It was a qualifying slog that lasted a couple months, but the USMNT has finally, officially secured its place at the 2026 World Cup alongside co-hosts Mexico and Canada.
FIFA announced the news Tuesday at its FIFA Council meeting, which also confirmed changes to the Club World Cup.
Participation looked pretty ominous when the team lost its coach, its general manager, its sporting director and alienated its most talented player, but interim boss Anthony Hudson steadied the ship with a win percentage of 0.00 (much like his Colorado Rapids days) and Brandon Vázquez emerged as the Next LeBron.
This time qualification was achieved by decree rather than the old "win at home, draw away" approach, but I'd still like to pretend that the U.S. had an extremely successful cycle with 75% of the games in Ohio.
The U.S. is now one of 48 teams in the field and ready to take on the world with Christian Pulisic excelling at Chelsea Weston McKennie a star at Juventus Sergiño Dest playing out of his mind at Milan Brenden Aaronson doing the business at Leeds Malik Tillman playing sportingly at Rangers Jordan Morris winning the Club World Cup with Seattle Tim Ream looking ready to dominate things at age 38.
FIFA have confirmed that the United States, Mexico and Canada have automatically qualified for the 2026 FIFA World Cup pic.twitter.com/WzeKuNUnaq— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 14, 2023
Next up for the USMNT is a Nations League match against Grenada on Mar. 24 followed by the group stage finale against El Salvador on Mar. 27.