After a very successful year in 2010, the USMNT struggled to consistently perform at a high level in a tumultuous 2011. Coaching changes, significant injuries, and rebuilding strategies all contributed to a year full of chaotic disappointment. While there were plenty of bright spots such as Jozy Altidore's emergence and the addition of several talented German-Americans, the team's drop in performance coincided with their FIFA ranking falling to nearly a new low.
However, with the berth of a new year comes a fresh slate where the Yanks can try and prove once again that they are a force to be reckoned with. Multiple factors hint that this prophecy could come true, so here is five of them to get you excited about the USMNT this year.