The United States Men’s National Team is set to begin its World Cup journey in a matter of hours. The team arrived in Qatar shortly after the roster announcement on December 9th and has been training for the start of the tournament ever since. Head coach Gregg Berhalter recently named Tyler Adams, 23, the team captain. Adams will be the youngest captain in Qatar and the first African American to captain the USMNT throughout a World Cup tournament.
The team is set to take on a Wales team led by Gareth Bale. We’ll preview the game and take a look at the betting odds for this critical matchup.
USA vs Wales Preview
The US will be coming into the 2022 World Cup with more talent than we’re accustomed to seeing from the US national team. Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and Gio Reyna, headline what’s now known as the ‘Golden Generation for US soccer.
The team’s one glaring weakness is at the striker position. It was thought by many that Ricardo Pepi would hold this spot, but a World Cup roster omission means that will not be the case. The guy most likely to make the start against Wales is 21-year-old Jesus Ferriera. Ferriera has had plenty of success at the MLS level but has not shown the same goal-scoring talent with the national team.
Josh Sargent has an outside chance to make the start at the number 9. Sargent plays for Norwich City, where he has appeared in 19 games and has collected 9 goals this year. If Berhalter isn’t liking what he’s seeing from Ferriera, look for him to make the move to Sargent as one of his second-half substitutions.
The ex-factor in this match could be the young Gio Reyna. Reyna has battled injuries for quite some time but has regained his health and form at the perfect time. He isn’t a lock to start against Wales, but he could be a guy that Berhalter decides to use as a super sub. When in action Reyna will be looking to push the attack from the right side.
Wales will be making their first World Cup appearance since 1958. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey will be leading the way for the current squad. Wales’ style to sit back and counter could be a problem for the US, as that is the type of style the team struggled against the most during qualifying. Bale, now 33, is the biggest threat on this team to score. Walker Zimmerman will be one of the guys tasked with stopping the generational talent.
Aaron Ramsey will represent the key part of his team’s midfield. He’ll be looking to play balls up to Gareth Bale or the speedy Daniel James on the wing to give his squad the best opportunity to score. One thing this Wales team lacks is squad depth. The US could look to take advantage of this factor when players get worn out in the second half.
USA vs Wales Best Betting Odds/Trends
NY sportsbooks don’t have a significant favorite for the match that could very well determine who goes through the group. Despite that, a US victory is still the most likely outcome. You can find the best odds for the US national team at BetMGM where they’re listing a US victory at +160 odds.
The odds have undergone a slight shift in favor of the US as we near this matchup. A couple of months ago the US was listed at +160 on BetRivers to beat Wales and is now listed at +140. It’s been the Wales Moneyline odds that have undergone a bigger shift. A Welsh victory was listed for +195 on FanDuel a couple of months ago. Now it’s listed at +235. The US still has slightly better odds than Wales to win Group B.
If the US prevails on Monday they will be big favorites to advance to the knockout stage, while Wales’ chances would become faint. Such a victory for the US would bring on England in what could be the most-watched soccer game in US history.