World Cup

Breaking Down the USA-Ghana World Cup Match

| by Alex Groberman

As a reward for all of their hard and work and amazing moments throughout this 2010 World Cup tournament, the U.S. gets to have even more pressure placed on them. The team that with 90 minutes elapsed in their match up with Algeria wasn’t even supposed to be in this position, is now the favorite going into their Saturday game versus Ghana.

It will be extremely interesting to see how the revenge factor comes into play for this match. It was only one World Cup ago that Ghana knocked the U.S. out of the tournament, and many of the current players haven’t forgotten the feeling. Landon Donovan, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo and Clint Dempsey were all on the losing roster. Now, as the team that is expected to win, the Americans will try to call on their newfound never-say-die attitude and experience to return the favor to the Ghanaians.

On Ghana’s side, Kevin-Price Boateng, the most controversial midfielder in the tournament will look to quickly demoralize and punish the Americans with his physical style of play. It will be interesting to see how Dempsey, another player who can be physical and rough when the situation calls for it, will react to Boateng’s bruising ways. Further, the referees’ decision to call fouls will play a dramatic role in the effectiveness of both menagainst each other, and against others on the field.

While Landon Donovan is the guy getting the press clippings after every U.S. victory, the real unsung hero of this World Cup is goalkeeper, Tim Howard. Throughout the entire tournament, he has been a consistent steadying force for the team, not allowing goals and keeping tensions calm on the field. It was also Howard who initiated the play during the game with Algeria that would eventually lead to the Americans scoring. Look for him to play a dramatic role in keeping the Ghanaians scoreless in the upcoming match.

However, despite everything else, this team will go as Donovan goes. He has without a doubt become the face of American soccer and as such, will get all of the credit/blame as the team continues to play in the tournament. For the duration of this tournament, Donovan will play the role of the American hero. It will be interesting to see what the Ghanaian defense does to him knowing how dangerous he can be offensively.

The Americans will square off against Ghana deep in Bafokeng tribal country at 11:00 PM.

USA Roster:


1 Tim Howard


6 Steve Cherundolo

15 Jay DeMerit

3 Carlos Bocanegra

12 Jonathan Bornstein


8 Clint Dempsey

4 Michael Bradley

19 Maurice Edu

10 Landon Donovan


9 Herculez Gomez

17 Jozy Altidore

Ghana Roster:


22 Richard Kingson


4 John Pantsil

8 Jonathan Mensah

5 John Mensah

2 Hans Sarpei


12 Prince Tagoe

6 Anthony Annan

21 Kwadwo Asamoah

23 Kevin-Prince Boateng

13 André Ayew


3 Asamoah Gyan