Jose Mourinho’s box office press conference as Man United boss

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Ah, it’s good to have you back.

Jose Mourinho gave his first press conference as Manchester United manager on Tuesday and, as you can expect, it was box office.

Mourinho, 53, signed a three-year deal to take charge of United in June and has already made key signings before they head away on their preseason tour of China.

[ MORE: Matuidi to Man United? ]

Speaking to a packed press room in Manchester, Mourinho touched on many topics including where he plans to strengthen the team, where Wayne Rooney will play, what happened to Ryan Giggs, his record of promoting youth players and had a little dig at Arsene Wenger too.

There were also some lighthearted moments as umbrella’s and wine were mentioned in the same sentence as Sir Alex Ferguson but mostly it was all business from Mourinho.

[ MORE: Lozano to join United after Rio? ]

No “Special One” moments but he delivered a masterclass of setting out his stall and keeping everyone intrigued as to what’s coming up at Old Trafford this season.

“This is not a dream job, this is reality. I am Man United manager. The reality is that it is a club that everyone wants and not many have a chance to have. I have it and I know the responsibility and the expectations,” Mourinho said. “This challenge doesn’t make me nervous. My history in the last 10 years or more was to always believe in the big clubs and expectations. I think it comes at the right moment of my career. I feel very well prepared, very stable and with a great motivation. I can say I am where I want to be.”

Below you will find a transcript from the press conference and throughout the day at ProSoccerTalk we will be reacting to these juicy comments from Mourinho.

Here’s the man himself…


On the aim for this season

“I feel a little but frustrated I am not playing in the Champions League. I don’t hide that I chase Sir Alex Ferguson’s record in the Champions League, the number of matches as a manager. Man United is a Champions League club and we have to make sure that in July 2017, instead of waiting for the Europa League playoffs and the group draw, we have to make sure this club is where it has to be which is obviously the Champions League.

“I was never good hiding behind words or hiding behind philosophies. In fact I never tried to be good at that. I was always much more aggressive in my approach, with the risks that can obviously bring. It would be easy to be honest and pragmatic from myself if I decide to focus on the last three years, to focus on the fact that we don’t qualify for Champions League and so on and so on. It would be quite pragmatic to say let’s work and let’s try and get back to the Champions League, let’s try to get back to the top four and let’s try to do well in the Europa League. I’m not good on that. I prefer to be more aggressive and to be more aggressive is to say that we want to win. We want to win.

“Probably I can anticipate that any one of you will come later with a question about style of play and what is before, the results or the style of play? I can imagine these questions are around the corner and I can anticipate by saying you can win a short competition and a couple of matches without playing well but you can’t win competitions without playing well. What is playing well? Playing well is scoring more goals than the opponent, to concede less goals than the opponent, is to make your fans proud because you give absolutely everything, to make your fans proud because you win. So we want everything at the same time. Again, it is an aggressive approach by myself. I want everything. I want to win matches. I want to play well. I want to play young players. I want to score goals. I don’t want to concede goals. I want the fans to be behind us if in the last 10 minutes we are chasing results. I want the fans behind us because in the last 10 minutes we are defending a result.

“I want everything. Of course, we are not going to get everything. Of course. But we want to.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 5: New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during his introduction to the media at Old Trafford on July 5, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

On if he has something to prove after being fired at Chelsea

“There are some managers, the last time they won a title was 10 years ago. Some of them, the last time they won the title was never. The last time I won the title was one year ago. It wasn’t 10 years ago, 15 years ago. It was one year ago. If I have a lot to prove, imagine the others. The reality is that it was never important for me. I play against myself, that is my feeling many, many times. I feel like I have to prove not to the others, I have to prove to myself. That is my nature. I would never be able to work without success. That’s my nature. I have to always find the reasons why I have questions towards myself and the people working with me. It is my nature. That is why I could approach this job in a defensive point of view saying ‘yes the last three years the best we did was fourth, the best we did was an FA Cup’ and I could go into that side. I can’t go. It is my nature. We used to say in big clubs, and I’ve worked in some big clubs before, obviously Man United by the social point of view is a completely different dimension. The reality is that when people have year after year a certain type of menu, the menu has to change for better, not for worse.

“Man United fans for so many years success was just routine. In this moment, the last three years, to forget. The last three years I want to forget. I don’t want the players to start the season by thinking we have to do better. What is to do better? To do better is to finish fourth. To finish fourth is not the aim. This is what I do with myself. I am 53. I am not 63 or 73. Maybe you are tired of myself because I started so early at the highest level but I am 53. I am a very young manager. If I have this approach of not trying to prove myself, not trying to prove to the others, not going for big challenges, then I am in trouble. The reality is that I was in trouble for the last five months. That was when I was in trouble. The first month was fine. The second month was not so good and after the second month was a disaster.”

On exactly where he plans to strengthen this team 

“We made a nucleus of four positions as priorities to give a certain balance to the squad, to give a certain push in terms of quality and in terms of the qualities that I need and I want. As you know especially the ones with more vision, as you know I am a manager who likes specialists and not so much the multi-functional players because I am very clear in my approach and model of play. I need specialists. I want specialists.

“We decided four targets and from these four we have three. Until we don’t have the fourth, we are still working hard. Myself, the structure, Mr. Woodward, the owners, we are working hard on that. When we have the fourth, I breathe, we all breathe and the market will be open because we are not going to get the fourth on the 31 August, no way. We will get him before that and then we are stable. But the market will be open.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 5: New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during his introduction to the media at Old Trafford on July 5, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

On his so-called poor record of promoting youth players to the first team

“Do you want to know how many young players I promote to the first team from the academy? 49. Do you want to know who they are? 49. 49. If you want, or if anybody is interested, I can give you them. I promote 49 players from the academies from the club and with two factors which are very important from this matter. Sometimes you promote players because we don’t have another chance because you have so many injuries you don’t have a choice. The second factor is when you are not playing for big targets it is also easier to bring them up, outside the pressure of the big moments. My record of injuries is very, very low. Even in many years, the UEFA Champions League studies, my teams were many times the teams with the least injuries in the whole of Europe. I never promote players because of a need, I did it for conviction and a decision. The second factor is last year the only season of my career I was not fighting for the title because in every other season it was winning, or finishing second or third once. I was fighting for the title until the last moment, it was never a situation of stability and no pressure to promote players.

“I did 49. Some of the them, we are speaking about big names. We are speaking about today for example are Champions League winners, players that are in the Euros playing for national teams. 49 is a lot. Once more, one lie repeated many times. Sometimes it looks like it is true but it is always a lie. For many, many times many of you with intention, without intention, that’s not the point, I don’t care about it, it was not true. 49. If you want the names, I give you the names. That is no problem for me to prove to you that I am speaking right.”

On Ryan Giggs leaving Manchester United after 29 years as a player and coach

“About Ryan, I want to make it clear. The reality is it is not my responsibility that Ryan is not in the club. The job Ryan wanted is the job the club decided to give me. It is not my fault. Ryan wanted to be Man United manager. The club, for the reasons they can tell you, they decided the job was for me. From this moment, Ryan wants to be a manager like 16 years ago when I decided myself I want to be a manager. For many of us, coaches, we start as assistant coaches, then arrives a decision and Ryan made his decision. So when you are speaking about, did I offer him a job? He could be what he wanted in the club. The club wanted to give him any important job. He made a decision, a decision where you need to be brave. It is not easy.

“Ryan is leaving his house. He was here 29 years. Not 29 days. He was brave. He was honest. Good luck. If, one day, he wants to be back at the club, while I am here, I will never stop him to come back. I will always say yes if the club asks my opinion and if one day the club offers him the chance to become the manager I think it is something natural and consequence of his success in his managerial career.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 5: New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during his introduction to the media at Old Trafford on July 5, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

On advice from Sir Alex Ferguson

“Bring the umbrella and yesterday I couldn’t believe it was raining at the training ground, so it was great advice! And the second advice was to bring my typical bottle of wine because now we are going to have many occasions to be together. In this moment Sir Alex is on a bit of a holiday at a bit of the Euros so I cannot see him this week but when his summer holidays are finished, I will be based in Manchester, he is the same. We will have lots of times to meet each other. He will always be welcome to the training ground, obviously, and we will have time to share a lot of our personal stuff. Friends, family, life. Obviously he is an important opinion for me. The same way so many legends in this club they love the club, some of them are in the pundits industry in this moment. Every opinion will be important for me. Agreeing, not agreeing. But people who love the club and have a big connection with the club will always be respected by myself. I will always give a look to try and learn from them what they can teach me.”

On Wayne Rooney‘s position being in midfield or as a striker

“In football there are many jobs, there are many jobs on the field. The one that is more difficult to find is the guy who puts the ball in the net. Obviously the players change during the years, their qualities, their characteristics. It is normal that a player at this age changes a little bit but there is something that will never change. That is the natural appetite to put the ball in the net. So maybe he is not a striker anymore, maybe he is not a number nine anymore, but with me he will be never a number six, never somebody playing 50 meters away from goal. You can tell me his pass is amazing. Yes, his pass is amazing, but my pass is also amazing without pressure. There are many players with a great pass but to be there and put the ball in the net, that is the most difficult thing you have to find. For me he will be a nine, he will be a ten, he will be a nine and-a-half but not a six, not even an eight.”

World Cup 2022 schedule – how to watch, groups, calendar, match schedule, brackets, dates

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The World Cup 2022 schedule is locked in and there is so much to look forward to ahead of the tournament in Qatar in November and December, as it is officially underway!

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock ]

Saudi Arabia and Japan have already pulled off huge upset wins over Argentina and Germany respectively as the tournament has got off to a flying start.

From the USMNT facing England the day after Thanksgiving to Mexico and Argentina squaring off in the group stages, Spain facing Germany, and Belgium vs Canada, there are plenty of intriguing games in the opening round.

[ MORE: World Cup rosters for all 32 teams ]

Then we have the Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and final to look forward to. Bring. It. On.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]  

Below is the schedule in full, details on how to watch the games and everything else you need..

[ MORE: World Cup odds ]


World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

  • When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!


Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H

Group A schedule (all kick off times ET)

Recap/highlights: Qatar 0-2 Ecuador – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Senegal 0-2 Netherlands – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Qatar 1-3 Senegal – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Tuesday, November 29: Netherlands vs Qatar – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 10am
Tuesday, November 29: Ecuador vs Senegal –  Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Group B schedule

Recap/highlights: England 6-2 Iran – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: USA 1-1 Wales – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: England 0-0 USA – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-2 Iran – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Tuesday, November 29: Wales vs England – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Tuesday November 29: Iran vs USA – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Group C schedule

Recap/highlights: Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Mexico 0-0 Poland – Stadium 974, Doha
Saturday, November 26: Argentina vs Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Saturday, November 26: Poland vs Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 8am
Wednesday, November 30: Poland vs Argentina – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm
Wednesday, November 30: Saudi Arabia vs Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm

Group D schedule

Recap/highlights: France 4-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Denmark 0-0 Tunisia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Saturday, November 26: France vs Denmark – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
Saturday, November 26: Tunisia vs Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 5am
Wednesday, November 30: Tunisia vs France –  Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Wednesday, November 30: Australia vs Denmark – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am

Group E schedule

Recap/highlights: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Germany 1-2 Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Sunday, November 27: Spain vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm
Sunday, November 27: Japan vs Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 5am
Thursday, December 1: Japan vs Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Thursday, December 1: Costa Rica vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Group F schedule

Recap/highlights: Belgium 1-0 Canada – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Morocco 0-0 Croatia – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Sunday, November 27: Belgium vs Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 8am
Sunday, November 27: Croatia vs Canada – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 11am
Thursday, December 1: Croatia vs Belgium – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Thursday, December 1: Canada vs Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 10am

Group G schedule

Recap/highlights: Brazil 2-0 Serbia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Monday, November 28: Brazil vs Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
Monday, November 28: Cameroon vs Serbia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 5am
Friday, December 2: Cameroon vs Brazil – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Friday, December 2: Serbia vs Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm

Group H schedule

Recap/highlights: Portugal 3-2 Ghana – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Uruguay 0-0 South Korea – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Monday, November 28: Portugal vs Uruguay – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Monday, November 28: South Korea vs Ghana – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 8am
Friday, December 2: South Korea vs Portugal – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Friday, December 2: Ghana vs Uruguay – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am


Round of 16 schedule

Match 49 – Saturday, December 3: Winner Group A vs Runners up Group B – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 50 – Saturday, December 3:  Winners Group C vs Runners up Group D – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm

Match 52 – Sunday, December 4: Winners Group D vs Runners up Group C – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha – 10am

Match 51 – Sunday, December 4: Winners Group B vs Runners up Group A – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Match 53 – Monday, December 5: Winners Group E vs Runners up Group F – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am

Match 54 – Monday, December 5: Winners Group G vs Runners up Group H – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm

Match 55 – Tuesday, December 6: Winners Group F vs Runners up Group E – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 56 – Tuesday, December 6: Winners Group H vs Runners up Group G – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm


Quarterfinal schedule

Match 58 – Friday, December 9: Winners Match 53 vs Winners Match 54 – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 57 – Friday, December 9: Winners Match 49 vs Winners Match 50 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am

Match 60 – Saturday, December 10: Winners Match 55 vs Winners Match 56 – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha – 10am

Match 59 – Saturday, December 10: Winners Match 51 vs Winners Match 52 – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Semifinal schedule

Match 61 – Tuesday, December 13: Winners Match 57 vs Winners Match 58 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm

Match 62 – Wednesday, December 14: Winners Match 59 vs Winners Match 60 – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Third-place play-off

Match 63 – Saturday, December 17: Losers Match 61 vs Losers Match 62 – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm


Final

Match 64 – Sunday, December 18: Winners Match 61 vs Winners Match 62 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am

USA impress as they hold England to draw, keep last 16 hopes alive

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The USA impressed massively as Gregg Berhalter’s young side drew 0-0 with England and were unlucky not to win their Group B game.

FULL MATCH REPLAY

Christian Pulisic hit the crossbar in the first half and Weston McKennie should have put them ahead as the young Americans were by far the more aggressive team.

England went close through Harry Kane, Mason Mount and then Kane sent a header wide in second half stoppage time but in truth a draw was probably the fair result.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

That leaves England top of Group B and only need to lose by less than four goals against Wales to reach the last 16, while the USA now know a win against Iran in their final game will also see them reach the knockout rounds.


Energy, grit sees USA almost upset England and set up epic Iran clash

This was so much better than expected from the USA. From start to finish they had more energy, more creativity and took the game to England. Not content with just getting a draw, they were the only team really pushing for the win. It was impressive to see from such a young team and Gregg Berhalter should be praised for the unit he has built. Every single player knew their job and the inclusion of Haji Wright up top helped give the USMNT a focal point and gave their wingers and full backs more time to cut inside and cause problems out wide.

England were bad, very bad, but they just couldn’t cope with the USMNT’s press. Now we will find out if this all-energy display can be replicated against a very experienced Iran side in four days’ time as the equation is very simple for the USMNT: win and they’re in the last 16. Ahead of the tournament every U.S. fan, player and coach would have snapped your hand off if you offered them that deal.


Stars of the show

Antonee Robinson: What a display down the left as he shut down Bukayo Saka and gave the U.S. options going forward. He and Dest offered so much on the ball.

Tyler Adams: The captain led by example and led the press which rattled England. Adams is the heartbeat of this team and everyone feeds off the fire he brings. McKennie was also everywhere pushing forward in his hybrid role on the right.

England vs USA
Graphic via FotMob.com

How to watch England vs USA live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET – Friday, November 25 
Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Full time! England 0-0 USA – The U.S. will be delighted with that result but most importantly that performance. What a moment for the young squad.

A very even second half and England are really struggling to get any momentum.

Half time! England 0-0 USA – A very good first from the USMNT who had the better chances. Mason Mount had a decent chance late on but Matt Turner made a good stop. Very impressive from Gregg Berhalter.

Close! Weston McKennie has a great chance and should score. Brilliant cross from Weah and McKennie puts it over.

A decent start from the USMNT. Very solid. Harry Kane’s blocked shot the only chance of the game.

Hello and welcome to everyone on Black Friday! Here we go then. The months of build up are over. England vs USA is here. Gareth Southgate has named an unchanged team for the first time in 53 games. Gregg Berhalter has made one change with Haji Wright coming in for Josh Sargent up top. All of the talking is done. Let the action begin.


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Berhalter is under pressure to start the likes of Brenden Aaronson and Gio Reyna (who didn’t feature at all against Wales despite being 100 percent fit) as the USMNT have to make more of winning the ball high up the pitch. They did that time and time again against Wales and should have been up by a couple of goals before the Welsh made a tactical change which Berhalter didn’t react well to. Getting Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah to combine in the final third is going to be key and the USA will have to keep the ball better than they did against Wales if they’re going to get anything out of this game. However, the USA did beat England at the 1950 World Cup in one of the biggest shocks in history and they drew 1-1 in 2010 when they last met in this tournament. Gregg Berhalter has confirmed that McKennie and Dest are both ‘fine’ and that Reyna’s omission against Wales was a ‘coaches decision’ and he is available to play against England.

The Three Lions were irresistible in attack against Iran and Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane linked up so well. However, there was an injury concern around Kane as he had a scan on an ankle knock ahead of this clash but he is fit to play. Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice were excellent in central midfield but England did look a little shaky at center back in the second half. The fact England could bring on Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford off the bench in attack shows their incredible squad depth. Harry Maguire is also fit, so too is Kyle Walker after he missed the last few months through injury. 


England vs USA head-to-head

  • This is the 12th meeting all-time between the USA and England. The U.S. is 2-8-1 overall (W-L-D)
  • It is the third meeting between these teams at the FIFA World Cup
  • The U.S. won famously in 1950, and drew against England in the group stage of the 2010 World Cup

Gareth Southgate confirms Harry Kane’s fitness, facing USA

“Harry is fine. He has worked slightly separately from the group but all good for Friday night,” Southgate said. “He had a scan [on Wednesday] to make sure everything is fine.”

“We have to make sure we are back to the psychological place we were at the start because the States will be an athletic team, press really well, be organised, well coached. They have quite a few players we know from the Premier League and they showed in the first half against Wales the best side of themselves,” Southgate added.

Gregg Berhalter on Southgate, power of the Premier League, “Golden Generation” tag

“Every Saturday morning Americans are watching the league and then seeing all the fan festivals, it’s an incredible league. We’re really proud to have our players playing there. To me, it’s similar to the NFL in terms of how dominant it is,” Berhalter added.


England quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 5
World Cup titles: 1 (1966)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Key players: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Pickford

USA quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 16
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 9
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (3rd place)
Coach: Gregg Berhalter
Key players: Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams


USMNT player ratings: A young team comes of age at the World Cup

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For 90 minutes on Friday, the USMNT outplayed England at the 2022 World Cup and looked like the side full of Premier League and global superstars.

[ MORE: England 0-0 USMNT recap & highlights | What we learned ]

For the second straight game, the Yanks came flying out of the starting gate and set the tempo early on. Only this time, they didn’t retreat into their shell. This young team is growing, very quickly, right before our eyes, in their most difficult game of the group stage, at a World Cup.


USMNT player ratings vs England

GK – Matt Turner: 7 – We knew he was the best shot-stopper in the USMNT player pool, but his distribution — both short and long — were fantastic on Friday. With England forced out wide and to cross so much, he had to be strong and confident going up to catch the ball. And he was.

RB – Sergiño Dest: 7.5 – One of his best performances for the USMNT, both attacking and defensively, as he, Tim Weah and Weston McKennie frequently overloaded Luke Shaw. England didn’t have an answer for their combination play down the right wing.

CB – Walker Zimmerman: 6.5 – Harry Kane’s impact on Friday’s game was virtually zero, with two, three and sometimes four blue shirts surrounding him every time he touched the ball, and Zimmerman was typically first on the scene with pressure hot on his heels (literally).

CB – Tim Ream: 7 – It’s been simply incredible to see Ream come into this team, take up a starting spot and thrive in his role as not only the elder statesman of the squad, but also the initiator of possession. And he’s been brilliant. Just brilliant.

LB – Antonee Robinson: 7 – Much like Dest on the right, Robinson was a menace down the left flank and keeping Bukayo Saka on the back foot for 78 minutes. Using possession to defend and control games is what the great teams do, and the USMNT came dangerously close to doing just that on Friday.


DM – Tyler Adams: 8 – Jude Bellingham posed a serious threat as the central midfield pushing forward into attack on the right side of midfield, but Adams did a fantastic job shadowing him anytime he made those runs forward and never letting the full backs become outnumbered. It was the biggest threat that the USMNT defense would face, and Adams effectively nullified it.

CM – Yunus Musah: 7 – No one was more calm or comfortable playing through England’s midfield, pressing or not, time and again on Friday. Every time Ream or Robinson found themselves in trouble, it was a stinging pass into Musah’s feet that got them out of it. He’s 19 years old and already the safety net for a side that has taken two massive steps toward the knockout rounds.

CM – Weston McKennie: 6.5 – The game’s best scoring chance fell to McKennie midway through the first half, a difficult chance on the half-volley from near the penalty spot. He has a reputation as a big-game player, so he’ll be expected to put that one away next time.


RW/CF – Tim Weah: 7 – Weah’s deployment as a more narrow winger/center forward hybrid gave England fits, occupying both center backs and pinning the full backs deeper defensively than they would have liked. After scoring in the manner he did against Wales, England were forced to respect his speed in behind, which created acres of space between the Three Lions’ midfield and defense for McKennie and Dest to exploit on the right and Robinson and Christian Pulisic on the left.

CF – Haji Wright: 6.5 – Hold-up play and the ability to occupy both center backs on his own were the reasons Wright was picked to start against England, and he provided plenty of both, and it was an incredibly important job that opened up space for the rest of the attack.

LW/LM – Christian Pulisic: 6.5 – Not his best game by any stretch, but he hit the crossbar late in the first half and was somewhat sacrificed in the 4-4-2/4-3-3 hybrid setup. He crossed the ball seven times, which will have played into England’s hands in keeping him out of the middle of the field, but it wasn’t a lost cause with Wright and Weah in the middle.

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World Cup 2022 Group B: England, USA, Iran, Wales schedule, fixtures, rankings

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With England, the USMNT, Wales and Iran placed together in Group B, this is an absolutely blockbuster group brimming with narratives.

Can the Three Lions take care of business with minimum fuss? Or will the USMNT, Wales and Iran cause upsets as their solid units all have talented attackers who can win a game in just one moment?

[ MORE: World Cup 2022 schedule, scores, hub ]

From Harry Kane leading England to Gareth Bale leading Wales’ charge to Christian Pulisic primed to push the USMNT towards the knockout rounds and Iran’s hopes pinned on prolific forward duo Azmoun and Taremi, this is going to be a tough group to call.

Many believe England are the favorites (especially after their big win against Iran in the opener) but Wales, the USMNT and Iran are very evenly matched (as the draw between the USA and Wales proved) and their world rankings — an average ranking of 15 if you combine all four teams — show just how tough this group will be.

Iran’s win against Wales has set up an incredible finale, as the USA know a win against Iran in their final group stage game sends them to the last 16. A win or draw for Iran sends them into the last 16, while England know a win against Wales wins them the group and anything other than a four-goal or more defeat to Wales sees them in the last 16.

[ MORE: Ranking every World Cup team, 32-1 ]

Below is everything you need to know on World Cup 2022 Group B.


Group B schedule (all kick off times ET)

Recap/highlights: England 6-2 Iran – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: USA 1-1 Wales – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: England 0-0 USA – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-2 Iran – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Tuesday, November 29: Wales vs England – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Tuesday November 29: Iran vs USA – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

  • When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 2pm (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

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Group B table

1. England – 4 points (+4 GD)
2. Iran – 3 points (-2)
3. USA – 2 points (0 GD)
4. Wales – 1 point (-2 GD)


England

Current FIFA world ranking: 5
World Cup titles: 1 (1966)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Key players: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Pickford

USA

Current FIFA world ranking: 16
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 9
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (3rd place)
Coach: Gregg Berhalter
Key players: Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams

Wales

Current FIFA world ranking: 19
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 1
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs, Path B
Coach: Rob Page
Key players: Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies

Iran

Current FIFA world ranking: 20
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group A)
Coach: Dragan Skocic
Key players: Ehsan Hajsafi, Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi