2026 USMNT World Cup Preview

By: Nicholas Del Rio

After a hopeful performance in the 2022 World Cup, the future of the USMNT is now looked at with a new sense of optimism. It’s almost jarring in retrospect to look back at who played for the US during 2018 qualifications. Players like Time Howard, 38, was still in goal. Midfielders Jermaine jones and Kyle Beckerman, each 35 years old were still important. However, during the next four years, the team experienced a renascence of new young players under coach Gregg Berhalter. This group of breakthrough youngsters such as Tyler Adams, Weston Mckennie, and Yunus Musah dominated the midfield. Upfront, Tim Weah and Christian Pulisic showed their goal scoring ability.

For this reason, the team will face overwhelming expectations heading towards the 2026 World Cup, which they will be playing on home soil. And the key to living up to that hype will be another group of youngsters attempting to make the exact impact that this generation just did. It will be much more difficult for a new generation to break through because the same opportunities for playing time will be harder to come by. But they must try. Especially, if they can score goals. Let’s look at how the US player pool will shape for 2026.


My lineup prediction for 2026-

Attackers: Christian Pulisic, Folarin Balogun, Gio Reyna

Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams, Weston Mckennie

Defenders: Tim Weah, Chris Richards, CCV, Sergino Dest

Goal keeper: Gaga Slonina


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