Few things get my sports adrenaline flowing quite like a debate of a sports scenario that would never happen. The age old question of “What if…?” is a tried and honored tradition, and with the 2020 European Championships finally getting underway after the Covid-19 outbreak halted the competition this summer, there’s no better question to ask than how would the USMNT do if they were thrusted into the Euro’s?
The Euro Qualifying process is a journey. To the average fan, it feels like it’s a nonstop whirlwind of international/European qualifying. There’s a plethora of games from the UEFA Nations League, World Cup Qualifying, and Euro Qualifications. Granted, many of these competitions are used to weed out the smaller European nations that aren’t as dominant as their larger neighbors.
It’s impossible to predict how the USMNT would do throughout the grueling qualifying process, but it’s a bit easier to see how they’d perform with an automatic bid to the Euros.
The lads in the Stars & Stripes aren’t going to replace any of the major players in European soccer, so for the sake of this hypothetical debate we’ll replace the lowest ranked team in each group according to FIFA World Rankings with the USMNT.
Every team has already played a match in the tournament so far, but for the sake of not being a revisionist, we are going to block out any moments of the actual tournament that have already happened.
The United States is the 20th ranked team. Don’t take the FIFA rankings as the end all be all for how a team is. France, the defending World Cup winners, are ranked 2nd behind a Belgium team who they beat in the 2018 World Cup Semifinals.
These FIFA rankings are a little skewed. About half of the teams have already played games, but for the sake of not being a revisionist, we are going to block out any moments of the actual tournament that have already happened.
At the end of the day, you can chuck all the past out the window. It’s the Euro’s... anything can happen.