WC Preview: United States vs. Ghana

June 16, 2014 | Ethan Stewart

Today at 6:00 PM on ESPN, a Group G World Cup match will feature the United States versus Ghana. This match figures to be an epic battle to say the least.

A win tonight figures to be of the utmost importance to the United States as a loss to Ghana will surely knock them out of contention in the group.

The United States is ranked higher than Ghana in the FIFA World Rankings which have the USA listed 13th worldwide and Ghana ranked 37th.  Don’t take too much from these rankings, however, as Spain is ranked #1 by FIFA’s rankings and were demolished by the Netherlands by a score if 5-1 last Friday.

Ghana has knocked the United States out of the tournament in 2 consecutive World Cups (2006, 2010) so I’m sure this USA team being led by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann will be looking to avenge those brutal losses.

Key Matchup: Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew vs. Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler

The biggest issue that the USMNT faced during their 3 warmup friendlies was the lack of chemistry and talent on their back line, more specifically between their center backs.  Both Cameron and Besler proved that they were a step ahead of the other center backs on the United States’ roster and they will be relied upon to try to hinder the offensive attack of Gyan and Ayew.

Biggest Headlines:

Why was Landon Donovan left off the squad?

Donovan simply isn’t as good as he used to be.  Is he one of the best 23 players from the United States? Probably, but Klinsmann isn’t here to put together a group of the 23 most talented players.  Klinsmann is here to assemble the best team possible that works together well.  Also the distracting question of “will Klinsmann play Landon Donovan?” is gone and the USMNT can focus solely on playing the matches.

Why did Klinsmann say that the UNSMNT don’t have a chance at winning the World Cup?

Well, because they don’t.  The United States have no chance at winning.  It simply isn’t a realistic possibility and Klinsmann is just stating the obvious.  It doesn’t mean we can’t have other goals.  Our first goal should be to beat Ghana tonight and worry about the rest later.  The task at hand is more important to think about than hypothetical situations.

Prediction: 2-1 United States

Ghana has more players that play in the better leagues in comparison to the United States.  They’ve knocked the United States out of 2 consecutive World Cups.  I think this plays into the hands of the USA.  The USMNT thrives when they take the persona of the underdog.  Personally I think that the United States will have the best player on the field in Clint Dempsey.  Dempsey will ultimately be the X-factor in this match and I think that he and Jozy Altidore will provide the goals necessary to beat Ghana.