Get to know the United States Men's National Team ahead of the 2014 World Cup
June's World Cup means that those who don't follow the United States Men's National Team as regularly as they should (which is very regularly) might be at a loss when this mixture of Americans and Europeans who have American passports takes the nation by storm in Brazil.
Take into account the lack of star forward Landon Donovan, and a host of youngsters new to the national team fold, and there's a lot of catching up to do. Fear not. Here's a rundown on each player on the US 23-man roster, with a bit of background and an overview of the role they're expected to play for coach Jurgen Klinsmann in Brazil.
By Jon Meoli and Jared Chado, The Baltimore Sun
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Clint Dempsey( Christian Petersen, Getty Images / April 3, 2014 )
Notes:Forward ... 31 years old ... 6-foot-1 ... 170 lbs ... Plays for the Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) ... First played for USMNT in 2005 ... Played college soccer at Furman University (2001-03).
Outlook: The United States captain returned to MLS this summer after a successful career in England, and will be a crucial cog in the American set-up. Dempsey is a perfect foil in attack for a target-man like Jozy Altidore, who is expected to lead the line for coach Jurgen Klinsmann. However, groin soreness forced him out of the Azerbaijan match, and his health could be something to watch as the team prepares for Brazil.