William Carvalho (Portugal/Sporting Lisbon)
Standing out with his physical presence and solid all-round game, the 22-year-old defensive midfielder has quickly established himself as one of the top players in Portugal during his first season as a regular.
A relative newcomer to the national team setup, his performances have been impressive enough to earn calls for him to start this summer, and he could well be given the chance against the USA, with reported suitors Manchester United no doubt watching closely.
Matt Besler (USA/Sporting Kansas City)
Forced off at half-time of the Ghana win with a hamstring injury, the 27-year-old centre-back looks to have recovered in time to face Portugal, with his steady and reliable presence a big boost to manager Jurgen Klinsmann’s defence.
A proficient passer out of the back, the 2012 MLS Defender of the Year turned down Premier League offers to re-sign with his hometown club Sporting KC in December 2012, but now appears open to re-exploring European options.
The 26-year-old striker has battled back from a series of serious knee injuries to make the final 23 for Brazil, where Hugo Almeida’s injury leaves him a prime candidate to start the side’s decisive second game.
Once a reported target of both Arsenal and Liverpool, if the tall frontman proves himself past his previous fitness issues, then his combination of pace, strength and skill could well renew Premier League interest.
Graham Zusi (USA/Sporting Kansas City)
Forced to settle for a bench role in the opener against Ghana, the versatile midfielder came on to step up and deliver the corner for John Brooks’ dramatic late game-winner.
Widely considered one of the best all-round players in MLS over the past few seasons, the 27-year-old was on trial with West Ham United in January last year and seems poised for a move to Europe in the near future, along with teammate and close friend Besler.
Rafa Silva (Portugal/Braga)
With a squad reeling from injury and suspension, manager Paulo Bento could well opt to introduce the 21-year-old playmaker at some point should he require an offensive spark.
One of Portuguese football’s top revelations in his debut top-flight campaign, the promising midfielder has impressed many observers with his creativity, skill, dribbling and vision enough to attract strong interest from Everton in recent months.