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Teams to Watch at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar

FIFA | Photo from Sporting News

The biggest sports event in the world is officially underway, and the FIFA World Cup 2022 has already surprised fans with fantastic soccer, entertaining matches and surprising teams.

With 32 teams in the group stage fighting for 16 spots and a chance at glory in the beautiful game, it can be tough to find which teams rise above the rest. These are the teams to watch for the rest of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The expected 

With the strongest regional leagues and some of the largest emphasis on soccer globally, European teams and South American rosters usually stand above the rest in international competition. This year has been no different.

England has put together a robust and well-balanced lineup under head coach Gareth Southgate. The English side in this tournament is several players deep at any position with local talent quickly rising through the ranks of the premier league. 

The team’s convincing 6-2 win over Iran was clouded by the recent 0-0 draw versus the United States, but the English roster still sits at the top of group B and is almost certain to finish first place in the group.

Spain is the next European powerhouse in this tournament, shocking the soccer world with a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica. The team balances experience with younger talent to dominate possession of the ball and create chances with so many players on the ball that can finish.

Brazil is the nation that always seems like it is going to be in the finals – and for a good reason. The team has competed in every World Cup and has won the most out of any country. This year doesn’t look any different, either, as Brazil took its home opener against Serbia 2-0.

After Brazilian superstar Neymar was taken out of the match due to injury, Richarlison scored both goals for Brazil, including what could be the goal of the tournament. Richarlison has nine goals in a personal last seven international appearances and will have more to come.

The surprises

The most exciting part of this World Cup has been watching the potential of teams from lesser regions, as those teams stand up and take down some of the biggest teams on the planet.

Argentina was the roster that was supposed to dominate group C with an opening match against Saudi Arabia, a country that has never had much success internationally. After a minute 10 penalty gave ARG’s Lionel Messi the opening goal, the game looked over.

What was completely unexpected was for Saudi Arabian to strike twice in five minutes, taking down the Argentine roster 2-1. The Saudis only had three shots on target to ARG’s seven, but the Saudi Arabian team made its opportunities count.

Japan versus Germany shares a very similar story, as Germany scored a penalty early on, and the game looked over; but, Japanese attackers Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano connected twice in eight minutes to stun the Germans, despite only having four shots on target versus GER’s nine.

Canada is not a country thought of when talking about soccer, but the Canadian roster brings an exciting form of attacking football to the tournament centered around star Alphonso Davies. The Canadian team may have lost its opener to Belgium 0-1, but the match looked like a Canada win.

Finally, the U.S. has a roster of young and upcoming talent but has struggled to score. The roster has netted two ties so far, and a win versus Iran will seal a spot in the round of 16. The U.S.’s 0-0 draw versus England is a huge step for the team and proves it will fight against any opponent.

Noah Kindig

Sports Reporter

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