Qatar World Cup

Ethan Weiner, Writer

U.S finally back on the world stage after 8 long years.

The 2022 Fifa world cup will be the 22nd running of the Fifa World Cup. After months and months of intercontinental qualifying, the 32 teams participating in this year’s tournament have been decided. With the scheduled date for the world cup to begin being Nov. 20th, we are just a little bit more than a month out from the prestigious competition. The first date for the playoffs will be December 6th. After previously missing the 2018 World Cup, a devastating blow to USMNT fans across the country, USMNT has qualified to place 5th in their CONCACAF qualifying group. I asked soccer superstar Drew Clothier ’24 how he felt about his beloved boys in blue missing out on the 2018 world cup. ” I was devastated. Almost as devastated I was when Argentina lost in the final in 2014″. To put it into perspective just how long 8 years is, the last time we were able to watch the US in the world cup we were still in lower school. Since not qualifying Following a 2-0 loss to Japan and a 0-0 draw to Saudi Arabia, some fans aren’t very optimistic about the upcoming tournament although we seem to forget that they are just scrimmages. Alongside the US in the group, B are England, Wales, and Iran. England is the clear favorite to come out on top, Iran is a promising young team, and Wales who’s always a tough opponent with Gareth Bale on their side. Wales’s qualification makes this only their second world cup appearance ever, with their first being in 1958. Numerous vegas casinos, have England at a 67% chance to win the group. Despite it being a tough group many USMNT fans can agree that it is a slightly more relaxed group compared to their 2014 ” group of death ” which included Ghana, Portugal, Germany, and the US. France, England, Spain, and Brazil are the four favorites to win the entire tournament according to oddsmakers, followed by Argentina, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In total, only 8 countries have won the world cup, and 7 are returning with Italy being the odd man out.

When Qatar initially won the bid to host the 2022 world cup, it was decided that the competition would be played in the summer. There were tons of concerns with this decision considering temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees in Qatar during the summertime. It took nearly 5 years but Fifa eventually ruled that it would be safer for the fans and the players that the tournament is hosted in the cooler months of November and December. Officials in Qatar spent more than 4 billion dollars on renovating stadiums and building newer and bigger stadiums in and around the capital city of Doha so that the city would be capable of hosting such a large event. Most of the stadiums built were built with ventilation systems for air conditioning to allow for cooler temperatures inside the stadium. Organizers expect more than one million fans to be in attendance for the world cup. Over the tournament, all games will be played in a tight circle of 8 stadiums in Doha. This makes the 2022 world cup easily the most compact world cup that we have ever seen. One big difference that we will see this world cup is a rule change that will allow coaches to make 5 substitutions in a game. Fifa also changed the roster limit from 23 to 26. Since the tragic day of October 10th, 2017 when the USMNT failed to qualify for the 2018 world cup in Russia following a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago, Usmnt fans have been waiting patiently for the opportunity to watch the boys in blue on the world stage. I asked wrestling stud Matt Morisson ’25 how he felt about the upcoming tournament. Matthew says ” I am not the biggest fan of soccer, I’m more of a wrestling guy. With that being said I’m excited for this opportunity to support my beloved country in the world cup 2022″. I’m sure that Matthew speaks for all of us when he says that he’s excited to support his country. The prospect of another world cup in just 1 month has all of us excited. With all of this speculation on who will turn out on top, we just have to wait and let the results speak for themselves.