Below is a list of all 31 teams the United States can face in the World Cup in order of how difficult a matchup each opponent would be. The rankings account for individual matchups, style of play, the tournament's location, U.S. history against the opponent and overall quality.
Blue teams are seeded teams in Pot 1.
Red teams come from Pot 2.
Green teams are Pot 3 teams.
And Grey teams are Pot 4 sides, which the U.S. can't face until the knockouts.
Based on this pecking order, I've put together a best, worst and median difficulty scenarios. The latter just takes the fourth-best team from each pot and places them in the U.S. group.
Group of Near-Certain Doom: Germany, Netherlands, Ghana
Group of 'Wow, really? Thanks again FIFA': Switzerland, Greece, Algeria
Group of Median Difficulty: Belgium, Ivory Coast, Croatia
20. South Korea
21. Ivory Coast
26. Costa Rica
- Jacob Klinger