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Analyzing 2022 World Cup draw through Sounders’ eyes

All in all it looks reasonably manageable.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final Draw Photo by Igor Kralj/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

The 2022 World Cup draw is now official and the consensus seems to be that it’s about as fair and even as any in recent memory. There isn’t really a traditional Group of Death where three or four traditional powers will invariably knock out one potential favorite, and no traditional power got a draw so favorable as to be a cakewalk into the Round of 16.

As such, there’s not much for anyone to complain about, including the teams with potential ties to the Seattle Sounders. Let’s take a look:

United States (Fifa ranking: 15)

Going simply by average FIFA ranking, the United States’ Group B is arguably the toughest in the draw. England (5) headlines a group that also includes Iran (21) and the winner of the UEFA playoff that is going to pit Wales (18) against the winner of Ukraine (27) and Scotland (39). As tough as it may look on paper, none of those teams should be seen as unbeatable for the United States, who could feasibly finish anywhere from first to fourth.

The USA will open against the winner of the UEFA playoff on Nov. 21, then play England on Nov. 25 and close with Iran on Nov. 29. The group is matched up with Group A in the Round of 16 and could feasibly include a USA-Mexico match in the quarterfinals.

Peru (22)

Assuming Peru can navigate the June intercontinental playoff against the winner of Australia-United Arab Emirates (not a gimme), they’d be drawn into a Group D that looks pretty stacked. France (3) are the obvious favorites with Denmark (11) a likely dark-horse pick to win the whole thing. Rounding out the group is Tunisia (35).

Peru will play their final playoff game on June 13 or 14 in Qatar, and would then face France on Nov. 22, Tunisia on Nov. 26 and Denmark on Nov. 30. Group D is matched up with Group C in the Round of 16.

Cameroon (37)

Nouhou’s Indomitable Lions have their work cut out for them after getting drawn into Group G with Brazil (1), Switzerland (14) and Serbia (25). From a pure narrative perspective, it will be fun to watch Nouhou potentially match up with the likes of Neymar, Dušan Tadić and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Cameroon will open with Switzerland on Nov. 24, then plays Serbia on Nov. 28 and closes with Brazil on Dec. 2. They’re matched up with Group H in the Round of 16 and then F and E in the quarters.

Ecuador (46)

Given that Group A was the one headlined by Qatar (51), this was widely predicted to be the “softest” group. As it turned out, it does, in fact, have the highest average FIFA ranking (31.75). That does not, however, mean it’s an easy group. Netherlands (10) are the obvious favorite and Senegal (20) are Africa’s top-rated team.

Ecuador will play in the tournament opener against Qatar on Nov. 21, then play Netherlands on Nov. 25 and close out with Senegal on Nov. 29. They’re matched up with the United States’ Group B in the Round of 16.