** June 22nd World Cup Schedule **
Belgium vs. Russia (Live Stream & Preview) CLICK HERE
Korea Republic vs. Algeria (Live Stream & Preview) CLICK HERE
United States (USA) vs. Portugal (Live Stream & Preview) CLICK HERE
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Match Preview (VIA: CBC Sports)
This is a grudge match for the Americans. Ghana knocked the USA out of the two previous World Cups, beating them by a score of 2-1 in both cases.
Ghana made the quarter-finals in 2010, and were the only African team to get past the group stage in 2006 and 2010. They want to at least match their success in South Africa.
Klinsmann will be under enormous pressure from this first “Group of Death” game to prove that leaving Landon Donovan at home was a good move.
Ghana: Asamoah Gyan. Captain and best player from the 2010 Ghana team, Gyan was the joint top-scorer in the African preliminaries with six goals. He scored in a 4:0 warm-up victory over South Korea.
USA: Michael Bradley. This TFC player commands the midfield and is a pinpoint accurate passer. Bradley is also very fast, making him dangerous on offence and defence.
What to watch for
Midfield as a battlefield.
Bradley is the midfield general of his team. And Ghana has a strong midfield, which will help as they try to wrest control from Bradley and his teammates.
Solid goalkeeping by the U.S. Veteran Tim Howard.
They said it
“We’ve certainly made no secret of the fact that all the focus at this point is about Ghana and making sure we do everything we can, so that on June 16 we step on the field and are ready to leave it all out there.” —USA player and TFC midfielder Michael Bradley speaking recently to The Wall Street Journal.
“The United States are a very, very good team. It’s not going to be easy. We have to make sure our players are playing their roles well. We hope to give them a very good game.” — Manager Kwesi Appiah, speaking recently to the Associated Press.
The big number
11 — USA won 11 qualifiers on the way to Brazil, more than any other team playing in the final tournament.
Obligatory fun fact
Michael Bradley’s dad Bob — coach of the U.S. men’s national team for just over four years — was replaced by Klinsmann.
Odds (VIA: UWin)