CHICAGO (Nov. 28, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s National Team has the opportunity to clinch a berth in the knockout stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a win against IR Iran on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Following two strong performances to kick off the tournament, including an inspired showing in a 0-0 draw against tournament favorite England on Black Friday, a victory against Team Melli would guarantee the USMNT passage to the Round of 16.
Kickoff for Iran-USA from Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar is set for 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FOX and Telemundo.
The third and final group stage match has often proved pivotal for the USMNT at the World Cup as the USA seeks its sixth knockout stage berth in 11 tournament appearances. Tuesday’s game marks the second World Cup meeting between the U.S. and Iran at the FIFA World Cup following the match at France 1998.
After dropping its first match 6-2 to England, Iran netted two late goals against Wales to keep its advancement hopes alive and will be fighting to make it to the World Cup knockout stage for the first time.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town/ENG; 8/0; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 10/0; Lilburn, Ga.), Matt Turner (Arsenal/ENG; 22/0; Park Ridge, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (9): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/SCO; 11/0; Southend-on-Sea, England), Sergiño Dest (AC Milan/ITA; 21/2; Almere, Netherlands), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 29/3; Oak Hills, Calif.), Shaq Moore (Nashville SC; 16/1; Powder Springs, Ga.), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 48/1; St. Louis, Mo.), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 31/2; Liverpool, England), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 3/0; Lake Grove, N.Y.), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami CF; 76/0; Seattle, Wash.), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 35/3; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United/ENG; 26/6; Medford, N.J.), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC; 54/2; Plano, Texas), Tyler Adams (Leeds United/ENG; 34/1; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 12/0; San Diego, Calif.), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 39/9; Little Elm, Texas), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 21/0; London, England), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 32/0; Pico Rivera, Calif.)
Monday, Nov. 21
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium; Al Rayyan, Qatar
Friday, Nov. 25
Al Bayt Stadium; Al Khor, Qatar
Tuesday, Nov. 29
Al Thumama Stadium; Doha, Qatar
Goalkeeper Matt Turner became the fifth USMNT netminder to earn a shutout in the FIFA World Cup, joining the ranks of Jimmy Douglas (3-0 W vs. Belgium and 3-0 W vs. Paraguay in 1930), Frank Borghi (1-0 W vs. England in 1950), Brad Friedel (2-0 W vs. Mexico in 2002) and Tim Howard (1-0 W vs. Algeria in 2010).
It’s the 15th career clean sheet in 22 international appearances for the New Jersey native, the fourth goalkeeper from the Garden State to start for the U.S. at the World Cup, following Douglas (1930), Tony Meola (1990, 1994) and Howard (2010, 2014). It’s been an incredible journey for Turner, who didn’t start playing until age 16 and considered quitting in college when a gaffe placed him No. 1 on SportsCenter’s “Not Top 10.”
Youth has been a theme for the USMNT throughout this cycle and it’s continued here in Qatar. Already with the second-youngest roster at the 2022 FIFA World Cup behind only Ghana, the USA’s two lineups against Wales (25 years, 102 days) and England (25 years, 169 days) are the two youngest Starting XIs in the 28 matches that have been played at the tournament through Sunday evening. The lineups against Wales and England also rank fourth and fifth respectively in USMNT World Cup history, coming in behind the three Starting XIs that took the field at Italia ’90 (all just over 24 years old), when the squad was made up in part by semi-professional and collegiate players.
Youngest Lineups at the 2022 FIFA World Cup (through Nov. 27)
Nov. 21 vs. Wales
25 years, 102 days
Nov. 25 vs. England
25 years, 169 days
Nov. 25 vs. Netherlands
25 years, 257 days
Nov. 20 vs. Qatar
26 years, 81 days
Nov. 27 vs. Germany
26 years, 193 days
Midfielder Yunus Musah will turn 20 on Tuesday when the U.S. faces Iran, capping off one of the most productive runs ever for a teenager representing the USMNT. His 21 international appearances tie Christian Pulisic and Jozy Altidore for most caps as a teenager, while his 20 starts and 1578 minutes played lead USMNT teenagers all-time. With his start against England, who he represented at the youth international level, he became the only teenager to make multiple World Cup appearances for the U.S.
Friday’s match was watched by 20 million in the United States, making it one of the most-watched men’s soccer matches ever in the USA. More than 15 million viewers tuned in on FOX, making it the most-watched men’s match on English language U.S. television, while another 4.6 million watched on Telemundo. The USMNT’s most-watched match all-time came in the 2014 World Cup group stage against Portugal, drawing in 24.7 million viewers.
DEFENDERS (10): Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal; 21/2), Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens/GRE; 123/7), Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor/TUR; 20/0), Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal; 3/0), Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Al-Ahli/QAT; 36/2), Shojae Khalilzadeh (Al-Ahli/QAT; 25/1), Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens/GRE; 47/1), Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb/CRO; 22/0), Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis; 48/3), Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan; 47/3)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Vahid Amiri (Persepolis; 68/2), Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle/ DEN; 49/1), Saman Ghoddos (Brentford/ENG; 33/2), Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi/BEL; 28/6), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord/NED; 66/13), Ali Karimi (Kayserispor/TUR; 15/0), Ahmad Nourollahi (Shabab Al-Ahli/UAE; 28/3), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis; 37/7)
FORWARDS (3): Karim Ansarifard (Omonia/CYP; 95/29), Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen/GER; 67/41), Mehdi Taremi (Porto/POR; 62/30)
The USMNT is the second youngest team at the World Cup and was by far the youngest team to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, garnering valuable experience going through the rigors of World Cup qualifying. Through 14 qualifiers, the USA Starting XI came in at an average of 23.82, almost two years younger than the next closest team, Ghana at 25.67. Together, the other 31 participating teams averaged a Starting XI age of 27.5 through qualifying, nearly four full years older than the U.S.
From the available data for qualified teams, the USMNT played 10 of the 11 youngest lineups worldwide during the qualifying cycle, with all 14 lineups falling in the 23 youngest Starting XIs in the world dating back to October 2020.
The 2022 team ties the 1990 USA side for most U-23 players on a USMNT World Cup roster with nine: Tyler Adams (23); Brenden Aaronson, Sergiño Dest, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah (22); Jesús Ferreira (21); Gio Reyna (20); Yunus Musah and Joe Scally (19).
With the inclusion of Musah, Reyna and Scally, this is the first USMNT World Cup squad with more than one teenager named to the roster, though Gio Reyna turned 20 on Nov. 12 and Yunus Musah will do so on Nov. 29, the day of the USA’s final group stage match against IR Iran.
While 25 of 26 U.S. players arrived to Qatar sans World Cup experience, the USMNT roster is no stranger to some of soccer’s biggest stages at the club level. Five of the 26 are participating in this year’s UEFA Champions League, the sport’s premier club competition, while 14 play for teams in the world’s top five leagues (England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France).
This USMNT World Cup roster boasts perhaps the most impressive list of club homes ever at the tournament, with players at some of Europe’s most storied teams. Forward Christian Pulisic helped Chelsea win the UEFA Champions League in 2020-21, becoming the first American to play in the UCL Final. Defender Sergiño Dest moved this season to reigning Italian champion AC Milan, while goalkeeper Matt Turner is plying his trade for English Premier League leader Arsenal. Midfielder Weston McKennie’s club Juventus won the Italian league championship nine times in a row from 2011-12 through 2019-20.
The USMNT’s World Cup squad reflects the success of the U.S. Soccer player development pathway, as many of the players came up through the U.S. Youth National Teams program and spent time in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and/or the U.S. Soccer U-17 Residency Program.
Fourteen players – just over half the roster – have represented the USA in at least one FIFA Youth World Cup. Four took the field together at two separate tournaments: Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre Christian Pulisic and Haji Wright at the 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile, and Adams, Cameron Carter-Vickers, de la Torre and Josh Sargent at the 2017 U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic.
The spirit of our message is that each and every person has the ability, opportunity and responsibility to make a difference in their own way. The motto has been brought to life in a number of different ways. Last June, the USMNT advocated for stricter gun control with armbands and an imploring letter to Congress to pass legislation.
Now, with the eyes of the world on the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the USMNT and U.S. Soccer will continue to elevate and advance the Be the Change message, inviting everyone on the journey to make a positive and lasting impact.
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