The added value of Torres and Gomez 

June, 3, 2010

For a team that has boasted many Latin players -- from Tab Ramos to Fernando Clavijo to Claudio Reyna -- over the years, the U.S. heads into a World Cup with two bona fide Mexican league stars on its roster for the first time ever. Who cares? Many national team fans certainly don't. After all, the World Cup is where club affiliations are put aside (for a month at least), and it's not like Jose Francisco Torres and Herculez Gomez are expected to be in the American XI on June 12, anyway.

Still, if either -- or both -- can contribute to the American effort in South Africa, it could go a long way toward winning over new supporters and media interest for World Cups to come.

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.