Brain Twister

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Barcelona’s US youngster: “USMNT can win World Cup”

Barcelona’s young U.S. winger Konrad de la Fuente has said the USMNT can win the World Cup in the near future.

De la Fuente, 18, has been developed in Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and is currently playing with their reserve team.

The Miami native believes the talent currently coming through the U.S. youth national teams is very promising for the future.

“My goal with the national team is to win a World Cup,” de le Fuente told ESPN. “That’s my personal goal. Everyone has their own and, for me, it’s to win a World Cup. I definitely think it can happen. If we continue to grow in our clubs in Europe, I think we can do something special.”

De la Fuente was part of the U.S. U20 team which reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 2019 and in that group there are plenty of talented youngsters such as Sergino Dest at Ajax, Tim Weah at Lille and Giovani Reyna at Borussia Dortmund to name a few. Add in Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams who are all 21 years old and that’s a promising crop of young stars.

Does he have a point when it comes to World Cup contention?

There’s no doubting the USMNT are a long, long way away from reaching the latter stages of a World Cup, even though they are expected to be guaranteed to reach the 2026 World Cup as one of the hosts.

Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup would be a major, major achievement for this young side under Gregg Berhalter given the bumps in the road they’ve faced so far.

Of course, the aim is always to win but with the USMNT not reaching the 2018 World Cup, getting to the latter stage of the next one is a huge ask.