US Men’s National Team Has Disastrous Tune-up For World Cup

The 2022 World Cup is rapidly approaching, with the teams kick off in Qatar in less than two months time, and the US is back in the tournament after missing out on the 2018 edition.

Tournament favorites include France, Brazil, Argentina and Belgium, and while the United States Men’s National Team hasn’t been expected to seriously compete for the cup, hopes have been running high for at least a substantial run deep into the tournament.

Well, based on how the team’s performed in their final two matches before the real thing kicks off, those hopes might have been too optimistic.

On Tuesday, they played a friendly against the Saudi Arabian team in Murcia, Spain.

While not at full strength, Tuesday marked the return of Christian Pulisic, while Gio Reyna also was healthy enough to make the starting 11, before being removed in the 30th minute.

Even so, it did not go well.

MURCIA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 27: Christian Pulisic #10 of the United States moves along the sideline during a game between Saudi Arabia and USMNT at Estadio Nueva Condomina on September 27, 2022 in Murcia, Spain. (Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The match ended in a 0-0 draw, an embarrassing result, even for a friendly.

Worse than the score line was how the USMNT played, often on the back foot, looking slower paced than their opponents, which resulted in nearly conceding a goal to the Saudis in the second half.

While the listless performance in front of an extremely small crowd; probably under 100 people total, in combination with unfamiliar European surroundings, isn’t particularly worrisome on its own, when combined with their other most recent friendly, it’s downright terrifying.

Just a few days ago, the Men’s National Team lost to Japan 2-0, without even managing a shot on target.

These are friendlies and not necessarily the lineups that will be facing Wales, Iran and England in November, but the dispiriting play doesn’t inspire confidence.

With injuries still a concern, it’s abundantly clear that there’s a tremendous amount of work to be done even with the healthy players.

Getting back to the World Cup was a necessary first step to recover some of the USMNT’s reputation and return optimism to the fanbase, but if these results are any indication, the progress and momentum that seemed to be developing under coach Gregg Berhalter is in serious trouble.

The US team’s first match of the World Cup is November 21st, and while they might not be ready on the field, at least everyone also hates their uniforms:

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

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