This is the sixth straight World Cup for the United States, one of the longest consecutive tournament participation streaks in the world. A young but deep U.S. squad lines up in South Africa as heavy underdogs in their first match against England. If they can force a draw, the Yanks are in perfect shape to advance.
This is Landon Donovan’s team and the United States will go as far as No. 10 will take them. Donovan showed his stuff this past winter and spring in England when he was loaned out to Premiership side Everton. His performance earned calls from the fans to purchase his contract from MLS.
Tim Howard is a beast in net, but Team USA’s Cup dreams could hinge on the offense, which struggled to put in goals throughout the qualifying rounds. Jozy Altidore is young and lethal but his fitness and work rate must stay high.
The midfield features Clint Dempsey, one of the rising stars of the English Premier League. Michael Bradley, the coach’s son, is a constant in the center of the field and a veteran with 43 national team appearances despite being just 22 years old. The rest of the midfield is a bit of a toss-up at this point but has good pace and maintains its shape well defensively.
The backline is solid enough with the underrated Carlos Bocanegra serving as captain. Steve Cherundulo, now on his third World Cup roster, is a good tactical defender. For the later stages of the tournament the Americans will surely need a healthy Oguchi Onyewu, who ruptured his knee in October and is just now getting his legs back.
This team should advance to the knockout stage where it will likely face juggernaut Germany.