The United States head to New Zealand for their sixth crack at the World Cup knowing that there is little to no chance that they will make it through to the last eight of the tournament.
With Australia, Ireland and Italy in the group - currently ranked second, sixth and eleventh in the world - the best the Eagles can hope for is a morale-boosting win over tournament rookies Russia.
"We are a tier two nation with three tier one nations and another tier two nation so our focal point is to beat Russia," the Eagles coach Eddie O'Sullivan told AFP.
"Should we turn over one tier one side then I think that would be a major shock. If we beat two of them then it would be a massive shock. It is unlikely to happen but we will target our opening game against Ireland and take it from there," he said.
A recent documentary about the game in the United States is entitled "A Giant Awakens: the rise of American rugby". Sadly, this is based more on wishful thinking than on the cold reality of results.
The United States certainly have some top players, notably their captain and flank Todd Clever, who made his mark with the Lions in Super Rugby last year before moving to Japan, and the lightning fast wing Takudzwa Ngwenya whose try against South Africa - one of the the highlights of the 2007 World Cup - landed him a contract with top French side Biarritz.
"We have a core of players who play a good standard of professional rugby," said O'Sullivan, who took Ireland to the last two World Cups.
"Apart from Todd and Taku, we have (fullback) Chris Wyles and (lock) Hayden Smith at Saracens, (lock) Mike MacDonald at Leeds and (wing) Kevin Swiryn at Agen. Then the other guys are playing down a level.
"And some of course are amateurs playing in the United States - and for them this is a real opportunity to get noticed. Some guys have had to give up their jobs in order to go to the World Cup and maybe one or two of them will be able to pick up a professional contract," said the Eagles boss.
O'Sullivan admits that he loves the energy in the US rugby set-up but he is also a pragmatist. He knows that the idea of a waking giant is a long way off.
"In the US, rugby is still a tiny minority sport, there just aren't the resources to put together a professional league and that means the gap between us and the big teams will continue to widen. The US government invests nothing in sport - it is all self-funding.
"The Olympic Committee funds itself and invests in events where it feels it will win medals, so if you are one of those blue riband sports then fine, if not forget it. The game will develop but it will be a slow burn. Unless someone is prepared to step in and invest, give us that magic bullet," he explained.
First, the Eagles will be looking to shoot down the Irish and then the Russian Bears.
One of the most experienced international coaches around having had a seven-year stint in charge of Ireland which included the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. Now back with the Eagles for a second spell, having been assistant to Jack Clarke at the 1999 World Cup. "It will be very strange to be up against Ireland but it isn't the first time," he says. "My first game in charge of the Eagles in 2009 was against Ireland in Santa Clara and back in 1999 when I was assistant coach, we also played against Ireland," he said.
Todd Clever - flank
Even if you have never seen the Eagles play you will be able to pick out Todd Clever; he is the one with the hair. As captain of the side he is also the face of US rugby and in O'Sullivan's opinion one of the really world class players in the side. "He is an explosive player, capable of producing some great moments. He was the first American to play Super Rugby, he is an excellent captain," he says. The 28-year-old is an all action loose forward who has honed his skills for North Harbour in New Zealand and Golden Lions in South Africa. Currently at Suntory in Japan, he lives up to his nickname "Captain America".
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.