Get ready for an epic soccer showdown! The United States men’s national team faces their World Cup rivals, Ghana, on July 1. The explosive game is set for 4:45 PM ET so don’t miss a second!
Out of all the 195 officially recognized countries in the world, is it surprising that Ghana is the biggest threat to the United States’ men’s soccer team? Yet, Ghana’s Black Stars have been the bane of The Yanks in two of the last three World Cups. There’s plenty of bad blood going into this friendly match at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Connecticut. Hopefully, these gentlemen can keep things civil, even when the balls start flying.
From the luck of the draw (or, how the U.S. Men’s National Team has played) Ghana faced the Americans in the last three World Cups. The Black Stars have eliminated the Stars and Stripes twice. They first knocked out the Americans courtesy of a 2-1 loss in the 2006 tournament’s group stage. The results were the same in 2010, when they both met in the Round of 16. The U.S. was handed another 2-1 loss. The Americans got some sense of revenge in the 2014 World Cup, defeating Ghana 2-1 (seems to be a common theme here) in the group stage. Ghana failed to advance to the knockout rounds, while the Americans were eliminated in the Round of 16 again. This time, Belgium did the honors.
“Ghana is certainly a team that brings different challenges, and it’s the type of competition we need as we continue to develop our program,” coach Bruce Arena, 65, said ahead of this game, per U.S. Soccer. While Bruce isn’t overlooking the Black Stars, this game is practically a warm-up for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. “Winning the Gold Cup is one of our priorities in 2017, so this is an important opportunity. We’ve always had great support in Hartford, and look forward to more of the same this summer.”
The USMNT made it to the semifinals of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, before falling 2-1 to Jamaica. Jamaica ultimately lost the cup to Mexico in a 3-1 defeat, while the Americans failed to place. They fell to Panama via penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 draw in regular time. If the Americans can rack up a home win over their most bitter World Cup Rivals, then that would definitely give them the momentum they need for the Gold Cup.
Who do you want to win this match, HollywoodLifers?