USA v Wales Preview: Two different droughts come to an end

usa v wales

It’s been 64 years for Wales. Eight years for the USA. At 2 p.m. ET Monday will see both of those World Cup droughts coming to an end. The most important game in the group stage for both of these teams, and it’s the first one of the tournament. It’s sure to be a fun one, so let’s take a look at the squads, and how this game might play out.



The USMNT are coming to Qatar with one of the most inexperienced squads, and one of the younger ones as well. Inter Miami’s Deandre Yedlin is the only American to have appeared in a World Cup. He was apart of the squad that went to Brazil in 2014. With an average age of 25 years and 175 days, the US check in as the 2nd youngest squad, only Ghana are younger at 24 years old. Wales, on the other hand, obviously don’t have a single player with World Cup experience. They check in at an average age of 26, and are one of the younger sides as well.

Key To The Game

Wales are a team that like to bunker down and defend, while trying to hit you on a counter attack. With talented attackers in Gareth Bale, Daniel James, and Kieffer Moore likely being in the starting XI, that’s a very realistic possibility. If the USMNT can open the game up, and break down the low block, the US should be able to control the game. We saw what the opposite of that looked like during the Japan and Saudi Arabia matches. A 2-0 loss to Japan was very eye opening, but the 0-0 draw to Saudi Arabia was frankly more telling. For either of these teams to have success at this Word Cup, this game is the key.

Projected Starting XIs

Gregg’s Berhalter likes to line up in a 4-3-3 formation, and I don’t see him changing things around for Wales. My prediction for the yanks is as follows:

GK Matt Turner

LB Antonee Robinson

CB Aaron Long

CB Walker Zimmerman

RB Sergino Dest

CDM Tyler Adams

CM Weston McKennie

CM Yunus Musah

LW Christian Pulisic

ST Jesus Ferreira

RW Timothy Weah

Wales manager Rob Page typically likes to switch formations around, but tends to lean 3-4-3. My prediction for Wales line up is this:

GK Wayne Hennessey

CB Ethan Ampadu

CB Ben Davies

CB Joe Rodon

RM Connor Roberts

CM Joe Allen

CM Aaron Ramsey

LM Neco Williams

LW Gareth Bale

ST Kieffer Moore

RW Daniel James

Game Prediction

I’m anticipating this to be a slow, pragmatic game to start. Both sides are coming off of World Cup droughts, and I think this will be 0-0 at halftime. I think play opens up, and the USA show their quality over Wales, and nab a second half winner to take all three points in their first World Cup match since 2014. 1-0 Final score, Brenden Aaronson winner.