World Cup: United States of America
(Ian Walton / Getty Images)
The U.S. team lines up before a friendly against Netherlands on March 3 in Amsterdam.
Men's ranking: 16
Overall World Cup record: 6-16-3
Coach: Bob Bradley
Best performance: Third place, 1930
Overview: A stunning upset of European champion Spain and a gutsy performance in a one-goal loss to Brazil in the Confederations Cup in South Africa last year might have raised American hopes too high. Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and friends could have peaked a year too soon, especially in light of subsequent injuries to so many starters, not least of all speedy forward Charlie Davies. The opener against England will reveal much. -- Grahame L. Jones