• Jacob Sokol

MLS Players in the 2022 World Cup

Updated: Nov 16

By Jacob Sokol


Ṥwiderski for Poland. Image courtesy of ESPN


With the 2022 MLS season in the books, it is time to look ahead to the 2022 World Cup. 32 teams, from across the globe, will gather in Qatar at the end of November to participate in the World’s greatest tournament. With MLS growing every year, it is no surprise to see 36 players from the American league representing  their country. From Zimmerman to Swiderski, let’s take a look at each individual player and what we can expect to see from them in Qatar.


USA


Jordan Morris

Current Team- Seattle

Position- Forward 

Age- 28


Morris making the final USA roster comes as a surprise to some. The Seattle forward hasn’t scored in any of his 6 World Cup Qualifying appearances, and he only scored 7 times in 29 appearances for Seattle this season. With Morris narrowly making the final roster ahead of Ricardo Pepi, the most he is likely to see the pitch is as a late substitute. 


Jesús Ferreira

Current Team- FC Dallas

Position- Forward 

Age- 21


The young Texan striker has been lethal for FC Dallas this year, scoring 18 goals in 35 appearances. Ferreira’s season ended in the Western Conference semi-final by the hands of Texas rival, Austin FC. Ferreira is a player who can spark magic and miss an easy opportunity in the same match. His playing time in Qatar will come down to his current form. 


Kellyn Acosta

Current Team- LAFC

Position- Midfield 

Age- 27 


With an MLS trophy in hand, Acosta will be heading to Qatar on a high. The midfielder has been vital to LAFC’s success and consistency, winning both the MLS cup and Supporter’s Shield. With a roster filled with strong midfielders, it is unlikely Acosta will be in the starting line up. Acosta would be valuable to the United States as a substitute to finish off matches with a positive score line. 


Cristian Roldan 

Current Team- Seattle Sounders 

Position- Attacking Midfielder 

Age- 27


Roldan has been a consistent part of Seattle’s squad this season. Berhalter has also regularly included the Sounders midfielder in his plans. With a roster of players like Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie, Roldan will have trouble squeezing into the lineup. In case of injury, or to finish up a match, Roldan could come in handy. 


Aaron Long

Current Team- New York Red Bulls

Position- Center back 

Age- 30 


Long has been consistent for club and country heading into Qatar. With 4 goals in 30 matches for New York Red Bulls this season, Long also offers an offensive presence. Although there is a lot of speculation around the USA starting lineup, Long has a good shot of starting against Wales on November 21. 


Shaq Moore

Current Team- Nashville

Position- Right back 

Age- 26


Moore has recently started playing for Nashville after enjoying several successful seasons in La Liga. His presence has been consistent for each club he’s been on, but his international appearances have been more sporadic, with only four in World Cup Qualifiers. It is unlikely we will see much of Moore in Qatar. 


DeAndre Yedlin

Current Team- Inter Miami 

Position- Right back 

Age- 29


Having played for multiple English Premier League clubs, Yedlin is aware of what it takes to compete at the highest level. The 2022 MLS All-Star has been highly consistent this season with 35 appearances for Miami. With 9 appearances throughout World Cup Qualifiers, expect to see a lot more of Yedlin in Berhalter’s squad. 


Walker Zimmerman 

Current Team- Nashville

Position- Center Back

Age- 29


Zimmerman has been consistent for the United States throughout World Cup Qualifiers with 10 appearances and 1 goal. The MLS All-Star has 4 goals in 31 appearances for Nashville, showing off his aerial prowess. Alongside Long, the duo would be deadly off of set pieces. 



Sean Johnson

Current Team- NYCFC

Position- Goalkeeper 

Age- 33


Johnson has been one of the most consistent keepers in MLS for the last several seasons. With 14 clean sheets on the year, Johnson finished only second to MLS goalkeeper of the year, Andre Blake. The MLS All-Star will likely be viewed as third string, behind Horvath and Turner. 


Canada


James Pantemis

Current Team- CF Montreal 

Position- Goalkeeper

Age- 25


With only 13 appearances for CF Montreal in 2022 and no appearances for Canada’s senior side, Pantemis will likely be on the bench unless injuries arise. 


Dayne St. Clair 

Current Team- Minnesota United 

Position- Goalkeeper 

Age- 25


At. Clair has been consistently starting for Minnesota this season, though he only managed 5 clean screens in 32 appearances. He will be viewed as the backup to Borjan in Qatar. 



Ismaël Koné

Current Team- CF Montreal 

Position- Central Midfielder

Age- 20


Koné managed to sneak onto the Canada World Cup roster thanks to a great season with Montreal. In 2022 he managed 3 goals and 4 assists with the Canadian MLS side. Koné has only managed 2 total appearances for Canada during World Cup Qualifiers. He is only 20, so this World Cup should be seen as a learning experience for him. It is unlikely he will see much, or any, playing time. 


Alistair Johnston

Current Team- CF Montreal 

Position- Right back 

Age- 24


Johnston is known for his offensive abilities as a dynamic right back. With 4 goals and 4 assists, his dynamic runs paid off for a successful Montreal team in 2022. Having 19 appearances throughout World Cup Qualifying, Johnston is essentially a lock for a starting position in John Herdman’s lineup. 


Richie Laryea

Current Team- Toronto FC

Position- Right back/midfield 

Age-27


Like Johnston, Laryea is locked into a starting position under Herdman. With 17 appearances in World Cup Qualifiers, Laryea has been a consistent figure in Canada’s dominant run. With a short loan run at Nottingham Forest, Laryea has been matching up against World Class talent for both club and country. He ended the 2022 season back with Toronto. 


Kamal Miller 

Current Team- CF Montreal 

Position- Center Back 

Age- 25


Miller has been starting the last several matches in World Cup Qualifying for Canada. With 13 total appearances during qualifying, he is expected to continue his run of form in Qatar. The MLS All-Star has also proven himself as an offensive threat with 2 goals and 3 assists in 29 matches for Montreal in 2022. Joining Montreal from Orlando City a couple years ago was the pivotal move that changed Miller’s World Cup trajectory. 


Joel Waterman

Current Team- CF Montreal 

Position- Center Back 

Age- 26


With no international appearances under his belt, Waterman is genuinely lucky to sneak into Canada’s roster. His World Cup call up comes off the back of his most successful professional season, logging 32 appearances for Montreal in 2022. Prior to 2022 Waterman was still working his way into Montreal’s lineup. With his lack of experience it is unlikely we will see Waterman on the pitch in Qatar. 


Mark-Anthony Kaye

Current Team- Toronto FC 

Position- Central Midfielder 

Age- 27


Kaye spent most of the 2022 MLS season on the Colorado Rapids before moving to Toronto in the Summer to finish out the season. With 25 appearances across both MLS teams, Kaye has worked his way into a substitute role for Canada. He will likely be subbed in when Canada is controlling a match and needs to close it out. 


Jonathan Osorio 

Current Team- Toronto FC 

Position- Central Midfielder 

Age- 30


Osorio experienced a severe concussion during the 2022 MLS season. He was a regular part of Canada’s roster prior to the injury, both starting and coming off of the bench. It is unknown how much we will see Osorio in Qatar, but Herdman has said “feedback has been super positive.” 

The Toronto midfielder has 9 goals in 23 matches for his club this season. 


Samuel Piette

Current Team- CF Montreal 

Position- Defensive Midfielder 

Age- 27


Piette has seen the field 8 times for Canada during World Cup Qualifiers. With a strong midfield, Canada will Piette as a good addition rather than a vital asset. In case of injury, Piette is a reliable player to fill a void. With 3 assists during the 2022 MLS season, Piette has also shown the ability to provide an attacking spark on rare occasions. 


Lucas Cavallini

Current Team- Vancouver Whitecaps

Position- Forward 

Age- 29


Cavallini managed 9 goals in 24 matches for the Whitecaps in 2022. With how difficult the season was for Vancouver, those are impressive numbers. The Canadian striker also managed 5 goals in 10 World Cup Qualifying matches. He most likely won’t make the starting lineup, but expect to see him come off the bench as a lethal late-game substitute. 


Mexico


Héctor Herrera

Current Team- Houston Dynamo

Position- Central Midfielder 

Age- 32


Herrera has been making consistent appearances for Mexico throughout World Cup Qualifiers. He also started in a 4-0 friendly win against Iraq on Nov 9, getting subbed out at halftime. Herrera has been less consistent for Houston due to injury, only making 10 appearances this season. The former Porto Midfielder is likely to see plenty of playing time in Qatar, though he may be subbed out regularly in the second half. 


Ecuador


Diego Palacios

Current Team- LAFC

Position- Left Back 

Age- 23


Palacios is coming off a championship season with LAFC, winning both the Supporter’s Shield and the MLS Cup. The MLS All-Star was consistent with 31 appearances for LAFC in 2022. He has only managed 3 appearances for Ecuador in World Cup Qualifiers. Palacios will most likely find himself on the bench in Qatar. 


Xavier Arreaga

Current Team- Seattle Sounders

Position- Center Back 

Age- 28


Arreaga has been in and out of the Ecuadorian lineup throughout World Cup Qualifying. With 9 appearances, often as a sub, his role in Qatar will likely be minimal. With 27 appearances for Seattle in 2022, he has shown he can be consistent if the time comes. 


José Cifuentes

Current Team- LAFC

Position- Central Midfielder 

Age-23


Cifuentes had a dominant season for LAFC as they won the Supporter’s shield and MLS cup. Cifuentes started nearly every match for LAFC, producing 7 goals and 6 assists. His impressive performances have allowed him to sneak into the Ecuadorian roster just months before Qatar. His first two international appearances came in Ecuador’s last two matches. With his current run of form, there is a good chance we see Cifuentes in the starting line up in the World Cup opener against Qatar. 


Jhegson Méndez

Current Team- LAFC

Position- Defensive Midfielder 

Age- 25


Méndez has been battling an injury during the 2022 MLS season with Orlando before making a move to LAFC. Making the move ended his season on a high as he lifted the MLS Cup with international teammate Cifuentes. Due to Méndez’s injury he was only featured 7 times during World Cup Qualifying. Even with injuries this season, he is likely to start in Qatar against the World Cup hosts. 


Switzerland


Xherdan Shaqiri

Current Team- Chicago Fire

Position- Right Winger

Age- 31


Shaqiri brings loads of experience to the Swiss locker room, having played in two previous World Cups. The right winger has also played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, from Liverpool to Bayern Munich. With six appearances in World Cup Qualifiers, there is a good chance we will see more of Shaqiri in the World Cup group stages. 


Cameroon 


Oliver Mbaizo 

Current Team- Philadelphia Union 

Position- Right back

Age- 25


Mbaizo was an integral part of the Philadelphia Union’s dominate season, last playing in the team’s MLS Cup Final loss. Mbaizo has also managed to log 4 appearances for Cameroon during World Cup Qualifiers and 3 appearances during the Africa Cup of Nations. Mbaizo will get a warm up match when Cameroon plays Panama on Nov.18, just days before the World Cup.


Nouhou Tolo

Current Team- Seattle Sounders 

Position- Left back

Age- 25 


Tolo has come a long way since making his start at USL side, Tacoma Defiance. The right back has been a regular in the Sounders back line for the past several seasons now. He more recently has had success with Cameroon during World Cup Qualifiers, making 6 appearances. He is expected to see playing time in Qatar. 


Poland


Karol Ṥwiderski

Current Team- Charlotte FC

Position- Striker

Age- 25


Ṥwiderski has been a pivotal part of Charlotte FC during their inaugural season in MLS. Scoring 10 goals in 30 games, Ṥwiderski was the club’s top goalscorer. With 5 goals in 9 games during World Cup Qualifiers, the polish striker has proven lethal for his country as well. He is expected to be in the starting line up next to Barcelona forward, Robert Lewandowski. 


Wales


Gareth Bale 

Current Team- LAFC

Position- Winger 

Age- 33


Bale is heading to Qatar off of a fresh MLS Cup victory. It is true, Bale did not play much during his first season with LAFC, but it is likely he will be an integral part of the Wales roster during the 2022 World Cup. With 6 goals in 7 World Cup Qualifying matches, Bale is a dominate force for his country. He will be paired up against the United States in his opening match, November 21. 


Costa Rica


Daniel Chacón

Current Team- Colorado Rapids 2

Position- Defensive midfielder

Age- 21


Chacón plays for MLS NEXT side, Colorado Rapids 2, but has been on loan to Costa Rican club, Cartaginés. While being consistent for his club side, Chacón hasn’t been able to regularly play for Costa Rica. With only a handful of appearances for Costa Rica during World Cup Qualifiers, it is unlikely he will have a major impact for his country. 


Bryan Oviedo 

Current Team- Real Salt Lake

Position- Left back/Left midfielder 

Age- 32


Oviedo brings experience to the Costa Rican locker room. Having played in the English Premiership for both Everton and Sunderland, Oviedo will be familiar with the caliber of player that competes in the World Cup. With consistent appearances in World Cup Qualifiers, it is likely we will see more of Oviedo in Qatar. 


Rónald Matarrita 

Current Team- Cincinnati FC 

Position- Left back

Age- 28


Matarrita underwent ankle surgery in April which kept him out of Cincinnati’s lineup for six months. The Costa Rican left-back managed to start the last game of Cincinnati’s season, a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia. Being out of form, it is hard to tell what role he will have at this year’s World Cup. 


Australia

 

Miloš Degenek 

Current Team- Columbus Crew

Position- Center Back 

Age- 28


Degenek played 28 matches for Columbus Crew during their 2022 campaign. The Columbus Crew defender has also played for his national side 38 times, scoring once.  Degenek was a constant presence during World Cup Qualifiers, appearing 12 times. He has been an unused substitute in certain matches though, so it is uncertain what his role will be in Qatar. 


Uruguay 


Martín Cáceres

Current Team- La Galaxy 

Position- Center Back

Age- 35


Cáceres brings a veteran presence to the Uruguay squad. Having played in England and Italy, he’s aware of the type of talent that will be displayed at the World Cup. The La Galaxy Center back managed 11 appearances during World Cup Qualifiers, though he is unlikely to see much playing time in Qatar. 



The following World Cup teams do not have any MLS players on their rosters. 


France

Senegal

Denmark

Croatia

Japan

Brazil

Qatar

Netherlands

England

Iran