US SoccerUS Soccer

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
Report
Stories
Videos
Photos
USAvGHA

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

Tim Howard Voted 2014 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year

CHICAGO (Nov. 20, 2014) – Goalkeeper Tim Howard has been voted the 2014 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year, with the announcement taking place earlier today live on ESPN’s SportsCenter. This is Howard’s second time winning AOTY, previously earning the honor in 2008.

The three-time FIFA World Cup veteran becomes the fifth player to win Male Athlete of the Year on multiple occasions, joining defender Marcelo Balboa (1992, 1994), goalkeeper Kasey Keller (1997, 1999 and 2005), forward Landon Donovan (2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010) and forward Clint Dempsey (2007, 2011 and 2012).

“It’s an honor. I know the winners on the list who have come before me, so it’s special to have my name up there,” Howard said on SportsCenter. “The whole ride with the team for about a month and a half, when we got together for training camp and we flew down to Brazil, we had a really good time and that made 2014 so special to me.”

A new voting process took place this year, with votes collected from Men’s National Team players earned a cap in 2014, Men’s National Team and Youth Men’s National Team coaches, Major League Soccer and North American Soccer League head coaches and select former players, administrators and media members.

Howard received 64 percent of the tabulated votes, followed by Jermaine Jones (19 percent) and Kyle Beckerman (11 percent).

This year, Howard became the USA’s all-time leader in career wins with 55 (breaking Keller’s record of 53) and goalkeeper appearances with 104 (breaking Keller’s record of 102). Howard also had a memorable 2014 FIFA World Cup that included a tournament-record 15 saves during the USA’s 2-1 overtime loss to Belgium in the first knockout round on July 1.

The U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year has been awarded since 1984, when midfielder Rick Davis earned the first Athlete of the Year honor.

Also on Thursday, U.S. Soccer unveiled its nominees for 2014 Young Male Athlete of the Year, Young Female Athlete of the Year and Disabled Athlete of the Year. The nominees in each category are:

  • Young Male Athlete of the Year Nominees: Mukwelle Akale, midfielder; Emerson Hyndman, midfielder; Christian Pulisic, midfielder; Haji Wright, forward; DeAndre Yedlin, defender (A Look at the Nominees)
  • Young Female Athlete of the Year Nominees: Morgan Brian, midfielder; Rose Lavelle, midfielder; Samantha Mewis, midfielder; Mallory Pugh, midfielder; Katelyn Rowland, goalkeeper (A Look at the Nominees)
  • Disabled Athlete of the Year Nominees: Meghan Maiwald, Deaf Soccer; Natalie Russo, Power Soccer; Gavin Sibayan, Paralympic Soccer (A Look at the Nominees)

The nominees for U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year will be unveiled in the coming days.

Photo Gallery: Tim Howard - U.S. Soccer 2014 Male Athlete of the Year

Photos from Tim Howard's 2014 season with the U.S. Men's National Team. Howard was voted U.S. Soccer's 2014 Male Athlete of the Year, the second time he has earned U.S. Soccer's most prestigious player award in his international career; he also earned the honor in 2008. 

Academy Product Morris Makes National Team Leap

The U.S. Men’s National Team dropped its final game of the year against the Republic of Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Yet, with every negative comes a positive, and in the case of Development Academy alum and current Stanford University striker Jordan Morris, the game versus Ireland represented a truly special night.

Morris came in the game during the second-half as a substitution in the 76th minute. The moment marked his debut with the MNT.

“Obviously it wasn't the result we wanted,” Morris said of the game. “But it's something I've been dreaming of since I was a little kid, so it was an unbelievable honor and a great experience.”

Morris, who scored a game-winner for the U.S. U-23 MNT against the Bahamas in August, was named the 2012-13 Development Academy Player of the Year for the U-18 age group while playing for the Seattle Sounders FC Academy. He is the first active college player to be included on a roster under Klinsmann.

“I was super excited,” Morris said of being called into the MNT roster. “Talking to Jurgen, he stresses patience, and I think that that's a thing you've got to learn, especially moving up in the ranks, that there are such good players all over the place, so it's going to be tough to get on the field. I was definitely itching to get on and was going to make the most of it when I did get on. I'm happy it happened. It was really exciting.”

Morris’ Academy ties and his incredible success at Stanford, the 2014 Pac-12 Champions, have allowed him to become one of the new youngsters that Klinsmann is excited to keep challenging on the path toward the next World Cup.  

“We’re happy for some that made kind of their starts today,” said Klinsmann of the fresh faces that played against Ireland. “Whether it’s Jordan Morris or Bill Hamid from the start in goal, those are the experiences they need, the younger ones, so we’ll take it.”

Also excited to see new faces get their first taste of what it means to play in the National Team is veteran forward Jozy Altidore, who despite only being 25 years old, is one of the players Klinsmann hopes can share some advice and help this new group be successful.

”I remember my first cap and how special it was for me, what I took with it, along in my career. I'm honored that I get to see now a lot of these guys come through and have that same experience.”

So That's What You've Been Doing: Former MNT Defender Paul Caligiuri

On November 19, 1989, Paul Caligiuri was keeping track of the time left in the game against Trinidad and Tobago after scoring in the 30th minute. Each time the clocked counted down one minute, the United States was one minute closer to attending the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, the first World Cup in 40 years for the American squad.

A different U.S. team than the one Caligiuri was on will be starting a similar countdown in that same city on Feb. 9, working their way towards a fifth consecutive World Cup.

Just over 15 years later, Coach Caligiuri, head of the men’s and women’s soccer programs at California Polytechnic University at Pomona, is keeping track of a lot more than game-time, although he certainly hasn’t been counting the years.

“When you asked me the question, I almost freaked,” said Caligiuri about the 15 years that have passed since ‘the goal heard around the world.’ “It’s been a long time but it seems like yesterday. I can literally still see the play and still feel the moment. I’m fortunate enough to still keep in touch with the guys on that team on a regular basis. It’s been a fun ride.”

These days, Caligiuri isn’t as focused on his own goals as much as those of the 53 men’s and women’s soccer players at Cal Poly Pomona, where he has coached both programs for three years. Since his now famous goal in 1989 led the U.S. into Italia ‘90, opening the floodgates for the development of the sport in the United States, Caligiuri’s role has changed from imposing defender to coach.

After his third season as coach of Division II school Cal Poly Pomona, Caligiuri has the chance to teach another generation of players. Players who may be too young to remember watching his famous goal, but who have certainly been influenced by it. He has also had a chance to learn from his job, everything from how to budget for two programs, schedule games and make travel arrangements, to how to control his emotions going from one practice or game with guys to another one with girls. He has also mastered the art of tracking players’ grades and make sure the team is bonding well and playing well.

“When you’re dealing with two programs, it’s really challenging,” Caligiuri said. “Time management has been the biggest area of challenge to maximize in providing the best quality to the student athletes.”

Time management during the season includes showing up to work at 9 a.m. after dropping his two daughters, Ashley and Kayley, off at school, preparing for the day’s practices and upcoming games, arranging travel, actually going to the two teams’ practices and then going home to his daughters. It also includes double headers at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on game days as well as time he sets aside to make himself available to whoever would like to learn a little bit from his experience.

“I played youth soccer here and in Germany (and) professionally here and in Germany,” Caligiuri said. “I spent 15 years in the national team program, and I like people to know that I am accessible. The world of soccer is small and we’re all very much in tune with what’s going on. As part of the soccer family, I’m here to help in any way I can.”

The past three seasons have been challenging, but rewarding as well. Caligiuri’s women’s team is an Academic All-American and went from having the eighth highest grade point average among Pomona athletics to having the highest. The men’s team is ranked third among Cal Poly Pomona Men’s athletics, one thousandth of a point behind the second place team. Both teams boast GPAs over 3.0. There’s also the personal growth he has experienced.

“I think it is (rewarding), particularly in the areas I’ve had to improve on,” Caligiuri said. “It’s a matter of enjoying learning and I’ve enjoyed the process. I have to hire assistant coaches and graduate assistants. There’s a lot of delegating and I’ve learned a lot of those professional skills I didn’t need as a soccer player. Now I feel I’m more rounded and capable of running a corporation if I had to. If I was ever to go to a different level or stage in my career, I’d be up for the challenge.”

Caligiuri, who played for 15 years with the U.S. Men’s National Team, as well as playing professionally in Germany and in the U.S., was inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y. last summer, along with Michelle Akers and Eric Wynalda. Some would argue that Caligiuri’s goal launched the rebirth of American soccer. It sent the U.S. to its first World Cup in 40 years, giving a number of young players valuable experience for the 1994 World Cup at home in the U.S. as well.

After 1994 came the 1996 launch of Major League Soccer, a domestic league that has showcased the likes of Brian McBride, Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Ed Johnson, and helped many of them move on to Europe. Others, such as Claudio Reyna and Steve Cherundolo, established themselves overseas, where Caligiuri was the first American-born player to play in the German Bundesliga. Now, well more than 100 American players earn their keep among the different ranks in countries such as England, Germany, Holland, France and Norway.

But the floodgates didn’t just open for the players. Caligiuri’s goal had an impact on soccer fans in the U.S. as well. According to Caligiuri, today there is a growing fan base and a lot more games available on TV due to changes in how the sport is perceived in the U.S. since 1990, after four consecutive World Cup appearances. More people are watching, more people are playing and more people in general have accepted the sport as “American” versus “European” or “South-of-the-Border.”

While some credit those changes to the growth of the sport in general, there are those who can count back 15 years to one particular goal and one particular win.

“The relevance of that victory (against Trinidad and Tobago) seems to grow every day,” said Caligiuri, who is frequently asked about his Nov. 19, 1989 goal. “It’s kind of cool to leave my imprint.”

×