United States vs Ghana
by Ryan Kramer
Time: Monday June 16th @ 3:00 PM Pacific
Location: Estádio das Dunas, Natal, Brazil
Weather: 87° F and windy with a chance of rain
Radio: ESPN Radio
Spread: United States PICK(-105)/ Ghana PICK(-115)
Ghana is being billed as the United States nemesis and with good reason. The African nation has been responsible for eliminated the United States side in the past two World Cups. What people aren’t talking about is although they are full with talent, this Ghana side enters play as the youngest (with an average age of 25 years and six months) team in the field of 32.
Meanwhile, the United States is coached by former German Futbol superstar, Jürgen Klinsmann, who has determined to redefine the culture of the USA soccer program and in doing so is creating controversy galore. First, he recruited a slew of talented dual nationals away from Germany, Iceland and Norway. Then, he left the most famous american soccer play in its history, Landon Donovan, off the squad. Lastly, he has gone on record saying that the United States doesn’t have a chance to win. Once you get past all of that it comes down to the question: Can they execute? As they certainly have the talent to overcome Ghana this time around.
The US will employ a 4-2-3-1 that is really a 4-5-1 with 2 defensive holding midfielders. It’s a new look for American fans, but have no fear it allows for a sturdy, reliable defense and a potentially explosive transition offense. Meanwhile, Ghana has moved away from a 4-1-4-1 to a 4-4-2 and in doing so they scored more goals in qualifying than any other with 24.
The keys to the game will be surrounding the discipline and shape of the sides. Can the US space the field and catch Ghana out of position? Can the Ghana breakdown the very green defense of the United States?
United States explodes onto the World Cup scene generating opportunities with their wing defenders in transition, meanwhile Tim Howard shows he is one of the best in the world keeping Ghana at 1 goal.
Stars and Stripes 3 – Black Stars 1