Confederations Cup Special: USA Pen Pics takes a closer look at the players the U.S. will have to rely on to topple Brazil.

It was a historic semifinal win for the U.S. over Spain. Their reward: Brazil in the final.

The U.S. struggled to climb out of the group stage, but have seemingly turned the page and started a little run of their own in the last two matches.

Brazil has already thumped the U.S. once, and are massive favorites this time around, but the Red White and Blue will not go quietly.

Here's a closer look at the players the U.S. has on offer for the final match.

Tim Howard

The U.S. defense is bolstered by having one of the top ‘keepers in the world behind them in the form of Everton’s Tim Howard. The U.S. number one is not only an accomplished shot stopper, but takes charge of his box as well as anyone. His defense was on form against Spain, but Howard still had to come up with a number of big stops to see the U.S. through to the final.

Carlos Bocanegra

Playing on the left side of the defense, where he has spent a large portion of his club career, Bocanegra helped solidify one of the weak spots in the U.S. starting XI against Spain. The Rennes man may not be the most gifted athlete on the squad, but is credited by teammates as being a great organizer and has earned his captain’s band with solid performances in Red White and Blue over the last three years.

Oguchi Onyewu

The big man in middle for the U.S. is an absolute force in the air and on set plays. His physical stature is imposing in and of itself, but Onyewu shows surprising athleticism and quickness for a player of his size. Against Spain the defender held his ground well and won nearly every aerial battle despite facing an onslaught of pressure in the second half.

Jay DeMerit

DeMerit has worked his way up the U.S. ladder with strong performances for Watford in England, but has only recently become a name that U.S. fans were calling for as a regular starter. Possibly the best of the U.S. back four during their run to the Confederations Cup final, DeMerit has helped facilitate Bocanegra’s move to the left flank and become a perfect compliment to Onyewu. DeMerit has become the poster boy for the blue-collar player with his strong tackles and tireless work rate against some of the top strikers in the game today.

Jonathan Spector

The West Ham defender may be putting a strangle hold on the U.S. right back spot for years to come with his Confederations Cup display. Though he was beaten for a goal by Brazil in the group stage encounter, Spector has made precious few other errors and has shown that despite missing much of the last year through injury he is fit enough to play at a very high level.

Landon Donovan

One of the leaders of the U.S. team, Donovan has been at his best during the Confederations Cup. His pace is troublesome for most defenders and Donovan is a gifted player in the open field who keys the U.S.’s counterattack. The move from Bob Bradley to switch Donovan from a withdrawn striker back to one of the wide midfield roles has opened up more chances for the Galaxy star to use his blinding pace in the open field.

Ricardo Clark

A mainstay in the midfield for the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer, Clark has worked his way into the national team as the lone defensive midfielder on the roster. Not a dynamic player by any means, Clark does the job he is asked to do by protecting the back four and allowing his central partner to get further up the pitch. Clark is another of the workman-like players on the U.S. squad who will never be considered a world class talent, but earns the respect of those he plays against with crunching tackles and a competitive spirit.

Benny Feilhaber

Feilhaber has come back into the fold for the U.S. over the last month after an extended absence from national team duty. Born in Brazil the playmaking midfielder will likely get a chance to start against his birth nation on Sunday with regular starter Michael Bradley out with a red card suspension. Feilhaber is not the fierce defender that Bob Bradley likes in his midfield, but adds skill on the ball and great vision whenever he is included in the team.

Clint Dempsey

One of the most accomplished players on the U.S. roster, Dempsey is a force on the offensive end. A strong player with good size, the Fulham man is dominant in the air, but is as good with the ball at his feet as anyone the U.S. has to offer. A known threat, Dempsey brings a bit of an edge to the field and has popped up with some massive goals in the Confederations Cup.

Jozy Altidore

Big, fast, and young, Jozy Altidore’s prospects for the future are bright. Despite not finding the field for any regular minutes while playing in Spain, Altidore is one of the most potent options the U.S. has up front. The 19-year-old has proven that he can finish with his head and with his feet, but still needs to develop the rest of his game to become a legitimate force in the world game. His goal against Spain ended up being the match winner, and more moments of brilliance should be expected in the near future.

Charlie Davies

A relative unknown on the world stage before the Confederations Cup, Davies has burst onto the scene with his constant running and fearlessness in front of goal. An audacious bicycle attempt against Spain and his goal against Egypt will certainly have caught some eyes, but his pace and compact frame is what will have defenders worried the most.

Brad Guzan

Brad Guzan is still a bit unproven as a top-flight ‘keeper but has shown flashed of brilliance. In limited minuets for Aston Villa last season he showed why he was so highly rated coming out of MLS, and his solid performance against Egypt has most American fans confident that when Howard is not in the net there is a capable number two to fill his shoes.


DaMarcus Beasley

The Rangers midfielder has fallen on hard times. Injuries and lack of matches have seemingly taken away the world beating pace that Beasley once used so effectively. Though he may have lost his starting spot with the U.S., Bradley still has trust in the long-time veteran to do a job off the bench and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him on the field in the late stages Sunday.


Jose Torres

A regular starter for Pachuca in Mexico, Torres is a calm and classy player on the ball. The Texan can play in the center of the pitch or as a wide midfielder and was impressive with his ability to hold possession in the first half of the U.S.’s 3-0 loss to Costa Rica.

Sacha Kljestan

Kljestan has struggled at the club and international level of late. Not exactly a defensive monster, Kljestan relies more on his playmaking abilities to make an impact, but has not been able to find his top form or the back of the net for some time.


Freddy Adu

The largely known prospect has not found much time on the pitch since leaving MLS for Europe. Out of favor at his clubs, the talented youngster has not been given much of a chance to shine for the U.S. and he could still be on the outside looking in when the World Cup rolls around.

Danny Califf

Califf is a viable third option in the center of the defensive line for the U.S. Not blessed with the athletic abilities of Onyewu or Demerit, Califf is a heady player who keeps him calm well, but doesn’t have the physical gifts to be a top notch player on the world scene, though he did show quite well in a friendly against Argentina last summer.

Marvell Wynne

A young and incredibly athletic right back, Wynne needs only to refine his game to become a regular starter for the U.S. On a team that is gifted with plenty of pace, the Toronto F.C. back is arguably the fastest, but lacks some of the technical ability needed to be a regular on the international level.

Jonathan Bornstein

Started the first three matches on the left for the U.S. in the Confederations Cup, but never looked entirely comfortable. Bornstein is a quicker player than Bocanegra, but lacks the size and experience of the U.S. captain.

Heath Pearce

One of the players fighting for the starting job at the left back spot, Pearce may have been pushed further down, or even off, the roster for 2010 by the decision to move Bocanegra to the outside.


Conor Casey

The big striker has gotten a few chances to mix in with the U.S. and hasn’t found much success. A physical player with a bit of a mean streak, Casey was brought in to fill the hole left by Brian Ching’s injury problems, and has not quite lived up to the responsibility.

For more on the U.S. National Team visit's U.S. National Team page.