Less than a year ago, an unheralded team held the record for the longest winning-streak in world football. It was not Spain, Germany or any of the other traditional powerhouses, but the USA, who had won 12 straight games, qualifying for the World Cup with ease. Despite bossing the final round of the regional qualifiers, the USA is not one of the teams that will have the opposition in a panic in Brazil.
Be that as it may, they did start on a high, finishing third at the inaugural World Cup in Uruguay in 1930. That side was nicknamed ‘the shot putters’, a reference to their burly physiques.
Apart from the results, seemingly little has changed since then. USA may well be led by Sunderland’s big target-man Jozy Altidore, who goes by the nickname ‘Oatmeal’ when he is doing well and ‘Dozy’ when he resembles a discarded wardrobe in the opposition’s penalty area.
On his broad shoulders rest the responsibility of having to score the first World Cup goal by a US forward since 2002. Even Mr Own Goal has his name on the score sheet in the 12-year period, but not a US forward.