Fountain of youth: Familiar foes USA, Ghana face off Monday in battle of young teams


Logo courtesy of FIFA


By World Cup Correspondent Cory Pontarollo


It seems like yesterday when the United States suffered an excruciating loss to Ghana in 2010 World Cup, as the loss still haunts Team USA to this day. Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan swiftly made his way through two defenders, chased down a loose ball, and launched a rocket volley game winner over Tim Howard’s arms during extra time. Four years later, the teams meet again on Monday, June 22nd. Klinsmann said in an interview that the United States chances of winning the World Cup are “not realistic”. Not the attitude you want from a coach, right? The United States clearly are not the best soccer team to roam the pitch, but each yeah comes and goes and Klinsmaan himself agrees that Team USA is “getting better each year”. Can they make it out of the Group Stage you ask? The answer is yes they can IF. IF the United States can steal three points from Ghana, then it puts them in the driver’s seat to come out of Group D, with my other frontrunner, Germany.


Player to Watch on USA: Michael Bradley – Center Attacking Midfielder

The midfield is the most important part of a soccer team. Team USA in their friendlies during the Send-Off Series have been running a 4-2-3-1. For those who are no familiar with soccer, the formation is four in the back, two defensive mid-fielders, a left midfielder, a right midfielder, an attacking midfielder and one striker. Michael Bradley is now playing center attacking midfielder for Team USA, in contrast, he plays center midfielder for his club team Roma. Does not seem like a big difference, right? Wrong. The center attacking midfielder role is much different than the center midfielder position. An attacking mid must be able to score, as well as being able to make the right pass and have the offensive run through you. As a center mid, your job is mainly to play both offensive and defensive. A center attacking mid does not play as much defense but focusing on attacking and creating opportunities. Can Bradley accept the role of a center attacking mid? Yes he can. He showed he was capable during the games played in the Send-Off Series. Ghana is a much stronger team than Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Nigeria, but, Bradley can get it done.



This United States needs to play smart and play quick. Ghana is the youngest team in this tournament. They will be ready to run, run, run and pressure the United States from the very first whistle. If the Americans play smart, Ghana will be stunned. But, there’s a fine line between playing smart and safe and also being aggressive. Somehow, the US has to find the ability to finish.


Stat of the Game: Never has a team lost to an opponent three straight times when that team comes from Africa. The US puts that to the test Monday.


FINAL SCORE: USA 2 – Ghana 1,

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