For years fans have endured sub-par squads and unusual formations from the US at the World Cup. Certainly no one can forget Steve Sampson’s mighty 7-1-3 “Central Houston” formation or the disquieting sight of Mike Burns playing defense. But, Aussie hater and current coach Bruce Arena has assembled fine team for this year’s tournament.

Look for Clint “Deuce” Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Bobby Convey to have a breakout performances. 2002 Cup heroes DeMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan will prove they are world class players. While Josh Wolff and Brian Ching will likely lead the team . . . onto the bus.

Defenders Oguchi Onyewu and Cory Gibbs should anchor a solid back line, blessed occasionally by The Pope. Uber-Veterans Kasey Keller and Claudio Reyna will room together so they can enjoy the AARP discount.

The roster has a few mild surprises and controverisal choices — such as the use of Courier over Garamond. Ben Olsen and his beard made the team as did defender Jimmy Conrad in place of noted Yahtzee lover, Gregg Berhalter.

Next up for this group is Camp Bruce in Cary, NC.

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