Previous appearances in finals: 8
USA Team Fact Box
Nickname: The Red, White, and Blue
Best performance: Third place in 1930
Coach: Bob Bradley. After coaching three teams in Major League Soccer and then moving to the U.S. under-23s, Bradley was given the job when Bruce Arena left after the 2006 World Cup. Guided the side to victory in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and they were runners-up at the 2009 Confederations Cup where the team pulled off a major upset by beating Spain in the semi-finals.
Captain: Carlos Bocanegra
Club: Los Angeles Galaxy
FIFA World Cup Finals appearances: 8 (2002, 2006)
Long considered the leading American player, Donovan failed to spark in the 2006 finals and has a habit of fading in big games, a reputation he will want to put to bed in South Africa. Often used on the flank, he can provide the creative influence. His form will be important to U.S. fortunes.
FIFA World Cup Finals appearances: 2 (2006)
Dempsey can play on either flank and as a central striker, bringing grit and aggression to the side but also a lack of consistency that showed itself during qualification. Excelled at the Confederations Cup.
FIFA World Cup Qualifier appearances: 16 (2006, 2010)
While several members of the U.S. squad play in England and other leading European leagues, few are as established as Howard. He marshalls the defence and is not afraid to raise his voice.
FIFA world ranking May 2010: 14
How they qualified: Having eased through the first qualifying phase, Bradley's side got the final stage off to a perfect start with a 2-0 home victory over closest rivals Mexico. Although the Mexicans gained revenge at the Azteca Stadium, winning 2-1, United States finished top of the six-team group largely thanks to a 3-2 triumph in Honduras.
Prospects: Confidence was high after the Confederations Cup but injuries to key defender Oguchi Onyewu and car-crash victim Charlie Davies have weakened the side. Bradley needs all his key men on top form to make an impact in South Africa.
World Cup Squad:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton)
Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve
Cherundolo (Hannover), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK
Start), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Jonathan Spector (West Ham)
DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Michael Bradley (Borussia
Moenchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Clint Dempsey
(Fulham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers),
Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jose Torres
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Hull), Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Herculez Gomez (Pachuca).
USA captain Landon Donovan (L) will hope to bring his impressive club form into the international arena. (AFP)