Waiting on the September FIFA window

Goal-Jordan-Maurice-United Nations-Union-In-El-Salvador-United Nations-June-2022

by Clemente Lizzie – New York, NY (June 20, 2022) NFL players – The June international window has expired. The schedule of friendlies and Nations League matches for both Concacaf and UEFA filled the time for many of us after most of the European seasons were over. These European leagues will be back in action when the calendar is broken again for the September window, the national team’s last game before the World Cup begins. This was scheduled for September 19-27, with time for two matches.

Given this World Cup reset schedule, it’s hard to underestimate the June window. The World Cup roster is set with the recent additions of Australia and Costa Rica, their respective play-off winners, to the 32-team stadium. For some teams, the Nations League results have raised important questions. For all participants, the right preparations are now being made in September.

For USMNT, the June camp tested positive. The team defeated Morocco and Grenada and drew with Uruguay and El Salvador. This final draw, a tough 1-1 match, took place on the road and in poor weather and field conditions. There are a lot of positives for coach Greg Berhalter to get out of these four games. As the USMNT prepares for the World Cup, here’s a look at five things to keep in mind while you wait for matches in September.

The groups are finally complete

It was a remake of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, in which one match was played on a neutral site in Qatar rather than on two legs. Australia and Peru join the field with all the World Cup teams working through compressed qualifying schedules to reach the final. The eight groups are evenly matched, which means that they are all competitive. This is very good for the game and the fans.

With that said, there is always a group that seems tougher than the rest, especially for a team looking for an unexpected path. This will be what Costa Rica has gained after defeating New Zealand. They play against Spain, Japan and Germany in Group E, with European teams among the favorites for the usual reasons. It’s easier for Australia, having joined Group D with France, Tunisia and Denmark.

What about group B?

Wales joined Group B as the highest-ranked team from the rest of the UEFA play-off match. That’s no surprise, but they do join the England seeded squad against their home country alongside Wales and USMNT. It’s a group that the United States can certainly make out of, but the past World Cup has shown that anything can happen.

England’s window was poor in June, including a 4-0 defeat to Hungary in the Nations League. After winning the UEFA World Cup qualifiers, Wales had their own problems in the Nations League. Iran was lethargic during the window after Canada canceled a planned friendly match in Vancouver. As players and pundits have mentioned, it’s simply too early to have a clear idea of ​​what the teams will look like in September, let alone November.

Who are the first favorites?

The usual suspects are the favorites to win it. Five-time champions Brazil will always be in the conversation, as will Argentina. They represent the two best South American teams. From Europe, defending champion France is the favourite, although the team has not won a World Cup back-to-back since Brazil in 1962. The list is complemented by England, despite a recent poor performance, by reconstructed Spain, which reached the semi-finals From Euro 2020, Germany and Portugal. Foreigners like Belgium and the Netherlands can bring some surprises.

How does the World Cup affect local tournaments?

The 2022-23 European seasons should be interesting as they will need to be suspended to accommodate the Winter World Cup. What this will mean in practice is the question. While tournaments usually break for international windows in October and November, starting the World Cup during the season is a new concept. Well, at least in Europe. For other parts of the world, including the United States, the World Cup will be held during the season as usual.

Not the time for Major League Soccer, which will end the 2022 season on November 5. Although the 2019 season ended on November 10, this would be the closest end to the season since 2002. At that time, the season usually ended in October. With an early start, MLS enters the games. By moving the MLS Cup into early November, there’s less chance of some finals we’ve seen in cold weather cities.

Mexico is in Group C and Canada is in Group F.

Mexico faces questions about its offensive and looks for ways to eliminate opportunities. The final score in June was a 1-1 draw with Jamaica in the Nations League, which only heightened the perception that this team needs to tackle issues. They will start early with an out-of-the-window friendly against Paraguay scheduled in Atlanta on August 31.

Canada lost their last match in June 2-1 to Honduras in the Nations League, once again showing the level of difficulty in the overseas fixtures at CONCACAF. Getting ready for Belgium and Croatia is the same problem for UEFA as the rest of the World Cup. UEFA plays Nations League matches in September, leaving most European teams unavailable for friendlies in the last international window before the World Cup.

Clemente Lisi is a regular contributor to American Football Players. He is the author of The History of the World Cup: 1930-2018.

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Photo by John Dorton – ISIPhotos.com

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