QATAR – After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup tournament, the U.S. Men’s National Team is looking to run the table this year to make up for lost time – and these Missourians hope to help the team do that.
Two players from the St. Louis area made the final roster: Josh Sargent from O’Fallon, and Tim Ream from St. Louis.
Sargent is one of the youngest players on the squad at just 22 years old, and plays professionally for Norwich City in England. He scored in his very first appearance for the USMNT in 2018, becoming the second-youngest player ever to score for Team USA at just 18 years and 102 days old. Sargent has notched a total of five goals in 20 appearances for the national team.
On the other end of the spectrum, Ream is the oldest player on the roster and eighth oldest to ever play in the World Cup for Team USA. The 35-year-old defender has made 46 appearances with the national team, and plays professionally for Fulham F.C. in England. He also spent two seasons in the MLS with the New York Red Bulls.
Ream and Sargent both played high school soccer at St. Dominic High School in St. Louis.
The USMNT is a very young team, with an average age of about 25 and a half years, but its starting lineup is even younger. Team USA has by far the youngest starting lineup with an average age of under 24 years old, almost two years younger than the next-youngest team in Ghana.
After a long push to qualify for the tournament, Team USA finished third in the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) standings, securing one of 32 spots for the cup.
The team must finish in the top two in Group B – which includes England, Wales and Iran – to move on to the round of 16.
The first match is against Wales at 1 p.m. Monday. The national team will then play England on Friday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m., and finish up with a contest against Iran on Friday, Nov. 29 at 1 p.m. All games will be broadcast on FOX.
Although the World Cup is the largest and most-watched sporting event in the world, for Missouri there is some local intrigue as well this year.