USMNT lineup vs. Wales: Ream, Sargent get nod in World Cup opener


The starting XI is set for the US men’s national team’s first World Cup game in over eight years.

Head coach Gregg Berhalter has put Fulham center back Tim Ream and Norwich City striker Josh Sargent into his lineup for Monday’s Group B opener against LAFC forward Gareth Bale and Wales (2 pm ET | FOX, Telemundo).

AC Milan right back Sergino Dest and Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie are both healthy enough to start after pre-Qatar 2022 injury scares, and ditto for Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner.

Borussia Dortmund attacker Gio Reyna and Leeds United midfielder Brenden Aaronson are both available off the bench.

Nashville SC center back Walker Zimmerman is the Yanks' sole MLS starter at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. FC Dallas striker Jesus Ferreira, the 2022 MLS Young Player of the Year, is a possible substitute after Berhalter opted for Sargent. Presumably, Ream was preferred to New York Red Bulls center back Aaron Long.

The starting XI has an average age of 25 years, 102 days – the fourth-youngest USMNT lineup at a FIFA World Cup. All 11 players will make their FIFA World Cup debut, while 10 starters represent clubs in Europe – the highest number ever for a USMNT World Cup lineup.

After facing Wales, the USMNT will also meet England (Nov. 25) and Iran (Nov. 29). The group’s top two finishers reach the 16-team knockout stages.

Earlier on Monday, England routed Iran by a 6-2 scoreline.

By position, here’s the likely 4-3-3 formation set-up (left to right):

  • Goalkeeper: Matt Turner (Arsenal)
  • Defenders: Antonee “Jedi” Robinson (Fulham), Tim Ream (Fulham), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC), Sergino Dest (AC Milan)
  • Midfielders: Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Weston McKennie (Juventus)
  • Forwards: Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Josh Sargent (Norwich City), Tim Weah (Lille)