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2022 World Cup Predictions

We’re still over seven months away from the 2022 World Cup, but it’s never too early to start analyzing the most prestigious football tournament in the world.

32 nations will meet in Qatar this November with the aim of being named world champions after France took home those honors at the tournament’s previous edition in 2018.

For nations like the United States, 2022 marks a return to the World Cup for the first time since 2014, while traditional powers like Brazil and Germany aim to engrave their names in history once again with a title.

Below, ONE37pm hands out its 2022 World Cup predictions ahead of November’s competition in Qatar.

Group Stage

Group A

Hosts Qatar weren’t presented with the most desirable group, and it definitely won’t be an easy task getting past pool play with three quality sides.

African champions Senegal will be led by a core of quality Premier League players, including Sadio Mane, Edouard Mendy, as well as Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly.

Meanwhile, Netherlands breezed through qualifying with Memphis Depay’s goal scoring run and defensively they have a very talented group with Virgil van Dijk and Mathijs de Ligt manning the back line.

Ecuador will be a threat, but slowed down towards the end of CONMEBOL qualifying. Qatar can put up a fight after competing in various North and South American competitions over recent years, but it’s likely one-and-done for the host nation.

Who Advances? Netherlands + Senegal

Group B

The USMNT won’t be upset with their group, but England obviously presents a significant challenge for the Americans.

The Three Lions have been on the brink of a major title after finishing fourth at the previous World Cup and runners up to Italy at Euro 2020.

Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

The U.S. should be able to get past Iran and whichever team ends up qualifying from Europe, but it’s certainl

Who Advances? England + USA

Group C

El Tri will feel fortunate to have their group despite being pitted up against Lionel Messi and Argentina. Mexico finished second in CONCACAF qualifying, but they have a very strong chance of reaching the knockout phase.

Argentina will definitely be the favorites to advance after finishing unbeaten in qualifying and riding a 31-match unbeaten streak to this point.

Saudi Arabia likely won’t have much luck on their side, while Poland can be heavily reliant on one of the top strikers in football; Robert Lewandowski.

Who Advances? Argentina + Mexico

Group D

Defending champions France should have a comfortable road to the knockout phase with one of the deepest squads at the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Euro 2020 darlings Denmark have star Christian Eriksen back and they’ll be looking to build off of last year’s success on the biggest European stage.

If Peru gets through qualifying they can certainly present a threat, but their path to the Round of 16, along with Tunisia, will be quite challenging.

Who Advances? France + Denmark

Group E

Many will have their attention on Group E with two powerhouses battling it out in Spain and Germany.

Both sides have largely young cores and will be hoping to take that next major leap on the international stage with players like Pedri and Kai Havertz leading the way.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Japan is always a consistent threat in group play, but this isn’t the same team we’ve seen in previous cycles. Meanwhile, Costa Rica will aim to get past New Zealand in order to solidify their spot and the Ticos are an aging team that does have one of the best goalkeepers in the competition with Keylor Navas.

Who Advances? Spain + Germany

Group F

This could be the last time we see the ‘Golden Age’ of Belgium with Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, but this side is still good enough to reach the knockout phase and potentially go further.

Meanwhile, Canada could be one of the most exciting newcomers at this year’s World Cup with Alphonso Davies, Tajon Buchanan and Jonathan David aiming to take the North American side to the Round of 16.

They’ll have a serious challenge from Croatia – who finished second in 2018 – and Morocco, who battled valiantly at AFCON 2021.

Who Advances? Belgium + Canada

Group G

Brazil will certainly be favorites to advance after an unbeaten qualifying run and only two major losses in all competitions since 2019.

However, Neymar and Co. will have a battle in terms of which nation finishes second in Group G.

Serbia boasts one of the top young strikers in football with Dušan Vlahovič while Cameroon has a sneaky good squad that is going to look to speed the game up.

Switzerland has been to many knockout rounds with a veteran core led by Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, so don’t be surprised if they ruin someone’s party.

Who Advances? Brazil + Serbia

Group H

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. had their troubles getting to Qatar, but now that Portugal has qualified Portugal are certainly one of the favorites to win the World Cup.

The European nation boasts an incredible amount of attacking talent, while Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias man the defense.

David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Meanwhile, a rematch of a 2010 knockout round game ensues with Ghana and Uruguay meeting. Luis Suarez was the famous figure sent off after handling the ball on the goal line, but Uruguay still advanced on penalty kicks.

Expect the South Americans to advance again with a veteran squad looking to make a lasting run to the knockout stage.

Who Advances? Portugal + Uruguay

Round of 16

This is where the competition begins to get serious and the fun truly begins for teams that expect to go all the way at the World Cup.

Although the hosts may not make it to the knockout phase, there’s a ton of star power left in the tournament, including favorites Brazil, France and England.

Who Advances? Netherlands + Argentina + Spain + Brazil + England + France + Germany + Portugal

Quarterfinals

It’s not rare to see group winners in these latter stages of the World Cup and with so many top teams boasting immense talent this year, there are a lot of European powers at the top.

By this point, we could have all teams ranked inside the top 12 in FIFA’s World Rankings, which would make for some incredible drama in the quarterfinals.

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Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and Mbappe would all still be in the competition as well, which would be great for casual fans of the sport.

Who Advances? Argentina + Brazil + France + Germany

Semifinals

We could get a dream semifinals with Lionel Messi and Neymar facing off once again in a rematch of many South American battles previously seen.

Meanwhile, France and Germany have had many great encounters in Europe previously. Les Bleus continue to boast a strong squad with N’Golo Kante and Kylian Mbappe leading the way.

Who Advances? Brazil + France

Third-place Match

Messi and Co. fall short of an elusive World Cup, but a third-place finish in Qatar would still be quite good for the legacy of the Barcelona & PSG superstar.

Meanwhile, Germany has been building properly under Hansi Flick and could very well be in the running to win the 2026 World Cup.

Who wins? Argentina

Final

In a battle of Europe and South America, we get a similar result to what we’ve seen in previous World Cups over recent years. Europe continues to reign supreme on the global stage and France does something quite impressive by repeating as champions.

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Brazil have all the quality to go deep in this competition and they’ll give France a very good game, especially with a midfield led by Casemiro and Fabinho.

Who wins? France

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Who Will Make the USMNT’s 23-Man Roster?

The U.S. Men’s National Team has returned to the World Cup for the first time since 2014 and the expectations will be significant for the Americans.

For many, it will be their first World Cup given the youth the Americans boast heading into Qatar.

Meanwhile, manager Gregg Berhalter will be coaching at his first World Cup despite previously playing on the world’s biggest stage as a player for the USMNT.

With Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams and a core of players eager to put their stamp on the World Cup, the USMNT certainly has a chance to make some noise in Group B, where they’ll be paired with England, Iran and a European nation still to be determined.

ONE37pm takes a look at which players will likely make the 23-man roster for the USMNT ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

Goalkeepers

Zack Steffen, Matt Turner, Ethan Horvath

This will probably be the most straightforward of any of the position groups for Berhalter.

Steffen and Turner both have legitimate cases for being the starter in net once the U.S. touches down in Qatar, while Horvath has been really good in Europe for several years now.

Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Sean Johnson could be a veteran that gets a shout, but this goalkeeper room is probably the least of anyone’s concerns for the Americans.

Defenders

George Bello, Sergiño Dest, Miles Robinson, Walker Zimmerman, Jedi Robinson, Chris Richards, Aaron Long, DeAndre Yedlin

The U.S. has benefitted greatly from finding a strong center back partnership over the past six-plus months with Miles Robinson and Walker Zimmermann, so that makes the job a little easier for Berhalter.

Left back has been locked down by Jedi Robinson, while the right back spot will likely go to Sergiño Dest, who has excelled at Barcelona.

Veterans like Aaron Long and DeAndre Yedlin will certainly provide cover for the Americans if they need reassurances late in matches or due to injuries.

Midfielders

Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Gianluca Busio, Luca de la Torre, Kellyn Acosta

The Americans have so much midfield talent, and the group of three that will likely start on opening day of the World Cup has been set in stone for some time.

Adams, McKennie and Musah have been three players essentially locked into the XI for the U.S., but this squad boasts great depth in the center of the park.

John Todd/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Acosta and De La Torre played meaningful minutes throughout qualifying, while Busio has been quite strong at moments for Venezia throughout his debut Serie A campaign.

Forwards (6)

Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Ricardo Pepi, Brenden Aaronson, Tim Weah, Jordan Pefok

The group up front will be largely straight forward when you have players like Aaronson, Pulisic, Reyna and Weah.

However, none of those players are primarily center forwards, which leaves the biggest questions at the No. 9 position.

Ricardo Pepi has done well at times for the USMNT, but since joining Augsburg he’s struggled to find goals regularly, opening the door for other players to make their way into the mix.

Meanwhile, Pefok should definitely be one of those players earning consideration after the season he’s had at Young Boys.

He’s arguably been the most consistent goal scorer in the American pool, and when it comes to a competition like the World Cup a team can never have enough players that can score goals in bunches.

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Best and Worst USMNT World Cup Draw Scenarios

The first major goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2022 was to successfully qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

After a hard-fought 14-match cycle in Concacaf, the Americans were able to complete that job on Wednesday despite losing to Costa Rica.

It’s never an easy task or a given considering the hostile environments and physical teams the USMNT faces during World Cup qualifying, but now the Americans can turn towards their ultimate goal; the World Cup.

The Yanks won’t travel to Qatar until November for the kick off of the world’s greatest sporting spectacle, but there is a short turnaround with Friday’s World Cup draw.

That’s when the U.S. and 31 other nations will be drawn against one another in eight groups of four.

This is the last time for the foreseeable future that a World Cup will only feature 32 countries, with the 2026 edition of the tournament expanding to 48 nations.

There will be plenty of expectations for this American side led by Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna and Weston McKennie, so ONE37pm decided to take a look at some of the best and worst-case scenarios for the USMNT ahead of Friday’s draw.

How Does the Draw Work?

Just a quick reminder, there will be 32 teams up for selection on Friday being drawn into eight groups.

There are four pots of eight teams to select from, with teams like Brazil, England and Portugal in Pot 1 (top-ranked group).

Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

As hosts of the World Cup, Qatar has also been placed in Pot 1 and they’ll be automatically dropped into Group A.

From that point, teams will be drawn so that one Pot 1 team will be in Groups B-H and then they’ll move onto Pots 2-4.

The USMNT is in Pot 2 after being ranked 15 in the latest FIFA World Rankings.

Worst-Case Scenarios

Let’s preface this by saying everything here is hypothetical and the draw won’t take place until tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean we can’t play out some doomsday scenarios real quick.

Potential Draw 1

Brazil, USMNT, Serbia, Cameroon

The U.S. will obviously be hoping they can draw a side like Qatar from Pot 1, but if that doesn’t happen then there’s a guarantee of taking on a top 10 FIFA-ranked nation.

In this case, it would be Brazil, who’s only lost two matches over the past two years. The South American giants have one of the strongest teams in the World Cup led by Neymar, Casemiro and Thiago Silva.

Being grouped against Serbia and Cameroon won’t make life for the U.S. any easier.

Serbia boasts one of the best young strikers in football with Dušan Vlahović, while Cameroon has an extremely quick attack that can cause great difficulties for any opponent.

Potential Draw 2

France, USMNT, Senegal, Ecuador

Having to face the World Cup champions and arguably the deepest team in the tournament wouldn’t be ideal by any stretch, but to make matters worse the U.S. would also get the African champions and one of the most improved teams in South America.

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Senegal has a core of amazing Premier League and European talent, including Sadio Mane, Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly, while Ecuador looked significantly better during qualifying.

Best-Case Scenarios

Potential Draw 3

Qatar, USMNT, Tunisia, AFC/CONMEBOL

Drawing Qatar would be the dream scenario for the Americans not only because they’re the weakest Pot 1 nation but also due to the fact the USMNT has some familiarity with them.

The U.S. faced Qatar in last year’s Concacaf Gold Cup, beating the Middle Eastern side in the semifinals.

Out of all the African teams in Pot 3, Tunisia would definitely be the best option for the U.S. given their ranking and who they had to face in African playoffs.

Meanwhile, drawing a team like Peru wouldn’t be a cake walk, but there’s a lot of familiarity with the South American side boasting many MLS players.

Potential Draw 4

Belgium, USMNT, Poland, Saudi Arabia

Outside of drawing hosts Qatar from Pot 1, every other seeded team is going to present a challenge in this tournament.

Belgium is still a top side, but they’re definitely not the powerhouse the U.S. faced at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

And if the true goal is to simply make it out of the group stage, this would be one of the easier paths for the Americans even if they can’t pick up a point or three against Belgium.

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Facing a team like Poland with one of the best strikers in the world isn’t ideal, but the Americans have shown throughout qualifying that they’ve improved significantly defensively.

In fact, the USMNT didn’t concede more than two goals in any match during World Cup qualifying.

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10 Most Valuable USMNT Players

The U.S. Men’s National Team is on the brink of another World Cup if they can finish the job in Qatar.

The Americans boast a squad with promising young talent throughout and it starts and ends with Christian Pulisic.

Pulisic, 23, has become a household name during his time at Borussia Dortmund and now Chelsea, and he’ll look to further build out his reputation alongside other youngsters like Gio Reyna and Brenden Aaronson.

ONE37pm looks at the 10 most valuable USMNT players ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

10. Gianluca Busio – $11 million

Busio has quickly become one of the top players at Venezia during his debut season and the American looks quite confident playing in Serie A. Even if his side doesn’t survive relegation, there’s a very good chance Busio can get picked up by another top-flight club.

Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

9. John Brooks – $13 million

Brooks hasn’t earn many call ups recently, but the German-American continues to play at a high level in the Bundesliga. He could still play a role for the Americans even with the emergence of talented defenders like Miles Robinson.

8. Tim Weah – $14 million

Weah could very well play a big role for the Americans at the World Cup with his pace and finishing abilities, but the Lille man needs to find regular minutes at club level if he wants to earn a starting gig with the national team.

John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images

7. Yunus Musah – $16 million

Musah has been one of the biggest risers for the USMNT since choosing the U.S. over England. He’s become a top player at Valencia and his partnership with Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams makes for a very exciting midfield.

6. Tyler Adams – $18 million

Adams is the heartbeat of the American midfield and it could be getting close to the former New York Red Bulls star finding a new home in a top league. He’s spent years at RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, but Premier League sides have done their homework on him in the past.

John Todd/ISI Photos/Getty Images

5. Sergino Dest – $19 million

Dest is the No. 1 option at right back currently for the Americans and he’s looking vastly improved since Xavi took over at Barcelona. If he can develop a more consistent defensive form heading into the World Cup the Americans will be in great shape.

4. Brenden Aaronson – $22 million

Aaronson has had a great season at RB Salzburg and that could very easily mean he’ll get his wise and make a move to the Premier League. He was close to joining Leeds United in the winter, but with Jesse Marsch now at the club a deal is even more likely.

Omar Vega/Getty Images

3. Weston McKennie – $27 million

McKennie is a true two-way midfielder that offers a ton for the U.S. going forward. Before his injury at Juventus, McKennie was huge of the Americans during World Cup qualifying.

2. Gio Reyna – $46 million

Reyna may have the brightest future of any U.S. attacker given his fearlessness in the attacking third and his ability to play various roles. The former NYCFC player is currently at Borussia Dortmund and he could be the subject of a transfer if he has a strong World Cup.

Julio Aguilar / Stringer

1. Christian Pulisic – $49 million

Pulisic has been dubbed the latest ‘Captain America’ for a reason and he’s already had several great triumphs since joining Chelsea. He’s a UEFA Champions League winner and now he’ll be tasked with getting the USMNT to the knockout phase at the World Cup.

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Most Goals in USMNT History

The U.S. Men’s National Team is on the brink of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which would mark the Americans’ 11th appearance in the world’s most-prestigious football competition.

The Americans have had some of Concacaf’s elite talents in the goal scoring department over the last several decades, including Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and Brian McBride, but now comes a new generation led by Christian Pulisic that aims to carry on the success fo the program.

Pulisic is one of several key USMNT players under the age of 25, which could be a great sign of what could come at future World Cups for the Stars and Stripes.

ONE37pm is looking at some of the Americans’ top goal scorers in the history of the USMNT program.

7. Christian Pulisic – 21 Goals

At 23 years old, Pulisic already being so high on this list truly speaks to how incredible the Hershey, PA native has been since bursting onto the scene in Germany and England.

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Pulisic is going to move further up this list given his value to the USMNT and how much potential this team has with its youth.

6. Joe-Max Moore – 24 Goals

Moore was best known for his career with the New England Revolution, but he scored some incredibly important goals for the USMNT over the course of a decade spent with the team.

That includes scoring at the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup, where the Americans finished third.

5. Brian McBride – 30 Goals

McBride is one of the most prolific American men’s goal scorers ever and made a name for himself in the Premier League with Fulham in the 2000s. McBride took part in two World Cups with the USMNT.

4. Eric Wynalda – 34 Goals

Wynalda was one of the immensely talented strikers that developed with the USMNT starting in the 1990s, and his three goals at the 1995 Copa America were an outstanding display of his value as the national team began to show signs of what it could be in the future.

3. Jozy Altidore – 42 Goals

Although Altidore’s career in Europe wasn’t everything it was cracked up to be, the American striker played a role in some huge moments for the USMNT, including at Confederations Cups and World Cups.

T1. Clint Dempsey – 57 Goals

Dempsey’s value to the USMNT is hard to comprehend because of how many different roles he had during his time with the senior team.

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Dempsey was always capable of stepping up in the biggest moments, especially during the 2014 World Cup when Altidore went down injured early in the tournament.

T1. Landon Donovan – 57 Goals

Many consider Donovan the best player in the USMNT history and obviously it’s easy to look to his famous goal in 2010 against Algeria to show how valuable he was for the Americans.

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How USMNT Can Solidify Dominance Against Mexico

When it comes to international matches on this side of the planet, it doesn’t get much bigger than when the U.S. Men’s National Team squares off with Mexico.

Gregg Berhalter and the USMNT enter Thursday with a huge amount of confidence after three straight wins over Mexico in 2021, but it’s never an easy task for the Americans when they head down to the Estadio Azteca.

In fact, the Americans have never come away with a victory in Mexico City during World Cup qualifying, and Christian Pulisic and Co. will be looking to be a part of the team that ends that winless streak.

ONE37pm takes a look at three keys for the USMNT tonight as they aim to beat Mexico and potentially qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.

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1. Control the Midfield

Although the U.S. lost Weston McKennie to injury, the Americans still boast an extremely talent midfield led by Tyler Adams. This midfield battle often decides the game when these two nations meet and Thursday shouldn’t be any different.

Mexico has a strong one on its side with Efrain Alvarez and Hector Herrera, but the U.S. has done a great job of containing both players in some of their recent meetings.

Yunus Musah will be an important players for the Americans after excelling at Valencia this season and growing into more of a two-way player.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Play Jordan Pefok

Ricardo Pepi has made all sorts of headlines for his huge move to Germany in the winter, but since that point things haven’t gone according to plan for the former FC Dallas striker.

Pepi hasn’t scored a goal to date in the Bundesliga and he’s struggled to acclimate himself at Augsburg.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has another forward at its disposal who is thriving in Europe this season.

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Jordan Pefok leads Young Boys in goals this campaign and even scored against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League.

It’s highly likely that Pepi starts against Mexico, but Berhalter can’t be afraid to bring in Pefok if the match isn’t leaning towards the Americans.

3. Pulisic Shows Why He’s the Face of USMNT

Pulisic has shown up in big games for the U.S. and in the Premier League with Chelsea, but USA-Mexico has different levels of importance.

He drew the penalty that led to his game-winning goal against El Tri last year in the Concacaf Cup and a similar performance on the road would go a long way towards solidifying Pulisic’s place as the go-to player for the Yanks.

‘Captain America’ has 18 goals in 45 appearances for the United States, and it’s very likely that if he adds to that goal total at the Azteca the Americans will be a step closer towards qualifying for Qatar this November.

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Best USMNT-Mexico Goals Since 2000

The latest installment of one of the biggest rivalries on this side of the planet will take place Thursday when the U.S. Men’s National Team travels to Mexico.

With the USMNT riding in hot after three straight victories over El Tri, a win for either team would go a long way towards securing a place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Although the Americans have never won at the Estadio Azteca in a World Cup qualifier, Gregg Berhalter’s side will be looking for big performances from stars like Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah and Tyler Adams.

Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

For Mexico, Chucky Lozano and Raul Jimenez will play significant roles for the host nation and they’ll need to succeed if El Tri wants to topple their biggest rival.

ONE37pm takes a look at five of the best USMNT-Mexico goals since 2000.

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5. Benny Feilhaber (USMNT)
2007 Concacaf Gold Cup Final

Feilhaber struck this ball about as clean as possible and was a huge reason why the USMNT went on to win the Gold Cup in 2007.

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4. Paul Aguilar (Mexico)
2015 Concacaf Cup

Aguilar had some amazing moments for Mexico throughout his career, and this goal against the Americans highlighted his brilliance in attack.

This was truly splendid technique on a tough volley and Aguilar buried the chance at the back post.

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3. Israel Castro (Mexico)
2009 Concacaf World Cup Qualifying

Castro wasn’t known for scoring goals in his career for El Tri. In fact, he only scored one in a national team kit, but this goal was very worthy of being one of the best against the United States.

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2. Michael Bradley (USMNT)
2018 Concacaf World Cup Qualifying

Results are hard to come by for the U.S. at the Estadio Azteca, but this goal from Bradley was certainly the best the Americans have ever had in the heart of Mexico City.

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1. Giovani dos Santos
2011 Concacaf Gold Cup Final

Take the USA-Mexico battle out of the equation and this would still be one of the truly great goals you’ll ever witness.

Dos Santos not only used quick feet to get away Tim Howard, but then proceeded to complete one of the nicest back-post chips to help seal this match for Mexico.

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Meet Gabriel Slonina, Next Great American Goalkeeper

Gabriel ‘Gaga’ Slonina is quickly becoming one of the top young American talents to keep an eye on and his progression continues to raise him to new levels.

At 17, Slonina is already an MLS starter for the Chicago Fire and it seems like the keeper’s making astounding saves on a weekly basis.

The U.S. always has a long line of great goalkeepers, and Slonina appears to be the next American up that will have the opportunity to establish himself as one of the country’s elite players.

ONE37pm takes a closer look at Slonina and what his future might look like for club and country.

Slonina’s Background

Slonina was born in the U.S. and eligible to play for the USMNT, which seems inevitable given his quick rise as a teenager.

The Fire keeper was born just west of Chicago and has been involved with the club since 2016.

Slonina became one of the youngest professional signings in MLS history when he officially joined the Fire at the age of 14.

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Since making his debut in 2021, he’s locked down the starting position in net and shot up the ranks with the USMNT.

This season, Slonina has three clean sheets thus far for the Eastern Conference side and the 6-foot 4-inch shot stopper became the youngest MLS keeper to ever post a clean sheet back in 2021 against league champions New York City FC.

Slonina’s Future

In a limited amount of time, Slonina has already proven to be one of the top-end goalkeepers in MLS, which says a lot about the 17 year old’s potential.

It’s highly likely that Slonina makes a move to Europe in the next year or two, especially as he looks to gain a European visa through his Polish heritage.

He’s already been linked to several top sides, including Juventus, and the American could be one of the next exports to complete a move to one of Europe’s top leagues.

Slonina has already shot up the U.S. youth international ranks, representing the U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-20 national teams.

It’s becoming more and more clear that Slonina is the latest in a long line of top American goalkeepers to make a strong impression, and he could soon follow the likes of Tim Howard, Brad Friedel and many others.

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Meet Jesse Marsch, Leeds’ American Manager

Leeds has endured its share of struggles this season and an American manager is now being tasked with helping the club not only survive relegation but also lead the English side towards a brighter future.

Jesse Marsch has taken charge of Leeds with three months remaining in the Premier League and it’s a huge opportunity for the former RB Leipzig manager.

In fact, Marsch becomes only the third American to coach in England’s top flight, joining Bob Bradley (Swansea City) and David Wagner (Huddersfield Town).

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With Leeds currently two points clear of relegation, Marsch and his side have their work cut out over the final 12 matches of the season.

Marsch hopes to bring some of his previous successes to Elland Road, and his first triumph would be staving off dropping to the Championship.

History of Marsch

Before Marsch became one of the best minds around the U.S. Men’s National Team, the former Princeton Tiger played in Major League Soccer for over 16 years.

He spent time with D.C. United, Chicago Fire and Chivas USA and finished his career with over 300 appearances.

Marsch began his managerial career with the U.S. in 2010 under Bob Bradley before quickly getting two big coaching roles in MLS.

Marsch became well known in MLS circles for his success with the New York Red Bulls before joining sister club Red Bull Salzburg in 2019.

The American had plenty more positives in Austria, including winning the Austrian Bundesliga twice. That prompted a move to a third RB Global side, RB Leipzig, however, Marsch only managed to win eight of 21 matches in Germany.

Marsch’s Future

Although American managers don’t often get a chance to shine in Europe, Marsch has already proven his fast-paced style of play and tactical awareness make him a worthy candidate.

Marsch is the ultimate players’ coach and constantly receives glowing praise from former pupils, none bigger than Erling Haaland.

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“Jesse and I had a great relationship,” Haaland said of his former boss. “We still talk on the phone sometimes. He was an amazing manager for me, and we had some great memories together.

“I am lucky to have gotten to know him as a coach, but also as a person. He was very good with me. As you saw, I was very happy on and off the pitch in Salzburg. Even though it was just six months, it was a good time. He is an amazing guy.”

Marsch’s immediate goal will clearly be to help Leeds stay up, but after that he’ll need to show that he can hang in the best league in the world.

If Leeds can offer him defensive reinforcements next season, there’s plenty of reason to believe Marsch will have success in England.

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Sports Strength

Meet Jedi Robinson, USMNT’s Emerging Left Back

Antonee ‘Jedi’ Robinson wasn’t always a guaranteed starter for the U.S. Men’s National Team, but the Fulham left back has quickly made himself a lock in Gregg Berhalter’s side.

Last month, Robinson scored in the USMNT’s 1-0 win over El Salvador and that proved to be a huge result for the Americans as they now sit a few matches away from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The 24-year-old has become a mainstay at Fulham as well and could very well be on the radar of Premier League sides in the near future if his trajectory stays on its current course.

At a time where almost every established American superstar is playing in Europe, Robinson still falls behind in recognition but that doesn’t mean he’s a truly talented player that has a bright future for the USMNT.

Here’s a closer look at how Robinson has built his career and what his future could look like for both club and country.

Robinson’s Journey

A fun fact about Robinson is that he prefers to go by the name Jedi instead of the name Antonee, which his parents gave him.

Robinson is a noted Star Wars fan and has been since he was a child, so the fact that he’s a Jedi with the ball at his feet makes the nickname even more suitable.

“I feel weird being called Antonee,” Robinson said recently. “I prefer being called Jedi.”

Robinson was born in England and joined Everton’s academy at the age of 11.

Although he never made a first-team appearance for the Toffees, Robinson became an influence on loan at Bolton and Wigan before eventually moving full time to the latter club.

While at Wigan, Robinson was hugely successful and actually on the brink of a move to AC Milan, but a heart condition ultimately halted the move.

During Robinson’s medical examine, the Serie A side discussed a heart rhythm irregularity and that forced the defender to stay at Wigan and receive treatment.

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The budding USMNT star eventually landed at Fulham in 2020 and now he’s beginning to become one of the best left backs in the Championship and Fulham appear very much on course to reach the Premier League once again.

Style of Play

Robinson is a clever outside back, usually deployed on the left side of a back four.

The American is very good with the ball at his feet and and that’s why he’s extremely dangerous down the wing.

As he does often for the USMNT, Robinson can whip in crosses on his preferred left foot and also cut inside to set up shots as well.

What the Future Holds

Given Robinson’s rise with Fulham and the USMNT a move could be on the near horizon in 2022.

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With the U.S. expected to garner significant exposure if they qualify for the World Cup, Robinson could be auditioning for a move to another Premier League side or perhaps a team outside of England.

He’ll be a huge figure in the USMNT XI for the long term no matter where he’s playing club ball though, especially given the fact that he’s distanced himself from other left backs in the American pool.