USMNT player profiles

US national team, World Cup player profile: Graham Zusi

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‘San Zusi’ saved Mexico’s World Cup hopes with his late goal against Panama, but he has a chance to become a household name in the United States and Mexico by the end of the tournament. With the ability to change a game, the solid Zusi is capable of the stunning cross, pass or run, though he isn’t a world-class finisher.

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Full name: Graham Jonathan Zusi

Age: 27

Hometown: Longwood, Florida

Position: Midfielder

Caps/goals: 21 caps, 3 goals

Club: Sporting Kansas City

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: That ‘San Zusi’ marker, the second of two goals in four days for the USMNT back in October.

Starter or squad player at World Cup? An expected starter on the right side of Klinsmann’s midfielder, Zusi may make an impression against the run of play or on set pieces. Even if Omar Gonzalez’s ponytail doesn’t dent the lineup, it appears there will be one: Zusi is a fixture.

US national team, World Cup player profile: DeAndre Yedlin

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He’ll turn 21 by the time the tournament ends, and DeAndre Yedlin seems more of the future than the present (even after earning his fourth cap against Turkey on Sunday). Seattle’s hometown hero has pace to burn and was an MLS All-Star in 2013.

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Full name: DeAndre Yedlin

Age: 20

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Position: Defender

Caps/goals: 4 caps, 0 goals

Club: Seattle Sounders

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Presumably his debut on Feb. 1 against South Korea, at least until the first time he pulls on a shirt in Brazil.

Starter or squad player at World Cup? Yedlin’s a squad player at outside back, but it’d be unwise to completely rule out the Sounders youngster. Fabian Johnson’s performance makes it unlikely Yedlin could make a real dent at right back, but Klinsmann’s clear search for answers on the left side could make an out-of-position appearance or two a possibility.

US national team, World Cup player profile: Chris Wondolowski

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It’s been less than 11 months since “Wondo” scored the first of his nine US goals, and the fairytale earned its latest chapter when Chris Wondolowski made the final 23-man roster headed for Brazil. The longtime Major League Soccer scorer has underdog status to be sure, but also has received vitriol — might I add, unnecessarily — for doing his work in an unspectacular manner. With a strike rate to make longtime US stalwart Brian Ching blush, Wondo has earned his space.

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Full name: Christopher Elliott Wondolowski

Age: 31

Hometown: Danville, California

Position: Forward

Caps/goals: 20 caps, 9 goals

Club: San Jose Earthquakes

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: His run as starter for nearly every game of the 2013 Gold Cup tournament, in which the Yanks reclaimed the title for the first time since 2007 with a 1-0 win over Panama in the final.

Starter or squad player at World Cup? Wondolowski is not expected to be anything more than a sub, but was plugged into Jurgen Klinsmann’s lineup when Clint Dempsey was injured before last week’s win over Azerbaijan. He performed admirably and, with his ascension front of mind, would you really rule him out of anything?

US national team, World Cup player profile: Nick Rimando

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The darling of Major League Soccer neutrals, Nick Rimando is otherwise an unsung goalkeeper on the international scene. Stuck behind Tim Howard and Brad Guzan on the United States national team depth chart, Rimando has had to “settle” for the glories of club over country. The two-time MLS Cup champion — DC United in 2004 and Real Salt Lake in 2009 — will turn 35 during the tournament, most likely singing his World Cup swan song from the bench.

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Full name: Nicholas Paul Rimando

Age: 34

Hometown: Montclair, California

Position: Goalkeeper

Caps: 14 caps

Club: Real Salt Lake

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: His run as starter for nearly every game of the 2013 Gold Cup tournament, in which the Yanks reclaimed the title for the first time since 2007 with a 1-0 win over Panama in the final.

Starter or squad player at World Cup? Third-choice keeper.

US national team, World Cup player profile: Jermaine Jones

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Jermaine Jones arrived on the United States radar within the past half-decade, so it’s easy to forget this is the veteran’s last true go at a World Cup. The longtime Schalke man, now plying his trade in Turkey, actually made three appearances for Germany in 2008 after a long time of development in his birth country. Since switching allegiances in 2009, Jones has drawn the admiration and/or ire of many American fans with his hard tackles, on-the-edge play and constant danger… of a card.

Plus he’s got this swell American tattoo.

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Full name: Jermaine Jones

Age: 32

Hometown: Frankfurt am Main, West Germany

Position: Midfielder

Caps/goals: 42 caps, 2 goals

Club: Besiktas

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Captained the United States for matches against Venezuela and Panama in January 2012, but it’s hard to argue against the “Sno-Fro” game in which the Yanks defeated Costa Rica 1-0 in a snow-storming Colorado.

Starter or squad player at World Cup? Hard to say he’s anything but a starter, as Jurgen Klinsmann seems to adore the runaway train that is Jones. But can the 32-year-old be trusted to stay restrained as a defensive center midfielder? Moreover, does he maintain the same value? Many will argue it comes down to Jones or Kyle Beckerman as the “bottom of the diamond