World Cup 2014 Team-By-Team Guide: ‘Group of Death’ to kill USA
Past Tournaments: 1930, 1934, 1938 (withdrew), 1950, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010
Previous Best: Third Place, 1930
How they got here:
Having topped their preliminary CONCACAF group ahead of their only credible rivals Jamaica, Klinsmann’s Yanks went on to impress again in the second group.
The US won seven of their 10 assignments to finish first in a group containing Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama.
Star man: Clint Dempsey
America’s top scorer in qualifying is a household name on English shores thanks to an impressive spell at Fulham where he notched 50 times in 184 appearances before joining Tottenham.
Now back at Seattle Sounders in the MLS the Texan-native has started the 2014 campaign in dazzling fashion, racking up eight goals in five games ahead of the World Cup.
Under the radar: Aron Johannson (AZ)
To fans of the Eredivisie this Alabama-born Icelandic-American forward will not need much of an introduction.
However, to those less-versed in the ways of Dutch top-flight football the prolific 23-year-old could surprise a few.
Johannson racked up 17 goals in 32 league appearances for AZ this season and has so far scored twice during an eight-cap USA career to date.
Team nutcase: Tim Howard (Everton)
Famed for his angry rants from the Everton goalmouth at perceived lackadaisical defending, Howard is probably best described as eccentric rather than a bona fide ‘nutcase’.
Still, the sight of the sizeable American stopper coming rushing out of his net with eyes bulging would be enough to unsettle even the steeliest of strikers.
How far can they go?
Had the Americans been more fortunate in their group placement then a repeat of reaching the second-round, as they did alongside England back in 2010, would have been quite plausible.
However, sadly for Klinsmann’s and US hopes they have been thrown into the lion’s mouth in Group G, aka ‘the Group of death’ alongside Germany, Portugal and a Ghana side who were responsible for knocking them out of the South African edition four years ago.
Given their impressive qualification campaign, they may well get the better of Ghana, but their stay in Brazil is unlikely to reach beyond three games.
To win the World Cup: 250/1
Best bet: USA to beat Ghana @ 15/8
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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