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Tale of the tape

Tale of the Tape: USA Soccer 2014 vs. 2010

The World Cup begins Thursday in Brazil, with the United States opening up their group play on Monday against Ghana. Under Jurgen Klinsmann, can the 2014 squad surpass the 2010 squad that lost in the Round of 16 (ironically enough, to Ghana)?

USA Soccer 2014 Getty Images
Getty Images

Team USA 2014

Team USA 2010

Known as the “Group of Death”: Ghana (#37 world ranking; eliminated USA in last two World Cups) Portugal (#4 world ranking) Germany (#2 world ranking) Pairings Draw vs. England (#8 world ranking) Draw vs. Slovenia (#25 world ranking) Win vs. Algeria (#30 world ranking)
Clint Dempsey. Second-most goals in US history headlines an otherwise youthful roster. Star Player Landon Donovan. The all-time leading goal scorer in US history. Scored the famous 90th minute goal vs. Algeria to advance the US past the group stage.
An awful lot of red, but hey, it’s not the pageant look. Uniforms Soccer team, or beauty pageant contestants?
Jurgen Klinsmann, who took over in 2011, leads USA to Brazil. Won 1990 World Cup as a player, led native Germany to 3rd-place in 2006. Has 31 wins in 50 matches with the U.S. Head Coach Bob Bradley’s only World Cup as head coach, led Team USA to a Round of 16 appearance. Would be fired in June 2011 after five years.
Klinsmann: “We cannot win this World Cup, because we are not at that level yet.” Don’t you feel the motivation? Coach's Pre-Tournament Quote Bradley: “We don’t take any opponent lightly, but we have an opportunity we are excited about.” Coach-speak, but at least he’s not bashing their chances.
Donovan’s omission off the final 23-man roster is controversial to say the least. There is a lot of youth on this squad, including 19-year-old Julian Green. Team Experience Had eight players with prior World Cup experience, including Donovan, Dempsey and goalkeeper Tim Howard.

The winner is

Getty Images
Team USA 2010
4 out of 6

The group stage alone makes it highly unlikely that the 2014 US squad matches the fate of the 2010 squad, let alone advance past the Round of 16.

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