BACK AT THE WORLD CUP: The Danes return to the FIFA World Cup in 2010 after an eight-year absence from the World's biggest tournament. Denmark advanced to the quarterfinals in 1998 and made it to the second round in 2002, but was absent from the 2006 World Cup held by neighboring Germany. Morten Olsen's team navigated a difficult Group 1 in UEFA World Cup qualifying, finishing in first place ahead of Portugal and massive rival Sweden to assure themselves of an automatic place in South Africa next summer. The Danes' biggest victories came in Lisbon, when injury time goals from Christian Poulssen and Daniel Jensen gave them a shock 3-2 win against Portugal, and against Sweden in Copenhagen when a 1-0 win clinched a berth in the World Cup.
BRIEF HISTORY: Denmark has one of the oldest federations in Europe but it took the national team until 1986 to qualify for its first World Cup. Since then, however, the Danes have established themselves as one of the most consistent performers on the continent, with the 1992 European Championship the crowning achievement for the Scandinavian nation. Denmark has advanced out of the first round in all three World Cups in which they have taken part. In 1986 and 2002 Denmark made it to the Round of 16. At France '98, Bo Johansson's side defeated Nigeria before falling 3-2 to Brazil in a memorable quarterfinal match in Nantes.
CALLING 'EM IN: Similar to the United States, Denmark's roster features a mixture of players who feature in the domestic league and players who are earning their wages on the books of clubs across Europe. Goalkeeper Thomas Sørensen and defender Lars Jacobsen were regular contributers to a backline which allowed a scant five goals over ten games in World Cup qualifying. Midfielder Christian Poulsen is the engine in the midfield, and he lead the team in minutes played (882) while featuring in every game for the Danes. Other contributers Dennis Rommedahl and Nicklas Bendtner are absent through injury, but Denmark maintains a veteran presence with forwards Jesper Grønkjaer, Martin Jørgensen and Jon Dahl Tomasson. All three are World Cup veterans, with Jørgensen featuring in five games during the 1998 tournament. Jakob Poulsen and Michael Lumb are teammates of Benny Feilhaber's at Aarhus and will look to contribute to their team's effort in front of their home crowd at NRGi Park.