United States Team - 2014 World Cup Betting
Best Finish: Third, 1930
Manager: Jurgen Klinsmann
Captain: Clint Dempsey
Key Player: Michael Bradley (AS Roma)
Group G: With Germany, Ghana and Portugal
The United States booked their seventh straight trip to the World Cup by topping the CONCACAF qualifying group. After starting the last round with a 2-1 loss to Honduras, the US rebounded to finish with an impressive 7-1-2 (W-D-L) record while competing against the likes of Costa Rica and Mexico.
And their reward for winning CONCACAF: being thrown into the 2014 "Group of Death." The prospects of the US advancing to the knockout stage became slimmer when they learned that two of the world's top three-ranked teams, Germany and Portugal, were also in Group G. Plus, they'll be competing against Ghana, their nemesis from the last two World Cups.
Nevertheless, the United States is certainly capable of playing with soccer's best. They proved as much a couple of years ago after topping Italy 1-0 in a friendly. This victory meant the most to manager Jurgen Klinsmann, who was taking heat after a shaky 1-1-4 start with his new national team. Now, the former Bayern Munich head man has installed tenacity and energy into a US squad that'll be difficult for any 2014 World Cup team to deal with.
Beyond tenacity, they also have some very good playmakers in Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey. Bradley is a consistent, hard-working midfielder who tackles well, is smart with the ball, and plays excellent defense. The AS Roma man is the backbone of this team and can be depended upon every match. Dempsey is the headliner, as he showed in CONCACAF play by scoring eight goals. The 31-year-old is in the prime of his career and will be doing everything possible to get the United States out of group play.
If anything holds this team back, though, it'll be that they don't feature any top-flight players beyond Bradley and Dempsey. This said, it's highly important that these two stay completely healthy if the US is to have a realistic chance in the Group of Death.