Jonathan Spector believes the United States have what it takes to reach the 2010 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals.
The 24-year-old missed the 2006 tournament in Germany with a shoulder injury, and is desperate to be involved this time around after being named in Bob Bradley's 23-man squad.
Spector, whose earliest World Cup memory is meeting Germany striker Jurgen Klinsmann during the 1994 competition in his native Chicago, appeared four times for his country in qualifying, having helped the Americans to reach the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa last summer.
The Arlington Heights-born defender is better the achievements of his fellow countrymen four years ago, when the United States finished bottom of a group that also included Italy, Ghana and Czech Republic.
To do so, Bradley's side must overcome the challenge of England, Algeria and Slovenia, who they have been paired with in Group C.
"I can certainly see us getting out of the group. We obviously start with a really tough game against England, but we'll be looking to get something out of that and also out of the other two. After that, anything is possible. I think we've got a chance of having a good run.
"Not getting out of our group would be a disappointment. Getting to the Round of 16 would be a slight success, but I think we'd still be disappointed if we got out of the group and then went out. It would probably be unrealistic to think we can win the World Cup at this stage, but we can certainly be competitive and build on what we've done in the past."
Spector is one of a number of English-based players named in the US squad, with the likes of Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, Watford defender Jay DeMerit and Fulham forward Clint Dempsey also included.
The Hammers player believes all three, alongside ex-Everton forward Landon Donovan, will make a splash in South Africa, while the coach's son Michael, who plays in the German Bundesliga, could also make his mark.
"It's hard to pick a best player. Our goalkeeper Tim Howard is a fantastic player and a key member of the team. Going forward, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey are our most creative players. They are our three most important players.
"I'm not sure if any of our guys are unknown any more, but of the guys who are not playing in England, Michael Bradley - the manager's son - is doing well with Borussia Moenchengladbach in Germany."
The United States kick-off their World Cup challenge against England in Rustenburg on 12 June, before completing their Group C campaign with engagements with Slovenia and Algeria on 18 June and 23 June respectively.