Tomorrow morning, the ping pong balls will bounce around and the "random" draw for the World Cup will be held. So much of getting out of the group stage next summer in South Africa will be determined on the draw. Unfortunately, the US has been sufficiently screwed in pot allocations.
Since North America is a bit of a footballing ghetto on the world stage, the Yanks have been placed in the group with the other "minnows," teams from Asia and Oceania. It's the Stars and Stripes' curse for being the big fish in a little pond. Teams from the same continent cannot be drawn against each other outside of two European teams in each group (ie: Algeria cannot be drawn against South Africa, Paraguay cannot be drawn against Brazil)
Goal.com has a great piece on what the best and worst-case scenarios would be for Landon, Timmy, Jozy and the gang.
Pot 1 (Seeded teams: Host country and top 7 teams in October '09 FIFA World Rankings)
Pot 2 (North American, Asian, and Oceanian teams)
Pot 3 (African and non-seeded South American teams)
Pot 4 (Non-seeded European teams)