South Africa has already proved to be a land of opportunity for the United States, who unexpectedly reached the Confederations Cup final there last summer in thrilling fashion. They defeated African champions Egypt and then ended the world record unbeaten run of Euro 2008 winners Spain before succumbing to Brazil after letting slip a 2-0 lead.
The USA went on to reach a second final a month later in the Gold Cup, before finishing as group winners in a straightforward World Cup qualifying campaign. But the last year has not been an outright success story. A run of five defeats against fellow World Cup qualifiers has cultivated doubts about the team's pedigree, while injury problems could yet expose their lack of strength in depth.
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