It's official: the United States Men's National Team is returning to the FIFA World Cup.
Following a 2-0 loss away to Costa Rica on Wednesday evening, the USMNT officially booked an automatic qualification spot for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar this winter as the third-place finisher in Concacaf. Seattle Sounders players Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan have been regular call-ups for the Stars & Stripes when healthy throughout the qualification cycle. The result against Los Ticos on the final matchday of the Concacaf Octagonal ensures that the USMNT will return to the world's biggest soccer event for the first time in eight years after missing out on qualification for the 2018 tournament.
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Morris and Roldan join fellow Sounders Xavier Arreaga and Nouhou in having successful international windows. Arreaga and Ecuador secured an automatic berth out of the rigorous CONMEBOL qualification process in South America. Nouhou and Cameroon overcame a 1-0 deficit after the first match in their two-leg playoff against Algeria and booked their ticket to Qatar on the away goals tiebreaker. When the second leg ended in 1-1 on aggregate after regular time, the match went to two 15-minute extra-time periods. Cameroon conceded in the 119th minute, seemingly dashing any hopes of advancing, only to grab another goal five minutes later in dramatic fashion.