USA World Cup fan survey results: Tyler Adams most important player, Josh Sargent should start up top

Quick Hits
  • With the World Cup only a few days away, we wanted to ask fans for their thoughts on the U.S. ahead of the tournament

  • Earlier this week, we published a survey asking fans to answer 10 simple questions about the USMNT. Here are their answers

We’re so close.

The World Cup starts on Sunday — and the United States’ first game kicks off on Monday. With the tournament closing in, we wanted to ask fans for their thoughts on the U.S. ahead of the World Cup. 

So earlier this week, we published a survey asking U.S. fans to answer 10 simple questions about the team ahead of the World Cup. After a couple hundred responses, it’s time to look at the answers.

Where do you think the U.S. will finish?

Top answer: Round of 16 (61%)

The majority of our surveyed U.S. fans do expect the United States to get out of the group, but they don’t expect them to make it much further in the tournament. Frankly, with the amount of inconsistency that has plagued this U.S. team, making it to the Round of 16 seems like a fair expectation to us. 

Other popular answers: Group stage (23%), Quarter-finals (14%)

What is a successful World Cup finish for the U.S.?

Top answer: Round of 16 (70%)

Most fans think the U.S. will head home after the Round of 16 – and they also think a Round of 16 finish constitutes a successful trip to Qatar. Only 30% of fans believe the United States have to make a run that lasts longer than the Round of 16 for this World Cup to be an on-field success. Oh, and of that 30%, only 1% believes that success looks like anything more than a quarter-final run.

Other popular answers: Quarter-finals (29%)

How confident are you in Gregg Berhalter as the USMNT's manager?

Top answer: Somewhat confident (50%)

Out of four possible answers (not confident, somewhat confident, confident, and very confident), “somewhat confident” won on this question. Given all of the social media discourse surrounding Berhalter, we’re a little surprised that the “somewhat confident” percentage is so high. Still, according to fans who took our survey, only 15% of them are either “confident” or “very confident” in Gregg Berhalter.

That’s not great, folks.

Other popular answers: Not confident (35%)

Do you feel like you understand how Berhalter wants the U.S. to play?

Top answer: Sort of? (64%)

The folks who we surveyed aren’t all that sure they understand what Berhalter is trying to do tactically. Only 22% of fans said they get what Berhalter wants his team to do, while the other 78% responded that they either “sort of” understood or that they didn’t understand “at all”. Berhalter’s stated mission to “change the way the world views American soccer” has been an ever-present theme of his tenure. But the on-field changes? Those haven’t been quite as clear.

Other popular answers: I understand (22%), I don’t get it (14%)

Who is the USMNT’s most important player?

Top answer: Tyler Adams (39%)

Adams won this one by a landslide. The next closest player, according to the U.S. fans who took our survey, was Yunus Musah with 17% of the vote. We can’t really argue with those two players being at the top of the most important list, though. Without Musah, the United States struggled to do much of anything in their two September friendlies. And without Adams, the U.S. loses a lot of structural integrity on the defensive end. 

Adams is a worthy winner and Musah is a worthy runner-up

Other popular answers: Musah (17%), Christian Pulisic (10%), Gio Reyna (8%)

Who is the USMNT’s most underrated player?

Top answer: Tim Weah (31%)

The people have spoken: Weah is the United States’ most underrated player. Given all of the other talent in the USMNT’s winger depth chart, we think this is a fair answer. Weah doesn’t seem to get discussed as much as Pulisic, Reyna, or even Brenden Aaronson. Despite that, he was one of the United States’ most dangerous players in World Cup qualifying. Weah might be in for a big World Cup.

Other popular answers: Antonee Robinson (25%), Walker Zimmerman (15%), Matt Turner (15%)

Who should start in goal?

Top answer: Matt Turner (98%)

Wow, talk about a runway race. There was almost no disagreement here among the fans we surveyed about the starting goalkeeper job, given that 98% of them said Turner should start. The other 2% of the vote went to Ethan Horvath, while Sean Johnson receive zero votes. Berhalter made a big decision to leave Zack Steffen at home for the World Cup, so we should all expect to see Turner in goal for the U.S. during their time in Qatar.

Other popular answers: Ethan Horvath (2%)

Who should start at striker?

Top answer: Josh Sargent (78%)

Another runaway race! Josh Sargent took home more than three-quarters of the votes when we asked fans who should start up top for the USMNT in the World Cup. Sargent has been in good form in the English Championship, but we didn’t anticipate him ending up with this much of the vote, with Jesus Ferreira and Haji Wright also on the U.S.’s roster.

Other popular answers: Jesus Ferreira (18%), Haji Wright (4%)

Who do you want to be the next U.S. manager?

Top answer: Jesse Marsch (35%)

It could be difficult for U.S. Soccer be able to lure Marsch away from the European club game, but the fans made it clear that he is their top choice to take over after Berhalter. Marsch is currently managing Leeds United in the Premier League, who are currently 15th in the standings. Known for his high-pressing, high-energy style, Marsch is one of the biggest names in American soccer right now.

Other popular answers: Jim Curtin (30%), “Not sure” (10%)

What should the USMNT’s biggest priority be after the World Cup?

Top answer: Scheduling games against strong opponents (42%)

With the World Cup coming to the United States (and Mexico and Canada) in 2026, the U.S. won’t have as many intense games during the next World Cup cycle. World Cup hosts don’t have to go through qualifying, which means that the U.S. won’t have must-win qualifiers on their schedule against regional rivals. In the absence of those games, fans want the USMNT to play as many games against strong opponents as possible.

Other popular answers: Finding a consistent style (25%), getting the U.S.’s top players consistent minutes at elite clubs (11%)