Sunday, June 15, 2014

USA - Ghana Round 3

Well here we are.  The U.S. faces Ghana in what I think is a must-win match for the 3rd World Cup in a row.  In 2006 the U.S. needed a win in their final group game to make the knockout rounds but lost 2-1.  In 2010 the U.S. faced Ghana in the Round of 16 and again lost 2-1, this time after 30 minutes of extra time.  Then, to add insult to injury, Ghana knocked the U.S. out of the U-20 World Cup last year with a 4-1 loss in the final group game.  The silver lining was that the one goal was scored by Boulder's own Shane O'Neill.

Tomorrow's matchup is only the first game of the group stage but to me its a must-win.  With Portugal and Germany looming I don't see a realistic chance of the U.S. getting out of the group without 3 points tomorrow.  Maybe a draw is enough but that would require us to get a win somewhere (probably Portugal) which seems less likely than beating Ghana.  A loss would certainly end and aspirations the Yanks might have.

The good news is that I think the U.S. can and will win.  Klinsmann has a way of getting this team to rise to the occasion and he's had plenty of time to prepare them for this game.  Ghana is talking tough but the U.S. seems focused and ready.  We just need to play like we did against Nigeria and not Azerbaijan.

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