World Cup 2010 Teams – USA
02/08/2010

The USA has slowly but surely crept up the FIFA World Rankings where it now sits in 14th place. It’s quite an achievement considering that football is still struggling to gain a foothold in the United States. The Americans will once again be looking to raise the game’s profile in their homeland with a successful campaign in the 2010 World Cup.

Online PR News – 08-February-2010 – – An impressive run in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup saw the USA reach the final before losing 3-2 to Brazil. This will have been a valuable experience for the Americans, especially since the competition was staged in South Africa.

Qualifying Campaign

The USA finished top of its final World Cup qualifying group ahead of both Mexico and Honduras. Mexico pushed them all the way but the Americans managed to secure the top spot by one point. Honduras finished four points behind the USA but still qualified for the World Cup with a third-place finish.

The USA was solid rather than spectacular in qualifying, finishing with 6 wins, 2 losses and 2 draws. The Americans beat rivals Mexico 2-0 at home before losing 2-1 in the away tie. Costa Rica proved to be the greatest stumbling block to American dominance, beating the States 3-1 at home before holding them to a draw in the final group game. Honduras, meanwhile, suffered two defeats against the USA.

World Cup History

The USA competed in the first ever World Cup in 1930. The Americans ended their Uruguayan campaign in third-place, still the team’s highest World Cup finish. Returning to the World Cup in 1950, the USA caused one of the greatest upsets in football history when they beat a highly fancied England team. However, a 5–2 loss to Chile saw the USA eliminated from the tournament.

With soccer failing to gain a foothold in the USA, it would be 40 years until the national team once again played in a World Cup. The Americans qualified for Italia ’90 but lost all three of their group games, confirming doubts about the USA’s status as a serious footballing nation.

Since 1990, however, the USA has qualified for every World Cup competition. While soccer remains a niche sport in the United States, the national team has earned the right to be taken seriously.

The Coach

After Bruce Arena’s eight year reign came to an end in 2006, assistant coach Bob Bradley was put in place as interim manager of the USA until a permanent manager could be found. Bradley, however, quickly set about rebuilding the squad, bringing in some fresh new talent to support some ageing stars. After a successful start, including a win against arch-rivals Mexico, Bradley was officially confirmed as the new manager of the USA.

Bob Bradley is very much the protégé of Bruce Arena, arguably the best manager that the USA has produced. At college level, Bradley served as assistant to Arena while at the University of Virginia. With the formation of the MLS, the two teamed up again at DC United. Bradley then took charge of Chicago Fire, where a successful period earned him MLS Coach of the Year. Before taking charge of the national team, Bradley also managed MetroStars and Chivas USA.

The Players

While Major League Soccer is growing in strength, it still cannot prepare players for the challenge of international football. The USA squad now has more players who play their football at the highest level in Europe, a fact that has strengthened the team as a whole.

Everton’s Tim Howard will provide a safe pair of hands in goal, while the likes of Jonathan Spector, Carlos Bocanegra and AC Milan’s Oguchi Onyewu will feature in defence. Youngster Michael Bradley (Bob Bradley’s son) is set to impress in midfield, while tough yet flamboyant midfielder Clint Dempsey will be a driving force going forward.

Experienced and talismanic striker Landon Donovan will be the USA’s key player. He will need to be on top form in order to increase the USA’s chances of success. 20 year-old striker Jozy Altidore will also be a player to look out for.

Group C

The USA has been drawn in Group C with England, Algeria and Slovenia. Fabio Capello’s England side are looking strong and are clear favourites to finish first in Group C. Algeria did well to qualify for South Africa, but the side lacks enough quality to pose a serious threat. Slovenia qualified for the World Cup by way of a play-off. A surprise 2-2 aggregate draw against Russia saw them go through on away goals.

Group Matches and Analysis

The USA will begin its Group C campaign with a tough game against England. The English will be favourites, but the USA could potentially cause an upset. If no such upset occurs, the Americans will find themselves in a straight battle for second-place against Algeria and Slovenia. The USA looks stronger than both these teams, and should be able to pick up enough points against them to progress to the first knockout round.

If the Americans can claim second-place in Group C, they will go on to face the winners of Group D. In all probability, that would mean a tough match against the mighty Germany.

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More reviews on World Cup Teams can be found here.

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