Fifa Ranking: 18
Notable World Cup History: Nine World Cup appearances with best finish being third in 1930
Coach: Bob Bradley
Winning 11: GK: Tim Howard, Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Spector
Midfield: Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Jose Torres, Jermaine Jones
Strikers: Herculez Gomez, Landon Donovan
Tim Howard: The star Everton goalkeeper is by far one of the best in the English Premier League and is key for the Americans chances in the World Cup. How far the U.S. goes in the tournament, depends on how dominant Howard can perform in net.
Landon Donovan: As the leading international scorer on the squad with 42 goals, the 27-year-old striker’s experience upfront boads well for the U.S. and he will be expected to lead the offense with his speed and toughness.
The never-ending story when it comes to the Americans is that their talent always under exceeds their high ranking.
Finishing with only one point and getting knocked out the group stage in the last World Cup leaves many to believe that the Yanks will underachieve yet again this time around.
The U.S. are on a mission to prove everybody wrong but with a team that has been constantly plagued with injuries, it will be hard for the side to perform at its best.
Clint Dempsey, Oguchi Onyewu, Stuart Holden, and Jermaine Jones are all recovering from serious injuries and even if they do come back, won’t be at 100 per cent.
Therefore, a lot of the pressure now lies on MLS star Landon Donovan to advance the half-healthy team to victory and remove the asterisk that has clouded them for the past four years.
Resilience and organization are the two factors that will help the U.S. go far in the tournament and silence its critics. The Americans hustle and scrappy style have proven that when executed effectively that they can defeat anyone, just like how they beat top-ranked Spain in the Confederations Cup.
All in all, advancing past the group stage is paramount for the Americans if they are going to continue their quest to gain respect on the international footballing stage. Anything less would be a waste.