23 Reasons We Love the 23 Guys of Team USA
As Team USA’s captain and top striker, #8 Clint Dempsey is a driving force on and off the field. When he’s not going for the goal, Dempsey kicks off his cleats as dad to his number one fans.
Forward Jozy Altidore is a big man with an even bigger heart. As a Haitian-American, Altidore was hands-on during the relief effort following the 2010 Haiti earthquake and has since launched his own nonprofit. Look closely—Altidore often wears a wristband with both the flags of Haiti and USA during games.
Some say #4 midfielder Michael Bradley is USA’s best hope for victory in the World Cup. But aside from soccer, this New Jersey-born boy (and son to our former national team coach!) was raised on Bruce Springsteen. He saw his first show at just 8-years-old and has been hooked since.
Team USA’s goalkeeper, Tim Howard, works hard for his lean, mean muscle: He's adhered to a strict paleo diet for over a year. But what meal is the Achilles’ heel for even the most focused athlete? Pizza and a microbrew! Howard especially has a weakness for the Philosopher's Pie from Memphis, where he and his wife own a home.
You’ve seen those dreads. Known as the free spirit on the team, #15 midfielder Kyle Beckerman has been working on his ‘do for over 10 years. He says he first saw the style around his home state of Maryland and has simply always liked it.
No, that’s not Kevin Bacon! In fact, #9 striker Aron Jóhannsson gets that comparison a lot; so much so, that the Icelandic-American athlete’s nickname is Aron Bacon. And Jóhannsson will be the first to admit—he’s not entirely sure if it comes from his doppelganger or his dance moves.
Sure, Team USA may be a diamond in the rough against the staggering World Cup competition. But our defender, DaMarcus Beasley, can polish up an exquisite ring out of that diamond. Yes ladies, the football star also designs jewelry and even collaborated on his own collection.
Norwegian-American Midfielder Mikkel Diskerud, or “Mix,” has that flowing head of hair on the field. Off the field though, he’s typically covered with a cap, previously telling reporters that one of his favorite pastimes is adding to his hat collection and, from the looks of it, he has many.
RELATED: Your Complete Guide to the World Cup
Forget the soccer ball! What accessory can we bet on forward Chris Wondolowski having handy in Brazil? His iPad. Wondolowski, or “Wondo,” is just as addicted to Game of Thrones as the rest of us and has admitted that the delays of streaming the show are already killing him.
Perhaps the reformed bad boy of the team, #13 Jermaine Jones has numerous tattoos and a serious record for playing dirty, but the midfielder swears he’s calmed down since his younger days. Now he’s a dad of five and wears six bracelets of his kids’ and wife’s name during games.
Making it to the World Cup doesn’t seem so mission impossible to Graham Zusi. The midfielder said if he wasn’t playing soccer he’d want to be in the CIA. He even majored in criminology while attending the University of Maryland.
He’s a newlywed! Texas-born defender Omar Gonzalez is just recently off the market after saying ‘I do’ to his wife, Erika, only three months ago. Now this is a honeymoon to remember forever.
Flat top? Mohawk? Racing stripes? No problem. Defender DeAndre Yedlin has a signature rocker style on and off the field that we can’t help but take notice.
He's the popular guy. It’s clear midfielder Alejandro Bedoya has a lot of fans but one in particular—ex-soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis of The Bachelor—surprised us. Galavis recently shared this pic of himself and Bedoya.
After being the pint-sized player on his soccer team as a kid (a coach once told defender Geoff Cameron to stock up on bread to grow), this Bostonian now stands at an untouchable six feet three inches tall.
As a German-born defender, Timothy Chandler has been taking English classes once a week to help him communicate better with his coaches and teammates. Talk about dedication!
Despite being a Munich-made defender, Fabian Johnson has both patriotism and athleticism running in his blood. His father was actually an American basketball player.
Meet your all-American, downhome hero. Defender Matt Besler sports Kansas City, is loyal to his barbecue (really, he knows his sauces!), and loves his country music.
This is #14 Brad Davis’ first FIFA World Cup! The midfielder also regularly plays for the Houston Dynamo, where he created “Brad’s Brigade” to bring recognition to men and women who have served for their country.
The second choice goalkeeper next to Howard, #12 Brad Guzan is known by his teammates as the “Polar Bear,” and according to Michael Bradley, “for a lot of different reasons.” We’ll let you figure out what that means.
Goalkeeper Nick Rimando has come a far way from World Cups passed. Four years ago, he rented a house outside of Las Vegas with nearly 200 friends to watch the games and enjoy the festivities.
John Anthony Brooks
Little known defender John Anthony Brooks executed a perfect header in the 86th minute of the rival match between USA and Ghana to win the game and said the moment was literally a dream come true. He actually had a dream two days prior where he scored a header from the corner in the 80th minute of the game for the win.
Meet the youngster on the team: Midfielder Julian Green just turned—wait for it—19-years-old this month. He already plays for one of the best German clubs in the world and, of course, can now add the World Cup to that resume.