Before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar, we’re just a couple of games away from the World Cup since there are no summer tournaments and just two matches remain during the window in September. After playing 15 games in six months during the World Cup qualifiers, 2022 has been a busy year for the USMNT and the football odds are coming in thick and fast.
After the June double window, next up in the 2022 USMNT schedule is a pair of friendlies during the September international window. It is thought that because European clubs are so busy with UEFA Nations League matches, the U.S. scheduled games against Asian clubs, likely to help them prepare for the World Cup match against Iran.
As the World Cup quickly comes around, here is how the latter half of 2022 is looking for the USMNT:
- Sept. 27 — Friendly vs. Saudi Arabia, Murcia,
- Nov. 21 — World Cup Group Stage vs. Wales, Al Rayyan, Qatar, 2 p.m. ET
- Nov. 25 — World Cup Group Stage vs. England, Al Khor, Qatar, 2 p.m. ET
- Nov. 29 — World Cup Group Stage vs. Iran, Doha, Qatar, 2 p.m. ET
- Dec. 3-18 — World Cup Knockout Stage, Qatar
The first of the friendly matches will be played against Japan at Düsseldorf Arena in Germany and the match has an 8:25 a.m. kick-off on September 23rd. The second friendly is against Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain. After the September friendlies are finished with, the full national team will be done for the season before the World Cup kicks off on November 21st. Since clubs are required to release players by November 14th for participation in the World Cup, that is everything in the schedule util it is finished on December 18th.
Once the World Cup kicks off, the U.S. is set to play on the second day of the World Cup against Wales. This means that Berhalter will only have a week with his squad whereas in the past, national teams have been allowed a few weeks to prepare, having plenty of time to fit in two or three friendlies.
Because of FIFA’s controversial decision to allow Qatar to host the tournament and then move the tournament to November, teams will have very little time to get ready for the World Cup and there will be no time for exhibition games. America could actually have an advantage here since the MLS season ends on November 5th, meaning all MLS players will be available earlier than those based abroad, giving them the opportunity to join up with Berhalter as soon as their team is eliminated from the playoffs.
If we look back to 2021 when Bosnia and Herzegovina visited Los Angeles for a December friendly between the nations’ C teams, this could mean there is also potential for USMNT friendlies outside of the FIFA-sanctioned windows before the international break officially begins. If there aren’t any friendlies outside of FIFA windows, the USMNT has just two matches left before the World Cup begins.