Finally, our long national nightmare is over. After a failure of epic proportions back in 2018, the United States Men’s National Team is back in the World Cup.
The Americans officially qualified for the 2022 edition of the World Cup on Wednesday despite a 2-0 loss in Costa Rica. Fortunately, all the lads had to do in that game in order to clinch qualification was win the game outright, draw, or lose by six goals or less. Mission accomplished!
While it will be great to see the US represented in the biggest sporting event in the world, success once they get to Qatar is far from guaranteed. The US men have never won a World Cup. The furthest the US has ever advanced is a run to the semifinals back in the first-ever World Cup in 1930. Could this be the year the Americans finally establish themselves on the world stage?
The latest World Cup odds found at World Cup betting sites give the Americans a very, very slim chance of actually winning the whole thing.
Men’s World Cup Odds
World Cup odds via BetOnline.ag.
Per the updated FIFA rankings, the US World Cup odds look about right at +10000. The USMNT is ranked No. 15 in the world after the final CONCACAF qualifying round. Their +10000 World Cup odds are tied for 15th-best, as well.
This will be the 11th World Cup appearance for the US. Eight of those appearances have come since 1990. The US infamously missed out on the 2018 festivities in Russia after a disastrous result against lowly Trinidad and Tobago in the final qualifier.
In the Americans’ most recent World Cup appearance in 2014, the Yanks advanced to the knockout stages despite being drawn into the “Group of Death” with Germany, Portugal, and Ghana. The US was then beaten in extra time by Belgium in the round-of-16.
2022 Group Draw
FIFA held its World Cup draw on Friday, April 1st, in Doha. The Americans were drawn into Group B, where they’ll face off against England, Iran, and one of Scotland, Wales, or Ukraine. The last three teams are set to play a playoff in order to clinch qualification in June.
Let’s do this. ?? pic.twitter.com/hTU7SNRDq0
— USMNT: Qualified. (@USMNT) April 1, 2022
Group B is full of narratives. The US and England are, of course, longtime rivals. The two teams last squared off at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in the group stage. The teams played to a 1-1 draw, which was, in essence, an unofficial victory for an underdog American side. The US advanced through the group stage that year, as well, before falling to Ghana in the knockout round.
Here’s how the full 2022 World Cup draw unfolded:
- Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Netherlands, Senegal
- Group B: England, United States, Iran, Wales/Scotland/Ukraine
- Group C: Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia
- Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Peru/Australia/United Arab Emirates
- Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica/New Zealand
- Group F: Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, Canada
- Group G: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon
- Group H: Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea, Ghana
How Far Will the US Advance?
In light of the Americans’ dramatic qualification earlier this week, BetOnline’s oddsmakers posted odds on how far into the tourney the US will advance. While the United States Men’s National Team doesn’t have the most decorated history, the Yanks haven’t failed to advance beyond the group stage since 2006.
Given the fairly favorable draw, however, that seems rather unlikely. The Americans’ toughest game will come against England the day after Thanksgiving. Even if the US fails to secure three points against their old rivals, I do think this team stands a good chance at escaping the group.
England have never beaten the USA in a competitive fixture.
The Ghost of Rob Green past. pic.twitter.com/yLYk38QQyu
— Amos Murphy (@AmosMurphy_) April 1, 2022
The United States should be favored in their game against Iran. Iran did get the better of the US when they last met at the 1998 World Cup, but things were quite different back then. The USMNT is entering a “golden generation” of young talent. Iran have qualified for four of the last five World Cups, but they have never advanced beyond a group stage.
Wales made a deep run at the 2016 European Championships, but this nation has never been known as a soccer powerhouse. Wales hasn’t been in a World Cup since 1958. Neighboring Scotland haven’t endured quite as long of a drought, but the Scots will appear in the World Cup for the first time since 1990 if they’re lucky enough to get through the playoff.
Per the men’s World Cup odds, England (+700) are the Group B participant most likely to go on and win the whole thing. However, the Three Lions haven’t won this competition since 1966.
What if the US Gets Through Group B?
If the United States is lucky enough to earn qualification into the knockout stage, they will be paired with one of the teams that gets through Group A. Fortunately, Group A isn’t all that impressive. Qatar only qualified as the host nation, and they’re unlikely to survive their own group.
The Netherlands are a traditional soccer power and the most likely team to win Group A. Senegal won the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, so they look like a good bet to finish as runners-up behind the Dutch. Ecuador is a bit of a wild card.
? THE WORLD CUP DRAW ?
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 1, 2022
If the US finishes second behind England in Group B, the Yanks will likely take on the Netherlands in the round-of-16, assuming the Oranje top Group A. This Netherlands side is far better than the team that failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but results have still been more difficult to come by in recent years.
The Netherlands were one of the more disappointing performers at Euro 2020, as they failed to advance beyond the round-of-16. The Dutch would likely be favored over the USA in a hypothetical matchup, but that’s still a winnable game for the USMNT.
What’s The Best Bet?
You have no shortage of options at your disposal when it comes to World Cup odds. The US men’s World Cup odds may be long, but who’s to say the Americans can’t make a surprisingly deep run? The Yanks got a solid enough draw, so advancement into the quarterfinals is very much within the realm of possibility.
I’ll rank my favorite value bets below: