By Gina Miranda |Staff Writer|
The United States men’s national soccer team is preparing to compete in the 2014 World Cup.
U.S head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has just announced 30 potential players for the United States roster with preliminary evaluations underway.
“These next couple of weeks will allow us to make the final determinations on the best 23-man unit to represent the United States in the World Cup,” said Klinsmann.
Potentials players have already begun conditioning at Stanford University where they are expected to compete over the next few weeks. Among those is Landon Donovan, a Redlands California native and midfielder for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
A final roster for the U.S. men’s national soccer team is expected to be announced by June 2. The 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to take place throughout 12 stadiums across Brazil, with host cities such as Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro.
Construction for the host country of Brazil has been underway for the last 7 years. Brazilian authorities are overseeing the finishing touches in accordance with FIFA expectations. Darren Heitner, a sports writer for Forbes magazine, estimates that tourists alone will contribute $3.03 billion to the Brazilian economy. Furthermore, the Brazilian Institute of tourism estimates Brazilian citizens will contribute approximately $7.9 billion to the World Cup including locally planned festivities.
The U.S. is expected to face some heavy competition in the group stage against the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the world, Germany and Portugal. “How many teams get to play Ghana, Portugal and Germany in one World Cup? We’re excited about the opportunity, as daunting as it might seem,” said Donovan.
The U.S. were defeated 2-1 in the 2010 World Cup against Ghana where they lost in extra time. In group G the U.S. must also face off against Cristian Ronaldo, who currently plays for Real Madrid, and Portugal.
Ronaldo was recently dubbed the best soccer player in the world, according to FIFA and will undoubtedly keep the U.S. attentive in their scheduled match up for group play. Donovan recently commented on Ronaldo and his expectations for the World Cup. “He [Ronaldo] can single handedly win games against some of the best teams in the world, we will certainly be cautious of where he is,” Donovan continued. “But there is still a lot of confidence in our team that we can advance and get out of this group.” Klinsmann also expects to make it passed group stage and into the qualifying rounds.
“We can surprise people in Brazil, but obviously our expectation is to get out of the group no matter who we draw. After that, we need to make the players understand it is all about mind games,” Klinsmann continued. “Every game becomes 50-50 and will be won by the team who is better prepared and believes in themselves more.” The last time the United States Men’s National Soccer team placed in a World Cup was in 1930 with a third place finish. In less than one month, the U.S. is scheduled to take the field against Ghana on June 16 at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil.