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USMNT preview for October World Cup qualifiers

The Americans will be without Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna but Weston McKennie comes back.

Canada v USMNT
Sergino Dest of the United States looks for an open man downfield during a game between Canada and USMNT at Nissan Stadium on September 5, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The USMNT enters October’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers in third place, a slightly dangerous position to be in given the qualification process for soccer’s biggest event. The Americans have to finish in the top three to automatically gain qualification for the World Cup, with a fourth-place finish resulting in a playoff against a country from another federation.

Team USA is tied with Canada and Panama with five points. The three teams are also tied on goal differential, meaning a few bad results here and there could result in the Americans being put in a precarious position ahead of November’s slate. Here’s how the schedule looks for the USMNT in October.

Thursday, October 7 - USA vs. Jamaica
Sunday, October 10 - USA vs. Panama
Wednesday, October 13 - USA vs. Costa Rica

The Jamaicans are last in the table and should not provide much of a challenge, but Panama and Costa Rica are in the fourth and fifth spot, respectively, vying to stay alive in the qualification process. There’s still more games to go after this October set, but Team USA must at least maintain ground here.

One area of concern for the Americans will be the roster. Christian Pulisic and Giovanni Reyna will be out due to injury. Josh Sargent also won’t feature in the October schedule. That’s three key attacking players for USA out. Weston McKennie returning does provide a solid presence in midfield but the Americans won’t be at full strength.

Sergino Dest, Tyler Adams, and goalkeeper Zack Steffen represent other familiar names for USA fans hoping to see the country’s most promising group line up one through 11. It won’t happen in October but the Americans hope it happens at the World Cup.