Jun. 16: vs. Portugal
Jun. 21: vs. Ghana
Jun. 26: vs. USA
Chelsea players: André Schürrle (33)
Potential transfer targets: Schalke's Julian Draxler, 20, is one of the most coveted players in Europe this summer, while Chelsea have been linked with both Sami Khedira (fresh off and barely recovered from his ACL surgery) and Toni Kroos (supposedly unhappy at Bayern Munich) as well.
Others: On paper, Germany looks a very strong proposition and they always seem to relish World Cup competition. Even 36-year-old Miroslav Klose or underwhelming-for-Arsenal Lukas Podolski may be threats simply because it's the World Cup. Throw in world class talent like Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Mesut Özil, Mario Götze, and Mats Hummels, and they've got the promise of a winning and entertaining combination - especially if Bastian Schweinsteiger rediscovers his true abilities.
Jun. 16: vs. USA
Jun. 21: vs. Germany
Jun. 26: vs. Portugal
Chelsea players: Christian Atsu (23)
Potential transfer targets: Kevin-Prince Boateng had a turn at the Chelsea rumor mill wheel last sumer (before ending up at Schalke 04), while 24-year-old André Ayew probably won't be staying at Marseille for too many more seasons.
Jun. 16: vs. Germany
Jun. 22: vs. USA
Jun. 26: vs. Ghana
Chelsea players: none
Potential transfer targets: Left back Fábio Coentrão may or may not be looking to leave Real Madrid, while the ever steady João Moutinho may or may not want to stay hidden at Monaco. A new name on the block is 22-year-old William Carvalho (no relation to ol' Ricardo), who should be cashing in soon especially if he gets a chance to impress during the tournament.
Others: MRLSH! MRLSH beard! MRLSH tattoos! MRLSH hair! MRLSH baggy-shorts!
MRLSH Raul Meireles, cult hero! Oh and there's that Cristiano something there, too. Yeah, the dude with the tendinosis. I think he's decent.
Jun. 16: vs. Ghana
Jun. 21: vs. Portugal
Jun. 26: vs. Germany
Chelsea players: none
Potential transfer targets: none
Others: As much as I look forward to Deuceface or the consistent excellence at goalkeeper, some of the younger guys in the squad may yet emerge as key players. Players like Aron Jóhansson (who was the third best goalscorer in the Dutch league), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle's home grown right back), and Mix Diskerud (and his lovely flowing locks) could finally ensure that there is life beyond Dempsey and Donovan. And let's not forget Michael Bradley either, who despite trading Roma for Toronto, remains arguably the most important player for the United States.