah said. “We’ll never know but that was one of the reasons I chose to move to Spain. The Arsenal team was really good and I felt at my age I could play first-team football and there was the chance to move to Valencia. Things turned out great.”

Musah has clubs interested in bringing him back to the Premier League, such is his progress at Valencia where he is playing regular first-team football. He says the decision to turn down England was difficult, given the role the country had played in his upbringing after moving over from Italy aged nine.

“I made the decision because I was born in the US,” he said. “That was one of the main things. Also I got the opportunity at such a young age was something that I wanted to take. It was great when the manager called me and gave me that opportunity.

"I played for England for a few years. I had a really nice time with them, I have a lot of respect for them, for everything they've done for me,” he said. “Gareth Southgate I never had any conversations with, no. That decision was very difficult, because, as I said, I had a great time with England and that country did a lot for me, so when the time came to make the decision it was difficult."

Musah is friends with Jude Bellingham from the England age-groups and also Bukayo Saka from Arsenal. With England having the knockout stages within their grasp, USA need a result after their draw with Wales. Berhalter’s squad have a belated Thanksgiving meal on Saturday and are determined to be in high spirits for it.

USA World Cup 2022 squad

The USA World Cup squad was announced on November 9, and represents the second-youngest squad in the tournament, with an average age of 25 years and 175 days when the whistle blows for their opener against Wales.

Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Sean Johnson (New York City FC.), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (Nashville SC), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami CF), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United.), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC)

Forwards: Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Norwich City), Timothy Weah (Lill), Haji Wright (Antalyaspor)

Who are likely to be the star names?

Christian Pulisic is the standout name in this USA side. He captains the team, which is where he gets the nickname ‘Captain America’, and was his side’s leading scorer during qualifying.

While he may have struggled at Chelsea recently, Pulisic is still the man that fans and team-mates look to make a difference for the USA. His national team would like Graham Potter, the Chelsea manager, to give him a little more game time.

Behind him there is a group of promising young players who play for some of Europe’s biggest teams, such as AC Milan full-back Sergino Dest, Juventus' Weston McKennie, and Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Giovanni Reyna.

Premier League fans will be familiar with Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams, who are both mainstays of the Leeds squad. Should Pulisic struggle for form, Adams is a ready-made back-up.

What are USA's fixtures?

Latest Team USA news

By Sam Wallace

The United States have defied Fifa’s edict to avoid contentious issues outside football at the World Cup finals and shown solidarity with the gay community, criminalised in Qatar, by redesigning their federation crest in rainbow colours at their training base.

The stance on gay rights, at odds with Fifa’s order to squads to “focus on the football” was announced by head coach Gregg Berhalter. The crest is in a media briefing room at the team’s training ground, Al Gharafa stadium in north Doha.

The question of how to show solidarity in Qatar with marginalised groups, especially LGBT, has been a thorny issue for European teams ahead of the tournament in a country where homosexuality is illegal. The English Football Association has designed a “One Love” armband which captain Harry Kane wore in the friendly games in October although Fifa is yet to sanction it for the World Cup finals in Qatar.

The US federation launched its “Be the Change” initiative in 2020 in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. As part of its commitment to LGBT rights in Qatar it has pledged to display rainbow flags and “messages of inclusion” at what it describes as “night before parties” in the host country.

Berhalter said: “We have been talking to the team for 18 months about Qatar, and about some social issues in Qatar and we think it’s important. When we are on the world stage and in a venue like Qatar it’s important to bring awareness to these issues and that's what we have achieved. It’s not just Stateside that we want to bring attention to social issues, it’s also abroad and we recognise that.

“We recognise that Qatar has made strides and that there has been a ton of progress but there is still some more to do, and ‘Be the Change’ represents everyone having the individual opportunity to make change and have change start with them. I think it’s appropriate that we have it here as well.”

The team’s goalkeeper Sean Johnson said he and his team-mates wanted to “be impactful”. He said: “It’s a sign of our values and what we represent as the men’s national team.”

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Latest odds

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USA are currently a best price of 200/1 to win the World Cup.