United States: World Cup 2014 Team Preview
Best Finish: Third Place (1930)
Manager: Jurgen Klinsmann
Captain: Clint Dempsey
The United States qualified for the World Cup by winning the hexagonal group stage, suffering just one defeat in their ten games.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s reign is still pretty much in its infancy, and after starting his career with four defeats in his first six games, a win against Italy turned his fortunes around. That was just in time to start their qualifying campaign. Eventually a 2-0 win over rivals ensured the USMNT qualified for Brazil.
The squad that United States are expected to take to Brazil are a gritty group, brimming with experience, energy and enormous work-rate. Klinsmann has created a togetherness within this squad which not many teams in this tournament can match .
However, the everlasting problem of a real lack of cutting edge bugs Klinsmann’s team. They are without any real impetus in the final third and don’t have a player with the ability to unlock stubborn defences. Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan are both goal scorers, but not overly creative or capable of playing that killer pass.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s know how in the big competitions, and America’s experience on the World Cup stage will no doubt aid their conquest to escape the group. The lack of a top class playmaker will see them struggle to progress any further though.
Key Player – Michael Bradley
The AS Roma midfield enforcer probably typifies the tenacity and industrious nature of this American side more than any other player.
Bradley is a player who is making a name for himself as a box-to-box midfielder; consistent in the tackle, a strong runner and neat and tidy in possession . His role will be crucial when the USMNT come up against technically superior sides and he offers a good defensive shield which allows the like of Donovan and Dempsey to go and effect the game.
A budding midfielder who’s reputation is continually growing in Italy. Expect Bradley to turn a few heads with some strong performances in Brazil.