usmnt story large f3ef47d2 8d7c 4962 922e 8128c55aa6f8

World Cup 2026: 12 Players Who Could Lead the USA to Glory at Home

The future looks bright for American soccer.

Ok, it's in eight years, but don't tell that to USMNT fans. After failing to qualify for Russia 2018, they are chomping at the bit for the World Cup to return to the U.S. in 2026, when America will co-host with Mexico and Canada. As the rest of the world settles in to watch this year's edition, here's 12 young American players who could still be in top-form and ready to help lead the United States to World Cup glory in 2026.

CHRISTIAN PULISIC, 19 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images CHRISTIAN PULISIC, 19 The brightest star in U.S. soccer will be only 28 and ready to shine when the World Cup returns to American soil. TIM WEAH, 18 Jan Kruger - FIFA via Getty Images TIM WEAH, 18 After a breakout performance at the U-17 World Cup, the New York City native graduated to the next level in 2018, making three appearances each for Paris Saint-Germain and the USMNT. ERIK PALMER-BROWN, 21 JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images ERIK PALMER-BROWN, 21 Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City loaned the talented defender to Belgian club KV Kortrijk in 2018.

More World Cup Stories

ANTONEE ROBINSON, 20 Icon Sportswire via Getty Images ANTONEE ROBINSON, 20 The English-born Everton full-back, on loan to Bolton in 2017-18, turned heads for the Wanderers with his ability to cover distance and distribute the ball. MARKY DELGADO, 23 Victor Decolongon/Getty Images MARKY DELGADO, 23 A member of U.S. youth national teams at every level, the steady 23-year-old Toronto FC midfielder made his USMNT debut on March 27, 2018 in a 1-0 friendly win over Paraguay. KELLYN ACOSTA, 22 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images KELLYN ACOSTA, 22 He'll be 31 when the 2026 World Cup rolls around, but the FC Dallas center midfielder has the skills to stick around in his soccer golden years. CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS, 20 Robert Cianflone - FIFA via Getty Images CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS, 20 The centre-back was just 11 years old when he joined Tottenham's youth academy and has found success in England's second-tier Championship league. MATT MIAZGA, 22 LatinContent/Getty Images MATT MIAZGA, 22 The 6-foot-4 defender, who started his career with the New York Red Bulls before heading overseas, has seven caps and one career goal for the USMNT. ZACK STEFFEN, 23 Dave Thompson/Getty Images ZACK STEFFEN, 23 A standout keeper for the U.S. in the U-20 World Cup, Steffen enjoyed a successful 2017 campaign with MLS' Columbus Crew. Even at 31 he could be a fixture between the posts in 2026. JOSH SARGENT, 18 Icon Sportswire via Getty Images JOSH SARGENT, 18 After scoring 25 goals on the U-17 side, Sargent shined for the U.S. in the U-20 World Cup. The 18-year-old forward joins Dortmund's Christian Pulisic in the Bundesliga next season as a member of Werder Bremen. TYLER ADAMS, 19 JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images TYLER ADAMS, 19 One of MLS' most highly regarded prospects, the tenacious Red Bulls winger already has six career appearances for the USMNT and could make the jump to Europe soon. WESTON MCKENNIE, 19 Icon Sportswire via Getty Images WESTON MCKENNIE, 19 After turning down a scholarship to the University of Virginia, the young midfielder made the jump to Bundesliga's Schalke 04 and could be a regular for the USMNT as soon as this year.

For more FOTO stories directly in your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter.