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: Captain America Landon Donovan had a brief sabbatical but made a return to Klinsmann's side for the qualifying campaign, and seems to have his mojo back. Relishes big matches – and with more than 150 USA caps under his belt, he's taken part in a fair few.
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.