U.S. team arrives to Qatar for World Cup
The United States are playing in the finals for the first time in eight years
American soccer players arrived in Qatar on Thursday, ten days before the start of the World Cup 2022, the first to be hosted in the Middle East.
The United States national team is playing in the finals for the first time in eight years and will be in one of the most politically-charged games when they take on Iran on November 29.
An unknown number of players were on a Qatar Airways jet from New York that was among the first flights to use a new part of Hamad international airport that opened Thursday.
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Many in the 26-man squad, including captain Christian Pulisic, are based in Europe and still have domestic league games to play this weekend.
Team USA starts Group B against Wales on November 21, followed by England on November 25, and then a crunch match against Iran, which has become one of the hot tickets in Doha because of the political rivalries between the two countries.
Coached by Gregg Berhalter, the American team is staying at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski on the Pearl, an artificial island north of Doha favored by expatriates. They will train at the Al Gharafa club ground about nine miles away.
The U.S. has played in 11 World Cups. It came in third at the first tournament in 1930, famously beat England 1-0 at the 1950 World Cup, and reached the quarter-finals in 2002.