United States and Canada success highlights resurgence of soccer in the region

The United States and Canada will both feature at the 2022 World Cup as the nations benefit from a resurgence of soccer in North America. They will be joined in Qatar by two other American nations: Mexico and Costa Rica.

Canada and the United States have also profited from a host of young talents who ply their trade for some of the top European clubs.

For Canada, it will be their second ever appearance at World Cup finals and the first in 36 years. The United States men’s national soccer team has more experience, having qualified for seven World Cup finals in a row between 1990 and 2014, although the nation did not qualify for Russia 2018. It will be the first time that both nations from the CONCACAF North America Confederation play at the same World Cup.

Soccer is growing in popularity in the United States and Canada, and despite having to compete with American football, baseball and basketball in the US, over 19.6 million Americans participate in the sport. In Canada, soccer does not enjoy the same recognition as ice hockey, but the sport is still widely enjoyed. This popularity is evident in the world of video gaming with the FIFA franchise which is partly developed by EA Vancouver. There are also several slot machines that focus on the beautiful game such as Football Mania and Football Mania Deluxe, which are available to play at an online casino in Canada.

Rank outsiders

Both Canada and the United States are outsiders at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Canada’s group could not have been more difficult, as the seeding for the draw was based on FIFA rankings which guaranteed two tough opponents for the Canadians. The first game is against Belgium at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, followed by an equally difficult fixture against Croatia. Canada’s final group stage game will be against Morocco and with just the top two in the group qualifying for the round of 16, Canada will face a big challenge.

In comparison, the United States has a slightly easier group. The first game will be against Wales at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, followed by a tough fixture against England, the hot favorites to win the group, with the final group match against Iran.

Emerging talent

The USMNT has no shortage of talent, although the lack of experience could count against the United States at the World Cup, with talent such as Weston McKennie of Juventus, Tyler Adams, who has signed for English club Leeds United and Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic all still in their early 20s.

Canada will be hoping that Cyle Larin, who plays for Club Brugge, and Jonathan David of Lille continue their rich vein of form after scoring 13 and nine goals respectively in World Cup qualifying stages. Canada’s attack is also bolstered by Bayern Munich winger Alphonso Davies.

Canada head coach John Herdman and his US counterpart Gregg Berhalter will be hoping that the Qatar World Cup can prepare their young squads for the next challenge in 2026. Both nations are already guaranteed a place as hosts as the competition will be held in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

As Canada and the United States face tough games at the 2022 World Cup, both nations will be hoping that their most recent players are not inhibited by playing on the world stage in Qatar. Their young stars were not fazed by the pressure of qualifying for the greatest soccer competition in the world and the experience could stand them in good stead for the 2026 World Cup in North America.

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