Preview - USA and Mexico - the CONCACAF representation at the FIFA World Cup 2014
Analyzing what USA and Mexico, the CONCACAF nations need to do establish themselves amongst the elite.
It’s been far too long since USA and Mexico have impressed at the World cup finals. Will we finally be able to see them living up to their potential? All we know at this moment and time is that if these teams perform on par with the others, the world cup will be a lot more than a trip to Brazil for their respective fans and will hold more interest for the neutrals.
With the World cup just a few days away, it will be interesting to see whether the two North American giants USA and Mexico put up a fight, surprise everyone and finally show what their always exciting and promising squads consisting of many young and talented players is capable of. We haven’t had any such team come up and fight against the best of the best in the recent past.
The fans of these respective countries would be the first ones to hope that this changes in over a month’s time. Having said that, as neutrals, everyone wants to see the so called small teams challenge the bigger teams in the World Cup so that each game is an end to end affair. The United States of America and the Mexico national team have always had players who have impressed as far as club football and domestic tournaments are concerned.
But on the International stage, they haven’t been able to showcase their talents in a way that they’re often expected to. A part of this is down to the competetiveness in both the country’s leagues which was questioned in the past but has improved a lot over time. On a positive note, Mexico have continued to establish their legacy of producing exciting young prospects who’ve later went on to make a name for themselves and Mexico itself in Europe.
Now, after a long wait, both these teams have a blend of youth and experience in their world cup squads. Both countries are in probably the toughest groups available and are expected to go out in the first round itself. Everything taken into consideration including the managers’ tactics, players available and the players’ experience, they have a an outside chance of progressing in this tournament if everything clicks into place.
An impressive performance in Brazil by both these teams could lead to many of their players coming in the limelight which could determine many transfers after the tournament ends.
A success at the world cup finals would further give a boost to both the countries and their’ football bodies and encourage them to invest more and more money into their respective national team set-ups to improve and possibly build on it.
United States of America
USA remain the only CONCACAF team to achieve the highest position in a World Cup (3rd). They come to Brazil on the back of an excellent qualifying campaign having scored the most goals in their group (15). They certainly are a team who can surprise quite a few and do well in Brazil.
Managed by a a man who has a surprise up his sleeve every now and then, USA have adapted to Klinsmann’s methods very well. The 1994 hosts came closest in 2002 when they were knocked out by Germany in the quarters. They lie 3rd in terms of quality in the group of death which consists of Germany, Portugal and Ghana.
USA will again depend on their top experienced performers in Tim Howard, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. They’ve got a goal poacher in Dempsey who takes his chances when given good supply, and a great versatile player in Donovan who can operate anywhere across the front three. Being the captain, Donovan has always led from the front and has mostly been the only genuine performer against the big teams.