World Cup Preview: United States

By Dialogo
May 25, 2010

*UNITED STATES* *Nickname*: The Yanks *World Cups*: 9 (1930, 1934, 1950, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010) *Championships*: 0 *Runner-up*: 0 *Third*: 1 (1930) *How it qualified*: The United States won the CONCACAF region by going 6-2-2 to finish with 20 points, one ahead of Mexico and four ahead of Honduras. The Americans scored a group-high 19 goals to earn their sixth straight berth in the World Cup. *Coach*: Bob Bradley *Projected starting lineup*: *Goalie*: Tim Howard *Defense*: Jonathan Spector; Oguchi Onyewu; Jay Demerit; Carlos Bocanegra *Midfield*: Ricardo Clark; Landon Donovan; Michael Bradley; DaMarcus Beasley *Forward*: Clint Dempsey; Jozy Altidore *Pool Play*: The United States, which is ranked 14th in the world by FIFA, is in Group C with eighth-ranked England, 31st-ranked Algeria and 23rd-ranked Slovenia. *Schedule*: June 12 vs. England at Rustenburg’s Royal Bafokeng; June 18 vs. Slovenia at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park; June 23 vs. Algeria at Tshwane/Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld. *Did you know?* The United State’s chances could hinge on the play of Onyewu, who ruptured his patellar tendon during a World Cup qualifying game against Costa Rica on Oct. 14, 2009, and it is unclear whether he will be healthy enough to stop the world’s best strikers. Donovan, who is playing in his third World Cup, is the national team’s all-time leader in goals (42) and his 121 games rank fourth behind Cobi Jones (164), Jeff Agoos (134) and Marcelo Balboa (128). Dempsey and Beasley have each scored 17 goals with the national team, tied with Ernie Stewart (1990-2004) for sixth-most in team history. Beasley has played in 90 games for The Yanks since debuting in 2001, with Dempsey playing in 60 games since 2004. It’s been eight years since an American other than Dempsey has scored in a World Cup game, as he scored both U.S. goals – against Italy and Ghana – in 2006. Don’t overlook the Americans. When they play well, they can play with anybody – just ask Spain and Brazil. The United States’ 2-0 victory over the top-ranked Spaniards in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup ended their 35-game unbeaten streak. In the final, the United States jumped out to a 2-0 lead against the Brazilians before falling, 3-2. And where did both of those games take place? South Africa, of course....