Team USA begins its Nations League title defense when it hosts Grenada on Friday (7 p.m. PT, TUDN) at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.
One year after winning the tournament against Mexico in an exciting final, the Americans are looking to continue the success of the tournament, but with their minds set on the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
The Stars and Stripes team returned to the World Cup after failing to qualify for Russia 2018, and after the positive results in the recent regional tournaments and the success of many of its players in Europe, it is excited to develop a good role in the Mediterranean country. .
“This tournament helped us a lot to gain confidence, and for the whole team, winning this tournament for the first time was very important,” said Paul Areola. “We are gaining confidence in our ability to win trophies and trophies. The most important thing for us is to defend our title and also keep trying to improve before the World Cup.”
And it will be the last official match for the United States against Granada before its participation in Qatar 2022, so the players consider it a farewell match in front of their fans.
“We are very focused on the next match because it is the last home before the World Cup,” the midfielder said. “We will try to give a lot of joy and confidence to the fans and us as a team in this tournament this year before the World Cup.”
The competition for the last spots on the final list, which will go to Qatar 2022, has reached its final stage and the double day of this tournament will help Greg Berhalter determine some of the positions.
After the final against Granada, the Americans will travel to El Salvador at Estadio Cuscatlan on Tuesday, June 14th.
Jordan Morris, one of the stars of this selection, acknowledged the strong internal competition and saw it as beneficial to the aspirations of bringing a competent team to Qatar.
“Everyone is competitive, everyone is competing to the max, but it was done the right way and we are brothers, we root for each other,” said the Seattle Sounders forward. “In the end, it is about what is best for the team. Everyone will do their best in training and in matches, trying to show off, but in the end it is about how you relate to the team.”
Arriola feels the competition is for everyone and no one is safe in his position.
“The way I see it is that the players on this team, in my position, are people I look up to and who inspire me to be the best,” Areola said. “It is clear that we are fighting for these positions in our clubs and in the camps. They are the ones who motivate me to be at my best. I cover everything I live.”
The drive to win some kind of tournament contributes more and more to the growth of the national team player in general, according to Morris, giving him more confidence and security to face the challenges ahead.
“I think any time you play for a title, it’s going to be a great experience,” Morris said. “Obviously it doesn’t simulate the World Cup, but it’s the same, you’re trying to achieve a goal and win the title. A mentality through the past. [torneo] It’s been great…bring the group closer together, instilling confidence and pushing us forward, and I think we’ll use this as a similar platform in these two games.”
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