"Fears of a zero points, zero goals World Cup are very real."
"With the [US national team's] style more functional than fancy, giving the ball to [Landon] Donovan and hoping for the best could still be Klinsmann's masterplan."
Question: Are the above excerpts from FourFourTwo's official US national team World Cup preview simply one of the best troll jobs in soccer media history, or is the UK-based football magazine closer to reality than any USMNT fan wants to admit?
Perhaps they're not aware that, at least according to Donovan, he's not even a lock to make the final 23-man squad. If he doesn't make the team, will anybody else even bother to show up?
Have the USMNT been thrown into a tough situation in the so-called "Group of Death?" Sure, maybe so, but as Donovan says, "The reason it’s the 'Group of Death' is also because we are in it."
Regardless of whether or not the folks at FourFourTwo believe their own USMNT preview and prediction, let us take a quick moment to remind ourselves that the British press has written off the Americans at past World Cups and been oh so wrong.
“The USA are just making up the numbers … they can’t play football for toffee … slow at the back, short on real class up front … should get points off Korea, anything else would be a miracle.” — London Evening Standard, prior to World Cup 2002
“Anything other than last place will be an achievement for the Americans.” — John Motson, BBC, prior to World Cup 2002
“Portugal at a canter.” — London Daily Telegraph’s prediction for USA vs. Portugal at World Cup 2002