GEOFF CAMERON is the 'lone star' of Stoke City in the USA squad for this summer's World Cup when at one point it was conceivable that four players could be part of Jurgen Klinsmann's set-up.
Playing at his first ever Finals, Cameron looks destined to figure at his preferred centre half position after finishing their warm-up campaign at the heart of the defence.
Tasked with keeping at bay a plethora of attacking threats in the so-called 'Group of Death', can America's team spirit and dogged determination see them surpass Germany, Portugal and Ghana?
stokecityfc.com spoke to Geoff ahead of the World Cup to see how the US fancy their chances.
How big an achievement is it for you personally to be going to the World Cup Finals this summer?
"It will be massive for me. It's a dream I have had since I was a kid. I remember watching the World Cup back home in 1994, and my Dad actually took me to my first game there which was incredible. Since then I have always dreamed about representing the US at the World Cup."
What would represent a successful tournament for you as a nation?
"We are the underdog, for sure. But, we have an opportunity to show the world that we are a real force to be reckoned with. I think we will get out of the group – we know it will be difficult because it is probably the group of death with Germany, Portugal and Ghana being in there along with ourselves. We are confident though, and we want to show everyone that we are one of the best sides in the world too."
We all know about you as a player Geoff, but which of your teammates could rise to stardom and make a name for themselves out in South America?
"I guess Clint Dempsey is the real stand-out guy for us. He isn't just breaking through – everybody knows of him, but he is a player who has performed at the highest level for a long time, he has scored a lot of goals and he is a big-game player. He is heating up in the MLS right now too, so he will be confident coming into the competition."
Can you give us a random fact about your country that maybe not many people would be aware of?
"That's a difficult one. I guess we are a super-fit side. That may surprise one or two people. We all put a lot of emphasis in fitness and conditioning in the United States, so we are in good shape going out there into the conditions that Brazil will hold for us all."
Tell us why Stoke City supporters should adopt the good old US of A as their second country of choice, after England of course?
"Obviously, we have a little contingent of American guys here at the Club, so that should work in our favour. As well as that, the Club has good links with America anyhow thanks to Phil Rawlins, and in general the two countries tend to get on really well. I think there will be a lot of Stokies rooting for us out there for sure."
GETTING TO KNOW USA
POPULATION // 313.9 million
NATIONAL DISH // Hamburger and fries
NATIONAL ANTHEM // The Star Spangled Banner
BEST WORLD CUP FINISH // Third place in 1930
MEET THE COACH // JURGEN KLINSMANN
The former Spurs star netted 38 goals in 80 internationals and commuted from his home in California when he led his own country’ s 2006 World Cup team. He has been in charge of the States since 2011 and has rebuilt an exciting, attacking team.
MEET THE CAPTAIN // CLINT DEMPSEY
An attacking midfielder who unlike Klinsmann never quite settled at Spurs. At this afternoon’s visitors Fulham however, he made a real name for himself netting 50 goals during a hugely successful five-year career there. He is now in his homeland representing Seattle Sounders.
STAR MAN // MICHAEL BRADLEY
The son of former USA coach Bob, the 26-year-old midfielder has blossomed since a £3.5million move to Roma. He is renowned as being one of the most creative players in Italian footballer, and has demonstrated his abilities on the international stage too, with no fewer than 82 caps.
The States embarked upon a historic 12-game unbeaten run in 2013 – a stretch of fixtures that included World Cup qualification and the Gold Cup, in which they won last summer courtesy of Brek Shea’s dramatic late winner against Panama.
DID YOU KNOW?
During his time at Houston Dynamo, Cameron took part in a series of community service efforts to raise money for local charitable organisations. The 20 for 20 campaign was started in September 2011 when Cameron, who wore the number 20 jersey in Houston, announced a goal to raise a total of $20,000 for the Fisher House and Ronald McDonald House of Houston.
GROUP G GAMES
USA vs Ghana - Monday 16th June (11.00pm British Summer Time)
USA vs Portugal - Sunday 22nd June (11.00pm)
USA vs Germany - Thursday 26th June (5.00pm)