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Graham Zusi, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones during a match between USA and Portugal

FIFA World Cup™ finals history
The USA team that turned up at the first FIFA world finals in 1930 earned the dubious nickname of the ‘shot-putters’ for their bulky builds. But they proved detractors wrong with a third-place finish, to this day the best placing for any team outside of Europe or South America. They also caused a sensation in Brazil in 1950 when they beat mighty England in Belo Horizante in an upset for the ages. The Americans reached the knockout rounds as hosts in 1994 after decades of failing to qualify for the global showpiece and that success paved the way for more consistency - a quarter-final run in 2002 and two consecutive trips to the Round of 16 in 2010 and 2014.

The team
Veterans like midfielder Michael Bradley, goalkeeper Tim Howard and the forward pairing of Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore remain as the core of the side, complimented by new faces like Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic and Germany-based wing-back Fabian Johnson.

The coach
Bruce Arena was re-appointed USA coach on 22 November 2016 – a day after US Soccer parted ways with former Germany international Jurgen Klinsmann. The most decorated coach in American football history, Arena returns for a second spell in the role after a successful tenure at Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy. In his first spell as USA coach, Arena led the Stars and Stripes to the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™ and was in charge of the Americans when they appeared at Germany 2006. He also led USA to a third-place finish at the FIFA Confederations Cup Mexico 1999, as well as CONCACAF Gold Cup titles in 2002 and 2005.

The stat*
7 –
* the number of consecutive World Cup finals in which the Americans have taken part. When they reached Italy 1990 it ended a run of 40 years in the international wilderness.

The former stars
Frank Borghi, John Harkes, Claudio Reyna, Tab Ramos, Brian McBride, Landon Donovan