First-ever holiday season World Cup sees U.S. make return to global soccer stage
On November 20, all eyes will be on Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. The host country created eight stunning new stadiums for the global event and has been preparing for the tournament for years. All eight stadiums are in a tight circle around Qatar’s capital city of Doha, making it the most compact World Cup ever. Typically, the World Cup is held in the summer, but because of Qatar’s extremely hot temperatures throughout these months, the event was moved to November. This change is sure to bring soccer fans joy this holiday season, but the overwhelming heat is still a valid concern.
The tournament begins with a match between Qatar and Ecuador, with the rest of the matches taking place over the following month and concluding with the final on December 18. The U.S. makes its return to the World Cup stage after missing out on the 2014 competition, led by Chelsea midfielder Christian Pulisic. The U.S. finds itself in the same group as a talented England squad, which is coming off of a disappointing loss to Italy in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship. Wales and Iran round out this group, but many fans have their eyes on teams such as Brazil, France, Spain, and aforementioned England. Brazil has the best odds to win the tournament according to CBS Sports at +450, followed by France at +550 and England at +600. Other top-tier contenders include Germany, Belgium, Argentina, and the Netherlands. If the U.S. manages to make it out of Group B and secure a spot in the round of 16, they will face the winners from Group A, which includes Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, and the Netherlands. An important matchup occurs on Black Friday when the U.S. faces off against England at Al Bayt Stadium. Overall, the 2022 World Cup should be an exciting event that is definitely worth tuning into, especially if the Americans can make a deep run.