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WC Preview: United States vs. Ghana

Posted on 16 June 2014 by 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.

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Hope you’ll join me for US/Ghana Monday night at Buffalo Wild Wings Bel Air!

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Hope you’ll join me for US/Ghana Monday night at Buffalo Wild Wings Bel Air!

Posted on 15 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

I swear to everything holy I mean this…I don’t know if I remember a better first four days to start a World Cup in my life.

There was Mario Balotelli’s splendor in Italy’s win over England, Switzerland’s stunning extra time goal to top Ecuador, The Netherlands’ improbable blowout win over defending champion Spain, Lionel Messi’s “Messi-ac” goal vs. Bosnia, Costa Rica’s amazing upset of Uruguay and even Brazil’s floptastic Cup-opening comeback win over Croatia.

It’s been an excellent four days of football to start things in Brazil.

Team USA finally gets into the action Monday night with the first Cup match of the Jurgen Klinsmann/post-Landon Donovan era. The German-born coach has practically declared the Yanks’ first group stage match against Ghana as “must win” due to the difficulty that lies ahead with Portugal and his home country in the next two group stage matches.

Just how important is this first match? Here’s how Klinsmann described it to ESPN.com before departing for South America.

We basically start with a World Cup final against Ghana. We need badly these three points. If we get three points against Ghana, I think then that the confidence will rise, the guys will be pumped up, and they will be ready for Portugal and give them a real fight.

So…big game, huh?

As a patriot myself, I’m taking my responsibility to support my country quite seriously. It’s with that in mind that myself and my pal Carl Delmont (our buddy from Freedmont Mortgage-the official sponsor of our World Cup coverage here at WNST.net) will be heading up to Harford County Monday night for the match.

We’ll be at Buffalo Wild Wings in Bel Air-one of our favorite area hangouts. I’ll be arriving between 5 and 6 to get ready for the match. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the guy draped in an American flag and with Red, White and Blue hair.

My hair colors don’t run, folks.

If you’re a patriot yourself, you need to be there. If you believe, if you believe that, if you believe that we, if you believe that we will, if you believe that we will win, if you believe that we will win, if you believe that we will win-you need to be there.

Also, if you think I won’t be echoing said chant TIME AND TIME AGAIN tomorrow night, you’re wrong.

There are going to be great specials during tomorrow night’s match. Tall Buds are just $3.65 and Natty Bohs are only $2.75. I mean, what’s more American than cheap beer?

I’ll probably put down roughly five or six hundred boneless Asian Zing wings while I’m there. This is your reminder to purchase some of them for me. Thanks in advance. I’ll also grab a bunch of other giveaways to bring with me for anyone who shows me their own levels of patriotism during the course of the match.

Monday night. 6pm. Buffalo Wild Wings Bel Air (5 Bel Air South Parkway in the Festival at Bel Air). Tell Rob Thorpe the Yankees suck when you see him there. Duke too.

Cheap beer. Wings. Team USA. It’s like Lee Greenwood riding a bald eagle in a 4th of July parade.

See you at BWW.

-G

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