College stars make World Cup Cut

College stars make World Cup Cut

Jurgen Klinsmann and his team go into the World Cup with an uphill battle on their hands – a bigger one than ever before. Labelled the ‘Group of Death’, the USMNT will head up 2014 World Cup group G fixtures against Germany, Portugal and Ghana and they are favourites to finish bottom of the group.

Klinsmann’s squad has also raised a few eyebrows. Landon Donovan has been left out of the 23 who will fly out to Brazil, whilst a plethora of College graduates have made the cut.

In total,
there are 11 players heading to Brazil who have come through the university system, with the standby list bumping that number up even further. With that in mind, we take a look at the college soccer teams who will be represented in Rio this summer:


Maryland Terrapins

The Terps can call Fred Funk, Gary Collins and baseball legend Charlie Keller amongst their alumni, so it’s no wonder there could be four of their former players lighting up the World Cup this summer.

Omar Gonzalez and Graham Zusi have made the USMNT initial 23, with Clarence Goodson and Stoke City midfielder Maurice Edu on standby.

Gonzalez has been a consistent figure in the MLS Best XI and has earned 18 caps for his country already, whilst last season Zusi also joined his fellow Terp in the team.


Furman Paladins

If the US are to have a successful World Cup, much will rest on the performances of former Furman student Clint Dempsey. The national captain is the country’s second highest goal-scorer and is tipped to do well in Brazil.

Dempsey, who also counts Fulham FC and Tottenham Hotspur as former employers, will need to be in inspired form if the USMNT are to pull off a sensational shock and make it through to the Second Round.

Time and time again he has proved capable, though; netting eight times in just nine games for the Seattle Sounders this season.


Rhode Island Rams

The Rhode Island Rams haven’t had too many notable soccer players over the years, but Geoff Cameron won’t be the first player to represent the Rams at the FIFA World Cup.

Back in France ’98, Jamaican winger Andy Williams joined up with his compatriots to make one substitute appearance.

Cameron will be hoping to play more of a role come June 16. The Stoke City defender is likely to form the heart of the United States team that will attempt to shut out the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze when’s soccer’s biggest show commences in a couple of weeks’ time.