The United States had what can be called a successful tournament at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil this summer.
The Stars and Stripes reached the knockout stage of the competition against all odds, as they managed to fight their way out of a group that contained eventual winners Germany, a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal, and a Ghana side that while promising big things with several attacking talents failed to produce after in-fighting with their own Football Association.
The States were dumped out by Belgium immediately after however, but the country was uplifted by their battling qualities and never say die attitude.
Before the tournament in Brazil however, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters that he knew it would be impossible for his side to come out with the World Cup trophy, which upset a lot of people back Stateside.
Semi Spot for Uncle Sam
There will be none of that negativity in Russia for the 2018 edition of the biggest prize in football, with the German Klinsmann saying that he wants his team to reach the Semi Finals at the minimum.
In an interview with NBC Sports' Arlo White, said that after getting out of the Group of Death, his team should have progressed further, and they will do that in Russia.
"I was left with that feeling that once you get out of the most difficult group of the World Cup you should go further than the Round of 16. That was my sense to it," Klinsmann said.
"It was possible to get into the quarterfinal. It was even possible to get into the semifinal in Brazil for us which nobody would probably believed. But this is how I looked at it," Klinsmann added. "And this is our goal going toward Russia  – not to stop at the Round of 16 and not to stop at the quarterfinals."
Hard Work Ahead
The coach did add that it would be a hard task, with a lot of work needed in the next four years if they are going to reach a level where they are capable of becoming one of the best teams in the world.
"To say clearly we have four years to prepare this cycle and our goal is to go into a semifinal in a World Cup and that means a lot of work, a lot of competition and a lot of grind."
A lot of that work will be bringing through the next crop of young American stars. The likes of Julian Green, Emerson Hyndman and Joe Gyau - who all play in Europe - could well be crucial to these hopes.
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