Young guns shooting for a 2014 spot 

July, 9, 2010

It's been almost two weeks since the U.S. team's World Cup dream ended, and the American fans who packed bars from coast to coast are already looking ahead to 2014. Some pundits have even gone as far as to predict the country's 23-man squad for Brazil. It's a fun exercise, to be sure, but a fool's game if ever there was one; anyone have Oregon State's Robbie Findley on a 2010 list after the USA's ouster in 2006?

Still, if you're looking for the future of the national team, look no further than a soccer-specific stadium near you. Because, based on the last three cycles, if you want to project who will make their first World Cup team in four years, chances are they're now between 18 and 24 years old and having good first or second years in MLS.

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