World Cup roster reveals elicit plenty of jubilation, but there’s inevitable sadness as well – not everyone makes it.
FC Dallas winger Paul Arriola can attest to that after not being named to the US men’s national team's 26-man squad for Qatar 2022.
The official list was announced Wednesday, less than two weeks before Group B play begins against Wales (Nov. 21). And Arriola wasn’t among the seven forwards called up, nor the nine MLS selections.
“The past few days have been extremely difficult,” the 27-year-old shared in a Twitter post. “Some of the hardest I’ve had in a while. I am heartbroken not to be included on the final World Cup roster.”
Arriola is coming off a strong season with FC Dallas, notching 10 goals and seven assists in 32 games after his move from D.C. United set a league-record trade. They earned the West’s No. 3 seed in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs, and Arriola shined alongside World Cup-bound USMNT striker Jesús Ferreira.
Arriola has remained a key figure during manager Gregg Berhalter’s tenure, sitting on 10 goals in 48 caps. He featured in five of 14 Concacaf Octagonal games as the Yanks finished in third place, behind both Canada and Mexico.
Even still, Arriola isn’t turning his head on his teammates.
“Being around the national team for years, you learn that it is such a privilege to represent your country and I know I have never taken it for granted,” Arriola wrote.
“The one thing I know for sure is that I will be rooting for my teammates when they play and I hope our country comes together to support this amazing group.”
By the 2026 World Cup, Arriola will be 31. It’s still entirely feasible he makes that roster, should his production levels stay strong before Canada, Mexico and the US co-host an expanded 48-team tournament.