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USA vs. Ghana - Brooks Stunner Hands USA 2-1 Win

Game Day

Game day is finally here. After years of preparation, the U.S. Men's National Team gets their World Cup journey underway tonight in Natal with their group stage opener against Ghana. Jurgen Klinsmann and his players have prepared extensively, so no matter rain or shine (and it could be either), they'll be ready. Follow along with the latest from the match right here, all day long.

Live coverage: 6 p.m. ET on ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision & ESPN Radio

Kit Watch: USA - Red, Red, Red / Ghana - White, White, White
How are kit colors decided? Read Here

  • DateMonday, June 16, 2014
  • VenueEstadio das Dunas; Natal, Brazil
  • Kickoff6:00 PM ET
  • Attendance39,760
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Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Ghana
Date: June 16, 2014
Competition: FIFA World Cup – Group G
Venue: Estadio das Dunas; Natal, Brazil
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Attendance: 39,760
Weather: 81 degrees, cloudy 

Scoring Summary:  1          2          F
USA                             1          1          2
GHA                            0          1          1           

USA – Clint Dempsey (Jermaine Jones)         1st minute
GHA- Andre Ayew (Asamoah Gyan)            82nd
USA- John Brooks (Graham Zusi)                  86th

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson, 20-Geoff Cameron, 5-Matt Besler (6-John Brooks, 46), 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 11-Alejandro Bedoya (19-Graham Zusi, 77), 15-Kyle Beckerman, 13-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley; 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.), 17-Jozy  Altidore (9-Aron Johannsson, 23)
Subs Not Used: 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 10-Mix Diskerud, 12-Brad Guzan, 14-Brad Davis, 16-Julian Green, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 21-Timmy Chandler, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann 

GHA: 12-Adam Kwarasey; 4-Daniel Opare, 19-Jonathan Mensah, 21-John Boye, 20-Kwadwo Asamoah; 17-Mohammed  Rabiu (5-Michael Essien, 71), 7-Christian Atsu (14-Albert Adomah, 78), 11-Sulley Muntari,13- Jordan Ayew (9-Kevin-Prince Boateng, 59);  3-Asamoah Gyan (capt.), 10-Andre Ayew
Subs not used: 6-Afriyie Acquah, 1-Stephen Adams, 23-Harrison Afful, 8-Agyemang Badu, 16-Fatawu Dauda, 2-Samuel Inkoom, 22-Mubarak Wakaso, 15-Mohammed Awal, 18-Abdul Majeed Waris
Head coach: James Kwesi Appiah 

Stats Summary: USA / GHA
Shots: 8 / 21
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 4 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 7
Fouls: 12 / 10
Offside: 1 / 5 

Misconduct Summary:
GHA-   Mohammed Rabiu (caution)                 30th minute
GHA-   Sulley Muntari (caution)                      90+2 

Officials:
Referee: Jonas Erikkson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Warnmark (SWE)
Fourth Official: Norbert Hauata (TAH) 

Budweiser Man of the Match: Clint Dempsey

U.S. MNT Opens 2014 FIFA World Cup Against Ghana on Monday in Natal

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Ghana
2014 FIFA World Cup – Group G
Estadio das Dunas – Natal, Brazil
June 16, 2014

U.S. MNT OPENS 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP AGAINST GHANA: The U.S. Men’s National Team will face a familiar World Cup foe when it takes on Ghana in the opening match of the World Cup for each team on June 16 in Natal, Brazil, at the Estadio das Dunas. The game will be broadcast live at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision and ESPN Radio. Fans can also follow live on Twitter @ussoccer.

With Ghana having beaten the U.S. in the past two World Cups, this meeting will mark the third consecutive World Cup in which the two teams will square off. Ghana eliminated the U.S. in the 2010 Round of 16 (2-1 USA loss in overtime) and beat the U.S. in the final game of the group stage in 2006, knocking the Americans out of the tournament (2-1 USA loss).

The U.S. is coming off its undefeated Send-Off Series, most recently beating fellow 2014 World Cup qualifier Nigeria 2-1 in Jacksonville, Florida. Forward Jozy Altidore scored his first two goals of the year to power the U.S. The Send-Off Series began as the MNT faced Azerbaijan, powered by Yingli Solar, and recorded a 2-0 victory on May 27 in San Francisco. The squad then beat Turkey 2-1 on June 1 in Harrison, New Jersey.

U.S. Men’s National Team By Position – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City),John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

2014 U.S. MNT SCHEDULE:

Date

Opponent

Result/Time (ET)

U.S. Goal Scorers/TV

Venue

Feb. 1

Korea Rep.

2-0 W

Wondolowski (2)

StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.

March 5

Ukraine

0-2 L

--

Papadopoulos Stadium; Larnaca, Cyprus

April 2

Mexico

2-2 T

Bradley, Wondolowski

Univ. of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.

May 27

Azerbaijan

2-0 W

Diskerud, Johannsson

Candlestick Park; San Francisco, Calif.

June 1

Turkey

2-1 W

F. Johnson, Dempsey

Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.

June 7

Nigeria

2-1 W

Altidore (2)

EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Fla.

June 16

Ghana **

6 p.m.

ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision

Estadio das Dunas; Natal, Brazil

June 22

Portugal **

6 p.m.

ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision

Arena Amazonia; Manaus, Brazil

June 26

Germany **

12 p.m.

ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision

Arena Pernambuco; Recife, Brazil

Sept. 3

Czech Rep.

TBD

TBD

Prague, Czech Republic

** 2014 FIFA World Cup

2014 FIFA WORLD CUP – GROUP G

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts

Germany

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Portugal

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Ghana

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

USA

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Monday, June 16
Germany vs. Portugal; Arena Fonte Nova; Salvador
Ghana vs. USA; Arena das Dunas; Natal

Saturday, June 21
Germany vs. Ghana; Estadio Castelao; Fortaleza

Sunday, June 22
USA vs. Portugal; Arena Amazonia; Manaus

Thursday, June 26
USA vs. Germany; Arena Pernambuco; Recife
Portugal vs. Ghana; Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha; Brasilia

For full standings and results, visit ussoccer.com’s 2014 FIFA World Cup homepage.

USA VS. GHANA SERIES:

  • The Group G opener will mark the USA’s 30th World Cup game and Ghana’s 10th. The U.S. MNT is 7-17-5 all-time and Ghana is 4-3-2.
  • This is the USA’s seventh consecutive appearance in the FIFA World Cup and 10th appearance overall.
  • Ghana is appearing in its third FIFA World Cup, all in consecutive cycles after previously qualifying in 2006 and 2010. Ghana advanced to the quarterfinals in 2010 before bowing out to Uruguay in penalties on July 2.
  • The U.S. is 0-2-0 in just two meetings against Ghana, losing by a score of 2-1 in the last game for the U.S. in each of the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
  • The last meeting against Ghana, on June 26, 2010, came in the Round of 16 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan put a shot past Tim Howard three minutes into overtime for the game-winner as the USA fell short of a response for the remainder of the match. Ghana’s Kevin-Prince Boateng scored the game’s opening goal in the fifth minute from the top of the box, and the USA found the equalizer in the 62nd minute. Clint Dempsey drew a foul in the box and Landon Donovan converted the penalty kick.
  • In 2006, the U.S. needed a win against Ghana in the final group game to advance out of Group E. Dempsey scored for the U.S on an assist from DaMarcus Beasley in the 43rd minute, but Ghana’s Stephen Appiah converted a penalty kick during first-half stoppage time for a 2-1 advantage that would stand the rest of the way. With the loss, the U.S. finished with just one point in group play, as the USA had tied Group E winner Italy 1-1 in its second group match.
  • U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann scored two goals against Ghana during a 6-1 Germany victory on April 14, 1993. USA World Cup advisor Berti Vogts was Germany’s manager.

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • The USA roster features five players who have played in a previous FIFA World Cup: DaMarcus Beasley (7 caps; 2002, 2006, 2010); Clint Dempsey (6 caps; 2006, 2010); Tim Howard (6 caps; 2010; on 2006 World Cup USA roster but did not play); Jozy Altidore (4 caps; 2010); and Michael Bradley (4 caps; 2010).
  • Beasley is the third USA player to be a part of four U.S. MNT World Cup rosters, joining Kasey Keller (1990, 1998, 2002 and 2006) and Claudio Reyna (1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006).
  • Beasley is tied for 10th among U.S. MNT players with seven World Cup caps, matching Paul Caligiuri, Thomas Dooley, Frankie Hejduk and Tony Meola.
  • Dempsey’s two goals in the World Cup lead the current squad, having scored in each of the past two tournaments. He scored in the MNT’s first group stage match of the 2010 World Cup against England to earn a 1-1 draw, and he tallied the USA’s lone goal in the 2-1 loss to Ghana on June 22, 2006, in the last match of the group stage.
  • Bradley has one World Cup goal, an 82nd-minute equalizer against Slovenia that helped bring the U.S. back from a 2-0 halftime deficit and force a 2-2 draw on June 18, 2010, in the second of three group stage matches.
  • Altidore’s two goals in the U.S. MNT’s 2-1 victory against Nigeria on June 7 were his first two of 2014 for club or country. He now has 23 career international goals.
  • Fabian Johnson’s assist on Altidore’s first goal against Nigeria was his first of the year after leading the U.S. with three assists during World Cup qualifying
  • Johnson recorded his first international goal in his 21st appearance during the first half of the USA’s 2-1 win against Turkey on June 1.
  • During this qualifying cycle for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Dempsey led the team with 14 appearances in the USA’s 16 games while posting a team-high eight goals.
  • Howard was 9-3-1 during the qualification process for this year’s World Cup, posting five clean sheets.
  • Chris Wondolowski leads the U.S. MNT with three goals in 2014.
  • Bradley leads the U.S. with three assists in 2014.
  • The U.S. roster features 10 players who represent Major League Soccer sides, including three sets of club teammates: Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman at Real Salt Lake; Matt Besler and Graham Zusi at Sporting Kansas City; and Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin at Seattle Sounders FC.
  • Besler took home 2012 MLS Defender of the Year honors, a year after LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez earned the same award.
  • Altidore scored eight goals for the USA in 2013 and set a U.S. MNT record by scoring in five straight games as he earned 2013 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year honors.
  • Julian Green earned his first U.S. cap on April 2 against Mexico as a second-half sub. Born in Tampa, Florida, Green is a dual citizen of the United States and Germany. The 18-year-old played for Germany in qualifying for the UEFA U-19 championship, which required that he complete a one-time change of association that allows him to play for the U.S. National Team.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS:

  • With the 2-1 win against Nigeria, goalkeeper Tim Howard now has 54 wins in his career, setting a U.S. MNT record that was previously held by Kasey Keller (53). Howard is now 54-28-15 all-time; Keller had a 53-27-18 record during his brilliant career. (Please note: Earlier references incorrectly stated that Howard was the winner on June 1 against Turkey after playing the first 45 minutes of a 2-1 victory. Because the eventual game-winning goal was recorded in the second half, Brad Guzan was awarded the victory, and not Howard.)
  • Howard has 100 caps during his career, becoming the 15th MNT player to reach the 100-game milestone. He is currently tied with Tony Meola and Joe-Max Moore for 13th all-time. Howard is also two caps behind the goalkeeping caps record held by Keller (102 caps from 1990-2007).
  • Howard currently has 99 starts in his U.S. MNT career, tying the goalkeeping record held by Keller.
  • Howard is currently second in career shutouts with 35, trailing Keller’s record of 47. Howard passed Meola for second when he notched his 33rd career clean sheet on Oct. 11, 2013, a 2-0 victory against Jamaica to lead the USA to the top of its third straight Hexagonal.
  • Jozy Altidore’s 23 goals during his international career rank sixth all-time for the U.S. MNT. He had previously been tied with Bruce Murray (21 goals from 1985-93). Altidore is one goal behind fifth-place Joe-Max Moore (24 goals from 1992-2002).
  • Clint Dempsey became just the third MNT player to score at least one goal in 10 consecutive years after tallying the game-winner against Turkey on June 1. The only other two players to record a goal in that many consecutive years are Brian McBride and Eric Wynalda with 11 years each.
  • Dempsey has 37 goals for his career, second all-time behind Landon Donovan’s record 57 goals.
  • Dempsey is 10th all-time with 105 appearances and is one cap behind ninth-place Wynalda (106 caps from 1990-2000).
  • DaMarcus Beasley and Dempsey are tied for eighth place in assists with 13 and are one behind Moore and Tab Ramos who are tied for sixth with 14 assists in their National Soccer Hall of Fame careers.
  • Beasley’s 17 goals put him in a tie for ninth place all-time with Earnie Stewart.
  • Midfielder Michael Bradley sits in 20th all-time in appearances with his 86th cap against Nigeria. His next appearance will tie him for 19th with Steve Cherundolo (87 games from 1999-2012).
  • Bradley earned the 10th assist of his career on June 7 against Nigeria to tie for 12th-all-time in U.S. MNT history with Cherundolo, Chris Henderson, Brian McBride and Earnie Stewart.
  • Chris Wondolowski, who leads the U.S. with three goals in 2014, has nine for his career and is tied for 21st all-time with Dominic Kinnear, Jovan Kirovski, Alexi Lalas, Peter Millar, Willy Roy and Josh Wolff. With his next goal, Wondolowski would tie Eddie Lewis’ mark of 10 goals from 1996-2008.
  • The USA is coming off a record-setting 2013 campaign, posting the most victories (16) and best winning percentage (.761) in team history.
  • The U.S. MNT saw its record 13-game home winning streak come to a close with the 2-2 draw against Mexico on April 2 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The 13-0-0 mark started with a 4-3 win against Germany on June 2, 2013, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and stretched through the USA’s 2-0 victory against the Korea Republic on Feb. 1 in front of a sold-out crowd of 27,000 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
  • U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann (31-11-8) passed Bora Milutinovic for third on the all-time wins list. Ahead of him is Bruce Arena (71) and 2014 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Bob Bradley (43).

USA IN BRAZIL:

  • The U.S. MNT is 1-4 all-time in Brazil, with the lone victory coming in a 1-0 win against England in Belo Horizante on June 29, 1950, during the 1950 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. lost to Chile 5-2 in Recife and to Spain 3-1 in Curitiba in its other two games in the 1950 World Cup. The U.S. will play in Recife against Germany in the third of three Group G matches.
  • The last time the U.S. played in Brazil was for an international friendly on Feb. 6, 1992, a 3-0 loss to Brazil in Fortaleza.
  • The MNT’s first trip to Brazil came on Aug. 17, 1930, when the U.S. played Brazil in Rio de Janeiro and lost 4-3.
  • The U.S. has an all-time record of 5-15-2 playing in South America. The U.S. last visited the continent in 2007 for the CONMEBOL Copa America in Venezuela, losing to Argentina, Paraguay and Columbia.

BY THE NUMBERS:

  • 3: Goals by Chris Wondolowski to lead the USA in 2014
  • 5: U.S. MNT Players with previous FIFA World Cup appearances (Altidore, Beasley, Bradley, Dempsey and Howard)
  • 14: USA’s FIFA ranking
  • 16: Victories during USA’s record-setting 2013 campaign
  • 24: Ghana’s FIFA ranking
  • 31: Victories under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann
  • 54: Career wins for Tim Howard, a U.S. MNT goalkeeping record

2014 FIFA WORLD CUP BREAKDOWN:

The U.S. Men’s National Team is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The USA opens Group G play against Ghana at 6 p.m. ET on June 16 in Natal. That is followed by a 6 p.m. ET match against Portugal on June 22 in Manaus and a 12 p.m. ET match on June 26 against Germany. For the full group standings and schedule from the 2014 FIFA World Cup, visit ussoccer.com.

Group Breakdown:

  • Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon
  • Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
  • Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
  • Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy
  • Group D: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
  • Group F: Argentina, Bosnia, Iran, Nigeria
  • Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
  • Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea Republic

Links:

ALSO ON USSOCCER.COM:

Videos

Features and Q&As:

Releases

JURGEN KLINSMANN FACT FILE: Jurgen Klinsmann became the 35th coach in the history of the U.S. Men’s National Team on July 29, 2011. Here is a look at the program’s achievements since that time:

  • Overall, Klinsmann has a 31-11-8 record. He is third on the U.S. MNT’s all-time coaching wins list. The top five include Bruce Arena (71), Bob Bradley (43), Klinsmann (31), Bora Milutinovic (30) and Steve Sampson (26).
  • He won a record-setting 13 straight games at home.
  • He led the MNT to a 12-game winning streak in 2013, the longest in program history.
  • The U.S. finished 2013 with a 16-4-3 record. The 16 victories and .761 winning percentage are all-time U.S. MNT records for a calendar year.
  • The U.S. finished the final round of 2013 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying atop the Hexagonal with a 7-1-2 overall record, including an unblemished 5-0-0 home record that was achieved by pitching clean sheets in all five matches.
  • The team won six straight games en route to capturing the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, during which the squad scored a record 20 goals.
  • Committed to challenging the group against the best, under Klinsmann, the United States has a 2-1-1 record against teams ranked in the top 10 in the world. With Klinsmann at the helm, the U.S. has collected four historic victories:
    • Beating four-time World Cup champion Italy for the first time ever
    • Earning the first win against Mexico on Mexican soil
    • Defeating Jamaica on the road for the first time in World Cup Qualifying
    • Topping second-ranked Germany in U.S. Soccer’s Centennial Celebration Match
  • Klinsmann’s U.S. coaching debut was a 1-1 draw against Mexico on Aug. 10, 2011, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. During Klinsmann’s abbreviated 2011 tenure, the USA’s two victories included a 1-0 win against Honduras (Oct. 8) and a 3-2 victory against Slovenia (Nov. 15).
  • Klinsmann was named the Germany National Team manager in 2004 and guided Germany to a 20-6-8 record and a third-place finish in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He earned Coach of the Year honors in Germany, and two years later, he took over the head coaching position at Germany’s most high-profile club Bayern Munich.
  • As a player, Klinsmann played 17 club seasons from 1981 to 1998 with the following teams: Stuttgarter Kickers (1981-84), VfB Stuttgart (1984-89), Internazionale (1989-92), Monaco (1992-94), Tottenham Hotspur (1994-95, 97-98), Bayern Munich (1995-97) and Sampdoria (1997-98). During that time, he scored 226 goals in 506 appearances. He was named German Player of the Year in 1988 and 1994 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1995.
  • Klinsmann earned 108 caps with the German National Team, scoring 47 goals. He participated in three World Cups (1990, 1994 and 1998) and won the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
  • Klinsmann was born on July 30, 1964, in Goppingen, Germany.

IN FOCUS: GHANA
Ghana Football Association
Founded: 1957
Head Coach: James Kwesi Appiah
FIFA World Ranking: 24
FIFA World Cup Appearances: 2 previous (2006 and 2010)
Best World Cup Finish: 2006 Quarterfinals (2006)

GHANA ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Boye (Stade Rennes), Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Jonathan Mensah (FC Evian), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Christian Atsu (Arnheim), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Agyemang Badu (Udinese), Michael Essien (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Krasnodar), Wakasu Mubarak (Kasan), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan)
FORWARDS (4): Jordan Ayew (Sochaux), Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ayn), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), evin-Prince Boateng (Schalke)

GHANA ROSTER NOTES:

  • Ghana is currently ranked 24th in the FIFA world rankings.
  • Ghana returns seven players from the 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, all of whom played in the game against the U.S. in the Round of 16.
  • Among the holdovers is Asamoah Gyan, who scored three goals for Ghana in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, including the game-winner against the USA in overtime.
  • Gyan led the Black Stars in 2014 World Cup qualifying with six goals.
  • Ghana will make its third World Cup appearance and third straight, finishing 13th in 2006 and seventh in 2010. Ghana ousted the U.S. MNT in both 2006 and 2010.
  • The Black Stars began their World Cup preparations by meeting with Ghana President, H.E. John Mahama and staging a farewell game at the Accra Stadium.
  • Ghana traveled to the Netherlands for a friendly with the Dutch in Rotterdam on May 24, which it lost 1-0 on a Robin van Persie goal.
  • Ghana concluded its World Cup preparations with a training camp in Miami, Florida, that included a friendly against Group H qualifier Korea Republic on June 9. Ghana beat Korea 4-0 in its last match before opening the World Cup against the U.S. on June 16.
  • In its two previous appearances, Ghana has compiled a World Cup Record of 4-3-2 (9 GF; 10 GA).
  • In 2014 World Cup Qualifying, Ghana finished 1st in CAF Group D, defeating Egypt 7-3 on aggregate in the CAF Playoffs (5-1-0; 18 GF, 3 GA).
  • In its second trip to the World Cup in 2010, Ghana qualified for the knockout round for the second time in row. Ghana tied Africa’s best performance by beating the U.S. to reach the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, Ghana lost in a penalty kick shootout to Uruguay, which denied the Black Stars from becoming the first African team to reach the semifinals of a FIFA World Cup.
  • Ghana’s roster populates 13 different leagues around the world, with the majority being stationed in Europe – both France’s Ligue 1 and Italy’s Serie A have five representatives on the Black Stars’ roster. Only one player, goalkeeper Stephen Adams, plays in Ghana’s domestic Premier League.
  • Ghana has won the African Cup of Nations four times; in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982.

LAST TIME:
On the field for the USA:
June 1, 2014 – EverBank Field – Jacksonville, Florida – International Friendly

USA     2   Jozy Altidore 31, Jozy Altidore 68
NGA    1   Victor Moses (penalty) 86

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson, 5-Matt Besler, 20-Geoff Cameron, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Timmy Chandler, 75); 11-Alejandro Bedoya (19-Graham Zusi, 60), 15-Kyle Beckerman (10-Mix Diskerud, 72), 13-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley; 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.) (18-Chris Wondolowski, 87), 17-Jozy Altidore (3-Omar Gonzalez, 80)
Subs Not Used: 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 6-John Brooks, 9-Aron Johannsson, 12-Brad Guzan, 14-Brad Davis, 16-Julian Green, 22-Nick Rimando
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

NGA: 1-Vincent Enyeama; 2-Joseph Yobo (capt.), 5-Eric Efe Ambrose, 13-Juwon Oshaniwa, 14-Godfrey Oboabona; 10-John Obi Mikel (4-Ruben Gabriel, 46), 15-Ramon Azeez (25-Michael Uchebo, 74), 17- Ogenyi Onazi; 8-Peter Osaze Odemwingie (18-Michael Babatunde, 46), 11-Victor Moses, 23-Shola Ameobi (9-Emmanuel Emenike, 64)
Subs Not Used: 3-Elderson Echiejile, 6-Azubuike Emmanuel Egweukwe, 7-Musa Ahmed, 12-Kunle Odunlami, 16-Austine Ejide, 19-Uche Nwofor, 21-Agbim Chigozie, 22-Kenneth Omeruo
Head Coach: Stephen Keshi

On the field against Ghana:
June 26, 2010 – Royal Bofakeng Stadium – Rustenberg, South Africa – 2010 FIFA World Cup Round of 16

USA   1   Landon Donovan (penalty) 62
GHA  2   Kevin Prince Boateng 5, Asamoah Gyan 93

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 15-Jay DeMerit, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 10-Landon Donovan, 4-Michael Bradley, 13 -Ricardo Clark (19-Maurice Edu, 31), 8-Clint Dempsey; 20-Robbie Findley (22-Benny Feilhaber, 46) 17-Jozy Altidore (9-Herculez Gomez, 91)
Subs Not Used: 18-Brad Guzan, 23-Marcus Hahnemann; 2-Jonathan Spector, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 11-Stuart Holden, 14-Edson Buddle, 16-Jose Torres, 21-Clarence Goodson
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

GHA: 22-Richard Kingson; 2-Hans Sarpei (19-Lee Addy, 73) , 4-John Pantsil, 5-John Mensah (capt.), 7-Samuel Inkoom (11-Sulley Muntari, 113), 8-Jonathan Mensah; 6-Anthony Annan, 13-Andre Ayew, 21-Kwando Asamoah, 23-Kevin Prince Boateng (10-Stephen Appiah, 78); 3-Asamoah Gyan
Subs Not Used: 1-Daniel Agyei, 16-Stephen Ahorlu; 9-Derek Boateng, 12-Prince Tago, 14-Matthew Amoah, 17-Ibrahim Ayew, 18-Dominic Adiyiah, 20-Quincy Owusu-Abeyie
Not Available: 15- Isaac Vorsah
Head Coach: Milovan Rajevac

Q&A with U.S. MNT Goalkeeper Tim Howard

U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard said Thursday that he will be taking a break from MNT duties to spend additional time with his family. After a lengthy conversation with USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Howard vows to make himself available for selection starting in the fall of 2015.

ussoccer.com caught up with the star goalkeeper about this decision.

What prompted you to make this decision to take a year off from international duty?
Tim Howard: “Having played overseas for the last 12 years and missing out on spending time with my family, making this commitment to my family is very important at this time. I am grateful for the willingness of both Jurgen Klinsmann and Everton manager Roberto Martinez to afford me the opportunity to spend time with my kids. It’s the right decision at the right time. Jurgen has always been up front with all the players in saying you have to earn your place, which is something I agree with, so I look forward to coming back next fall and competing for a spot.”

ussoccer.com: How do you feel physically at this stage of your career?
TH: “Physically and mentally I feel as strong as ever. I’m also 35 years old and it’s four years before the next World Cup. If I want to be able to get to the next World Cup, I also have to be smart about managing my body. I will get a bit of extra time off during the international windows, and this will also be the first real summer break that I have had in 12 years.”

ussoccer.com: Do you want to play in another World Cup?
TH: “Right now my heart, mind and body all say yes, but it’s difficult to predict the situation in four years. I will always be upfront about my intentions, and of course the manager has to select you. I am fully committed to the cause, and it’s important to me that my teammates understand that.”

Have you been assured the No. 1 spot when you return?
TH: “Absolutely not. Jurgen has always been upfront with all the players in saying you have to earn your place, which is something I agree with. Every player makes their own choices for their own reasons. In my case, this is a decision for my family. For me, it’s important that my teammates and my coaches have a clear understanding of where I’m coming from. I hope by now they know what I am about. I’ve had honest conversations with Jurgen and Roberto Martinez, and I appreciate their understanding. It doesn’t change the fact that I have to earn my spot, and I look forward to doing that.”

U.S. MNT Goalkeeper Tim Howard Takes Break from International Soccer

CHICAGO (Aug. 21, 2014) – Three-time FIFA World Cup veteran Tim Howard has asked to take a break from duties with the U.S. Men’s National Team until next fall, and after discussions with U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann the Everton goalkeeper will not be considered for selection to the U.S. roster until September of 2015.

Howard is not retiring from international play. The decision is driven mainly by the desire to spend more time with his family.

“Having played overseas for the last 12 years and missing out on spending time with my family, making this commitment to my family is very important at this time,” said Howard. “I am grateful for the willingness of both Jurgen Klinsmann and Everton manager Roberto Martinez to afford me the opportunity to spend time with my kids. It’s the right decision at the right time. Jurgen has always been up front with all the players in saying you have to earn your place, which is something I agree with, so I look forward to coming back next fall and competing for a spot.”

Klinsmann and Howard had extensive conversations prior to the decision, and the U.S. coach is supportive of the approach.

“We had a very good and productive conversation,” said Klinsmann. “I totally understand Tim’s situation. He was very straight forward and honest in his approach, and I admire him for that. He has a wish to take a step back to take care of his family, and we came to the conclusion that it’s absolutely fine that he takes time off from international soccer until after next summer’s Gold Cup, and then we reevaluate. I told him as long as he is the same Tim Howard that we always see performing well, he will be welcome back with open arms and right back competing for a spot. He knows that he has to prove that he deserves to be back.”

Howard will miss as many as eight friendly matches as well as the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, giving Klinsmann the chance to see other goalkeepers in action. He will continue in his starting role for Everton of the English Premier League, which is now in the second week of the 2014-15 season that runs through May.

Howard has amassed 104 caps and is the USA’s all-time leader for goalkeepers in appearances and wins (55). The 35-year-old has played every minute for the United States in the last two FIFA World Cups. In Brazil this past summer, he twice earned Budweiser Man of the Match honors, including the 2-2 draw against Portugal and the Round of 16 game against Belgium in which he posted a World Cup-record 15 saves.

“This gives us a huge opportunity to see Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando going forward and fighting for the No. 1 spot,” said Klinsmann. “We have young talented goalkeepers with Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid, who have been brought along the last couple years, so this may give them a chance here and there to get some game time. Always when somebody steps aside for a moment, it gives an opportunity for the next ones in line.”

The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to face the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague, marking the first match for the United States following the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The match will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network and UniMas. Fans can also follow on Twitter @ussoccer.

Tim Howard

U.S. Soccer to Offer VIP Experiences for International Friendly in Ireland

CHICAGO (Aug. 19, 2014) – U.S. Soccer is offering a special VIP Experience for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s international friendly on Nov. 18 in Dublin, Ireland.

VIP Experience guests enjoy the matches and the culture of the host countries as part of the U.S. Soccer Delegation, providing them with exclusive behind-the-scenes access and a unique travel opportunity.

There are two different packages available for the VIP Experience. U.S. Soccer will offer a four-day trip from Nov. 16-19 to watch the U.S. take on Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin (the match is on Tuesday, Nov. 18). In addition, guests can also ask about an eight-day “Extended Tour” with U.S. Soccer, which includes an additional match in England. Space is limited in both packages

The Premium Package Includes:

  • Deluxe accommodations at the official U.S. Team Hotel and breakfast each morning
  • Premium match tickets
  • Tours to enjoy the best of local culture and history
  • Ground transportation to and from all scheduled activities, including airport arrival and departure
  • Behind-the-scenes access to a U.S. National Team training session
  • VIP Welcome Dinner
  • Premium U.S. Soccer gifts, and more

Round-trip international airfare is not included in the package, though guests will receive complimentary assistance with flight bookings using U.S. Soccer’s Travel Agency.

The USA holds a 2-4-2 record against Ireland in a series dating back to 1924. This is the first meeting between the two since April 17, 2002, in Dublin, where Ireland collected a 2-1 win. The match falls on an international fixture date, which means U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has the option to select any player he chooses for the match.

U.S. Soccer is a registered 501c3 non-profit. The minimum donation to enjoy the four-day VIP Experience is $5,395. A portion of your donation is tax deductible, and proceeds from these VIP Experiences will support important soccer development programs, including need-based scholarships for talented young players, high-performance national team programming and coaching instructors.

To reserve your VIP Experience tickets, contact U.S. Soccer today at vip@ussoccer.org.

Tim Howard’s MNT Roots Trace Back to Ecuador Shutout Win in 2002

The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to host Ecuador on Oct. 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, marking the first home appearance post-2014 FIFA World Cup.

It is without question that goalkeeper Tim Howard was the rock star from the USA’s World Cup team, especially after recording a tournament-record 15 saves against Belgium in the knockout stage.

The upcoming USA-Ecuador matchup serves as a time capsule moment of sorts for Howard, seeing as how Ecuador was his first international opponent on March 10, 2002.

Howard earned a clean sheet during his 90-minute debut as the USA defeated Ecuador 1-0 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

Howard made three saves, including a noteworthy first-half stop against Edison Mendez in the 33rd minute. The USA also had to play shorthanded for much of the second half following a Clint Mathis red card in the 58th minute.

“It was a real challenge for our players,” former U.S. head coach Bruce Arena said after the game. “We dealt with a lot of adversity with the red card early in the second half, but I think our team showed a lot of maturity and composure.”

Tim Howard

Howard was playing professionally for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars at the time, and the 23-year-old told the New York Times that he was honored for the opportunity.

“I was a little bit anxious at the beginning, but once I got into it, I felt very comfortable,” Howard said. “I’m very pleased that we were able to get the win, and hopefully I’ll get more opportunities. I just have to keep working hard and keep learning.”

More than 12 years later, Howard is now the USA record holder for goalkeeper wins (55), starts (103), caps (104), and is the most-capped U.S. goalkeeper in the modern era of the FIFA World Cup with eight appearances.

Prior to his MNT debut, Howard was a member of the Youth National Team system, appearing for the U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams, including the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Tim Howard

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