How they qualified: Comfortably, winning seven of their ten games and scoring 15 goals in the process. An early defeat to Honduras had critics questioning Jurgen Klinsmann's tactics, but the Germany legend turned things around in the end.
World Cup pedigree: Finished third in 1930, still a high point for any team outside of Europe and South America. Since then their fortunes have been mixed, with group-stage exits in 1934, 1990, 1998 and 2006. Almost reached the last four in 2002, but lost 1-0 to Germany in the quarter-finals. In 2010, the States kicked off with a 1-1 draw against England before bowing out in the last 16 after an extra-time loss to Ghana.
Main man: Jermaine Jones will be essential now that midfielder Landon Donovan, who scored countless goals for USA, has been left out of Klinsmann's squad. His experience of top-flight football in Germany stands him in good stead, and he will be expected to lead by example.
One to watch: Michael Bradley's an efficient, intelligent player in midfield. Unlike many of his team-mates, he also has valuable experience of playing in one of Europe's top leagues (for Roma in Serie A).
What are their chances? They're an interesting prospect under Klinsmann, and if first-choice striker Jozy Altidore could only find the net more regularly, they could be onto something. But no matter how well-organised they are, an early bath seems the most likely outcome for them in Brazil – keeper Tim Howard will be a busy man, especially against the likes of Germany and Portugal in Group G.
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Timmy Chandler, Omar Gonzalez, Fabian Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Brad Davis, Mix Diskerud, Julian Green, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Aron Johannsson, Chris Wondolowski