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Fulham’s Clint Dempsey has been giving his thoughts about this summer’s World Cup. He’s keen to play down the significance of the USA’s opening game against England but has conceded that another group stage exit would be a failure for Bob Bradley’s side. I’d make him right about that – such expectations also show just how the States have progressed over the last decade or so.

Dempsey’s excitement is clear.

It’s kind of exciting because in a big competition you want to play against some of the best teams in the world.

On England:

It’s great to have the opportunity to play against them but you know every team is going to be difficult so we are just looking forward to it and hopefully we can advance from the group.

He’s wary of Algeria and a ‘tough’ group:

Algeria did well in the African Nations Cup and they’re not going to be an easy team to beat, they’ve showed that.

We know we’ve got a tough group and we’ll take each game one at a time, but advancing through the group has to be the goal and anything less than that will be a failure.

As usual, though, Clint’s confident and he’s got good cause to be.

We are a solid team, we finished first in our qualifying campaign and we did well in the Confederations Cup last year. We beat Spain which not many people thought we could do that but once you get out the group it’s a one off game and anything can happen.