The 2022 World Cup draw is now official and the consensus seems to be that it is about as fair and equal as any in recent memory. There really isn’t a traditional group of death where three or four traditional powers will invariably knock out a potential favorite, and no traditional power has gotten such a favorable draw that it’s cake for the knockout stages.
As such, no one can complain, including teams with potential ties to the Seattle Sounders. Let’s take a look:
Just based on the average FIFA rankings, USA Group B is arguably the toughest in the draw. England (5) headline a group that also includes Iran (21) and the winner of the UEFA qualifiers which will pit Wales (18) against winners Ukraine ( 27) and Scotland (39). As difficult as it may seem on paper, neither of these teams should be considered unbeatable for the United States, who could easily finish anywhere from first to fourth.
I just spoke with Zack Steffen.
He said he saw Jack Grealish this morning at Man City, and Grealish said to him: “Ohh, hope we draw you guys!”
Steffen, smiling: “It’s funny how the world works”
— Henry Bushnell (@HenryBushnell) April 1, 2022
The United States will face the winner of the UEFA qualifiers on November 21, then face England on November 25 and close with Iran on November 29. The group faces Group A in the round of 16 and could possibly include a USA-Mexico match in the quarterfinals.
Assuming Peru can sail into the June Intercontinental Qualifiers against the winner Australia-UAE (not a gimme), they would be drawn into a Group D which looks pretty stacked. France (3) are the clear favorites with Denmark (11) a likely dark horse choice to win it all. Tunisia (35) completes the group.
Peru will play their last qualifier on June 13 or 14 in Qatar, then face France on November 22, Tunisia on November 26 and Denmark on November 30. Group D will face Group C in the Round of 16. .
Nouhou’s Indomitable Lions have their work cut out after being drawn into Group G with Brazil (1), Switzerland (14) and Serbia (25). From a purely narrative perspective, it will be fun to see Nouhou potentially matching Neymar, Dušan Tadić and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Chicago Fire and Swiss national team striker Xherdan Shaqiri after being dragged into the potential squad of death:
“There are some really tough groups, we are sure to be in one of them. But there are no weak teams, only the best teams in the world can play the World Cup.”
—Tom Bogert (@tombogert) April 1, 2022
Cameroon will start with Switzerland on November 24, then face Serbia on November 28 and finish with Brazil on December 2. They will face Group H in the round of 16, then F and E in the quarters.
Given that Group A was the one led by Qatar (51), it was widely predicted to be the ‘softest’ group. It turned out that he actually has the highest average FIFA rating (31.75). That doesn’t mean they’re an easy group, though. The Netherlands (10) are the clear favorites and Senegal (20) are the highest rated team in Africa.
Ecuador will play the opening match of the tournament against Qatar on November 21, then face the Netherlands on November 25 and finish with Senegal on November 29. They will face Group B USA in the Round of 16.