Here is what some local soccer enthusiasts think about the U.S. squad and the World Cup as a whole.
How will the U.S. fare?
Manny Lagos, head coach, Minnesota United FC: I do believe that we will get out of our group. We will pull out some 1950 magic and have an upset or two. In terms of realistically winning the whole thing, that might be a tall order, but the U.S. would still be my first pick.
Jon Marthaler, SoccerCentric blogger on startribune.com: The Americans will finish second in a difficult group, before falling somewhat disappointingly to Belgium in the first knockout round.
Michael Rand, Star Tribune digital sports editor and World Cup editor: Sorry, but I just don’t see the U.S. squad getting out of the Group of Death. Even if the Americans get a favorable result in the opener against Ghana, Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad won’t be able to topple Portugal and Germany.
Who will win it all?
Lagos: If I had a 1A, I would say Brazil would have to be the favorite. I think this Brazilian team is pretty tight and gel really well together because they know who they will be playing alongside during the World Cup and have known for a while.
Marthaler: Betting against Germany at the World Cup is always foolish — especially against this year’s team, one of their strongest. I’ll say 2-0 over Argentina in the final.
Rand: The best players rise to the occasion on the biggest stage. I also like Argentina to reach the final, but let’s say Lionel Messi has a World Cup for the ages and leads Argentina to a championship.