Tale of the Tape: USA Soccer 2014 vs. 2010
- PairingsKnown as the “Group of Death”: Ghana (#37 world ranking; eliminated USA in last two World Cups) Portugal (#4 world ranking) Germany (#2 world ranking)Draw vs. England (#8 world ranking) Draw vs. Slovenia (#25 world ranking) Win vs. Algeria (#30 world ranking)
- Star PlayerClint Dempsey. Second-most goals in US history headlines an otherwise youthful roster.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.
- UniformsAn awful lot of red, but hey, it’s not the pageant look.Soccer team, or beauty pageant contestants?
- Head CoachJurgen 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.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.
- Coach's Pre-Tournament QuoteKlinsmann: “We cannot win this World Cup, because we are not at that level yet.” Don’t you feel the motivation?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.
- Team ExperienceDonovan’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.Had eight players with prior World Cup experience, including Donovan, Dempsey and goalkeeper Tim Howard.
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.