U.S. confident of good showing despite tough draw
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The days are long gone when it was a surprise for the United States to reach the World Cup finals, but for a country used to sporting success they are still some way short of making a major impact on the tournament.
It remains one of the final sporting frontiers for the United States to conquer although they reached the semi-finals in 1930 and caused one of soccer's greatest upsets when they beat England the last time that the World Cup was held in Brazil in 1950.
Since that inaugural event they have reached the quarter-finals just once, in 2002, although this will be the United States' seventh successive appearance in the finals, a consistent run bettered only by Brazil, Italy, Argentina, Germany, Spain and South Korea.
They face a tough challenge going far in Brazil after being drawn in Group G with Germany, Portugal and Ghana although head coach Juergen Klinsmann is adamant his side has every chance of reaching the round of 16.
"I'm not worried at all. I'll just take it the way it is and we're going to prepare the best way and we're going to be well prepared for the World Cup," Klinsmann said.
"We'll build up confidence and believe that we can get good results to get into the next round.
"We're excited about this, big time. That's where you want to be in a World Cup. It's a difficult draw but we'll find a way to go through it."
STRENGTH IN DEPTH Continued...