The team: After a shaky start to qualifying with a 2-1 loss in Honduras, the USA turned their campaign around and in the end comfortably secured their place in Brazil. Throughout qualifying, coach Jürgen Klinsmann wasn’t afraid to mix up his tactics, which worked out well. However, against better opposition in arguably the tournament’s group of death, it may be a tall order for the USA to progress to the knockout stages.
The coach: Jürgen Klinsmann
Come June 26, Jürgen Klinsmann is likely to have mixed feelings. The former Germany striker and coach is a legend in his homeland, having won the FIFA World Cup as a player in 1990 before guiding the team to the semi-finals in 2006 as coach. He’ll have to get his tactics spot on if the USA are to enjoy an extended stay in Brazil.
Key player: Tim Howard
In a group featuring some of the best attacking talent in world football, USA goalkeeper Tim Howard is likely to have a busy tournament. The Everton number one has been considered among the Premier League’s top shot-stoppers for years and will be a safe pair of hands for the USA.
World ranking: 14
World Cup appearances: 9
Previous best: Third place in 1930
Qualification: Group winner
Form (qualifiers): LWDWWWLWWW
Fixtures: June 17 vs. Ghana; June 23 vs. Portugal; June 26 vs. Germany