The United States men’s national team will play their first game at a men’s FIFA World Cup for the first time in 3,065 days when they battle Wales on Monday. It’s Group B play and the Americans are back in the biggest competition in the world after failing to qualify for the 2018 edition. They will battle a Welsh team that made it to the cup through the playoff route with Gareth Bale leading the way.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more — and while you’re at it, sign up for our new newsletter covering the beautiful game in all its glory, including daily updates about the World Cup, here.
How to watch and odds
- Date: Monday, Nov. 21 | Time: 2 p.m. ET
- Location: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium — Al-Rayyan, Qatar
- TV: Fox and Telemundo | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
- Odds: USA +130; Draw +200; Wales +240 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
USMNT: This team does not enter with much momentum, a product of losing to Japan and drawing Saudi Arabia in September. Add to that the fact that both goalkeeper Zack Steffen and striker Ricardo Pepi were left home, and you just have to wonder what this team will look like and how they will perform. Wales have more experience, and this will be no easy game. Expect it to be ugly at times with the U.S. needing some individual brilliance to create danger.
Wales: Gareth Bale is fresh off winning MLS Cup with LAFC, scoring a clutch goal in the final to force penalty kicks. But, he enters this game fresh as he didn’t play all that much for the team since moving from Real Madrid over the summer. But this team goes as Bale goes. They are going to need him to consistently score or set up his teammates for them to have a real shot of escaping this group.
An ugly match sees the United States in a point to kick off the tournament, putting huge pressure on this team ahead of facing England on Friday. Pick: USMNT 1, Wales 1