Look forward to a USMNT “Golden Era”

While the United States had a disappointing end to its 2022 World Cup, the next four years could be the golden years of United States soccer.  

At the 2022 World Cup, the average age of a United States player was just under 25. In four years—when the 2026 World Cup will be played in The United States, Canada and Mexico— these same players will all be 29 and in their prime. The United States players will gain even more experience with their clubs and be more familiar playing together as a team. All of these factors should help the US soccer team have a realistic shot at shocking the world and winning its first World Cup.  

The US team showed its promising future in the group stages of the 2022 World Cup: The US let no goals in against England or Iran. Only Wales scored against the US on a late penalty kick.  The US advanced to the knockout round with a 1-0-2 record and played the Netherlands in the knockout stage. Despite losing 3-1, the United States players proved they could play with world soccer powers. 

Although their World Cup dreams were crushed, the US team has a strong core group of young midfielders with a great future. Weston McKennie, 24, Tyler Adams, 23, Gio Reyna, 20, and Yunus Musah, 20, will be the future of the American midfield and all play in highly competitive European Leagues. Major League Soccer spoke with United States head coach and former US National team center-back, Gregg Berhalter. Expressing his excitement for the future he said “It gives you a lot of optimism when you see some of these midfield players. How they are performing at such a young age is great for us.” 

There is also a young group of promising forwards. Twenty-four-year-old Christian Pulisic, given the nickname Captain America, leads the group, followed by the 22-year-olds Timothy Weah, Josh Sargent, and Brenden Aaronson. Defender Sergio Dest, also 22, will be one to look out for in years to come.   

Goalkeeper Matt Turner will also likely be around in the next World Cup. The 28-year-old showed his potential against the Netherlands with four massive saves. In an interview with the Washington Post after the US loss to the Netherlands, Turner talked about the devastating loss, but the potential of American soccer.  “There’s tremendous potential,” he said. “If you don’t see that, I don’t know… the potential is clear.”