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USA A Dark Horse In Brazil?

No one really gives the United States of America a chance at the World Cup in Brazil, but that might be their chance to surprise. They are ranked 13th in the world and won the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, winning all six games. However, the U.S. have been drawn in a tricky group with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. What can we expect from them in Brazil? Here our short team profile with all necessary stats.

World Cup history:

USA achieved the best ever CONCACAF result at a World Cup when they reached the semi-final in 1930, finishing the tournament as third. They participated again in 1934 and 1950, but without much success. After 1950, the U.S. didn’t qualify for the World Cup again until 1990, but has since appeared in every edition. They reached the quarter-finals at the 2002 World Cup, losing 1-0 to Germany. They surprised again at the 2009 Confederations Cup, eliminating top-ranked Spain in the semi-finals before losing to Brazil 3-2 in the final.

2010 World Cup campaign:

In 2010, USA were drawn in Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria. After drawing England 1-1 and Slovenia 2-2, they defeated Algeria through a stoppage time goal and won their group for the first time sine 1930. In the Round of 16, however, the U.S. were eliminated by Ghana, 2-1 in extra-time.

How they qualified

USA finished both their preliminary qualification round as well as the CONCACAF fourth round on top. Out of their ten games in the fourth round, they won seven, drew one and lost two, with a goal-difference of 15-8.

Key players:

Many would expect to read about Landon Donovan in this section, but the American all-time top scorer has been left out of the 23-man World Cup squad for Brazil. In his absence, more eyes will be on team captain, Clint Dempsey, who is only one of two Americans to score at two World Cups. Overall the U.S. can only surprise in Brazil, if they work as a unit, but players like Tim Howard, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore are expected to lead the lines.

Coach:

Jurgen Klinsmann took over as head coach on 29 July 2011, and has led them to victory at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Klinsmann has also led Germany to finish third at the 2006 World Cup and had a short unsuccessful club spell at the helm of Bayern Munich. As a player he won the 1990 World Cup and the 1996 EURO with Germany, so he has all the experience at the world’s biggest stage.

Portugal’s Group G Fixtures:

Date      Match                                   Venue

16/6       USA v Ghana                      Estadio das Dunas, Natal

22/6       USA v Portugal                   Arena Amazonia, Manaus

26/6       USA v Germany                  Arena Pernambuco, Recife

Do you think the USA can surprise in Brazil? Have your say in the comment section below.

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