World Cup Appearances : 1930, 1934, 1950, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010
Best Achievement : Third in 1930
Head Coach : Jurgen Klinsmann
Captain : Tim Howard
Having won all five home matches and topping the group with a four point advantage, the USA’s qualifying campaign has certainly given them a boost in confidence going into Brazil. In Jurgen Klinsmann, the Stars and Stripes’ national coach is a well-known figure in the football world, having already managed Bayern Munich at club level and Germany on national. This will now be their tenth World Cup and their seventh in succession.
In Germany, Team USA has one of the tournament favourites as opponents, whilst Ronaldo’s Portugal and Gyan’s Ghana also lie in wait. Klinsmann was regularly questioned and doubted by American media for his excessively regular tinkering in the squad, which was proven considering that 37 different defenders were used during the qualifying campaign.
Veteran Tim Howard is the captain in goal, currently plying his trade for Everton in England. The high number of defenders tried out by the head coach was probably because a lack of top class talent could be found, with Bolton’s Tim Ream and QPR’s Onyewu considered as stand-outs. They’re better equipped in midfield where Roma’s Bradley, Schalke’s Jermaine Jones and Stoke City’s Edu lay roam. Sunderland’s Altidore and Fulham’s Dempsey proved to be a great striking partnership throughout the qualifiers and will hope to continue in the same manner.
Team USA could be a surprise package as they are under-estimated quite regularly in major tournaments. Should they overcome highly difficult hurdles in the group stage, the possibility of reaching the knockouts should not be ignored. Klinsmann himself has stated that the country’s target is the last 16, which is the least they should be aiming for.