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

JK Q&A: Klinsmann Closes the Book on 2014 and Previews 2015

After finishing off the 2014 slate with a pair of friendlies against Colombia and Ireland in the United Kingdom, U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann sat down with ussoccer.com to discuss the state of the team as it sets sail on the new 2018 World Cup cycle.

ussoccer.com: Having thoroughly reviewed both games, what are the key points you take away? To what extent are the results important? 

Jurgen Klinsmann: “Results are always important because results over time bring you confidence and give you more respect towards opponents and other countries watching you. But, on the other hand, playing these games in another environment, especially far away from the United States is always a learning curve. It's an experiment where you can bring in players who never really experienced this type of atmosphere or circumstances. Therefore it was two very important games where I hope the players took a lot with them at the end of the day.” 

“Obviously for us coaches we saw a lot of things we want to see and also a lot of things we don’t want to see, especially in the 4-1 loss to Ireland. There were too many individual mistakes, especially on the second and third goal, that you can’t afford on the international level.”

“I still think it was definitely worth it. We were excited about a couple of players coming in being fresh. Bill Hamid made his start there against Ireland and experienced really the international level. Jordan Morris played his first cap, Rubio Rubin came in and we see some talent coming through. Will it take time for them? Absolutely, but you got to start that process and it’s better earlier than too late. So we start the process already and we're excited for them.”

ussoccer.com: One of the key goals of this last camp was establish a mentoring environment between the veterans and the youngsters. Were you pleased with how that went, and what are the next steps there?

JK: “It was the overall theme that we wanted to use the last couple of games: to build relationships between the older players and some of the younger players to be their mentors, to be their guides in a certain way, to help from their experience. We wanted guys like Brad Guzan, Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley, Jermaine Jones and others to make the younger players understand what it takes to drive towards hopefully one day a World Cup because they already have a couple World Cups under their belts. This mentorship that we've started now will continue in the future because we want the younger players to grow and we want them to very fast understand that it takes a lot of inner drive and self-motivation and professionalism to get to that level where the established older guys have played already. So this theme will go with us into the future and it will be interesting to see how it develops.”

ussoccer.com: You said the goalkeeper position is an open competition. You've had a variety of them in camp and were able to spread around minutes. How would you assess that situation?

JK: “I think the goalkeeper situation is going well. Obviously Tim Howard is taking a year off, so Brad Guzan jumps in as the natural fit right away. He proves that he is ready to be the No. 1. Nick Rimando is knocking at the door and he would like to have that spot too. For us it's also important that we bring along Billy Hamid and Sean Johnson who were our Olympic team goalkeepers of the last cycle. So we have to bring them into those environments, train them on the highest level, but also here and there give them a game. That's why Bill Hamid started that game against Ireland and did well; I had no issues at all [with his performance]. Right now, it's not about defining No. 1, 2, and 3 and setting it in stone because we're in a transition year going into next summer's Gold Cup. Prior to the Gold Cup we will make it clear, so this year gives us the opportunity to have a closer look at all of them.”

ussoccer.com: Part of the goal of these friendlies is to get players experience. In what ways does making extensive substitutions impact a match?

JK: “Playing friendly games and having the substitution rule where you can bring in six players obviously changes the dynamic of games, especially towards the end of games. When you bring in subs in order to give them a chance, in order to give them experience, you sort of risk the result. Either way - it could go the good way or it could go the bad way. When you come in as a sub and you're down a goal, it's far more difficult to give an impact than if you're up a goal when everything is positive and you might hit another goal from your end. So it's not always easy for the subs to make an impression, but if we don't do it, we miss out on too big an opportunity for these players to gain experience. So, we compromised the substitutions in a friendly game for some results. Do we want the results at the same time? Absolutely, but here and there you’ve got do it for the big picture.”

ussoccer.com: Two of the surprise call-ups during the post-World Cup friendlies were Miguel Ibarra and Jordan Morris. How did they fare, and are you open to bringing in other players in similar circumstances as them?

JK:We believe Miguel Ibarra coming from the NASL and Jordan Morris coming from college that there are players in those areas that have tremendous talent. So we are looking at their talent and where it could be in two to four years from now if you give them time to grow and nurture them. Basically it's gone extremely well so far, so we are looking for players all over the place - if they come through the European channels, maybe through the youth system there, through Mexico or the NASL or the college route or the MLS ranks.

“The players themselves need to prove that they have this inner drive and they have an understanding of what it takes to grow into an established player on the international level. Our job is to identify their talent and then build it. Hopefully they make the right choices then down the road in terms of their own career and their own club environment, but it’s encouraging to see these two young players leading the way for hopefully many other players in the future to break through.”

ussoccer.com: Morris made his debut when he came on against Ireland. How did you rate his performance?

JK: “For us coaches it’s really important for us to see the talent growing one step at a time. With Jordan Morris you have a player that comes from the college system; he comes from Stanford. He has a specific rhythm there in the college environment, so we kind of had a closer look at him with the Olympic team first, then I brought him to the Czech Republic. We saw him grow now over the last half year to a year and he did better and better because he gets more and more confident and believes in himself. So when the moment came actually to add him in to the Ireland game, it was a tricky moment because we were down. But he settled in and he had good moments. He was good in one-on-one situations. If he's a bit lucky he gives an assist to Greg Garza to score a goal. So we were very happy and we continue to build him and bring him in like with the other younger players.”

ussoccer.com: How would you assess the Jermaine Jones transition to centerback? Is something you plan on continuing?

JK: “Jermaine Jones growing into this role as a right center back is encouraging for us to see that we have another option, another card if we need him to play. Is he more of a midfielder? Yes, that's where he played his whole life. Does he see himself as a midfielder? Probably, but we see that at his age he has tremendous experience and leadership to guide a back line, especially with young players coming through like John Anthony Brooks. They are the ones who need that leadership from him on the back line. It's good to have this drive from Jermaine. Going forward this will be important for us. It could be that he has to settle with this role; we'll see. We'll see with the development of all the other players in that role as well, but we're looking good in terms of center backs.”

ussoccer.com: Tim Howard was voted the U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year. What can you say about his performance in 2014?

JK:When you talk about Timmy, you talk about the Belgium game where I don’t know how many shots he saved, but he really was our backbone to stay in the game and to go all the way into extra time and almost actually beat Belgium. That was a remarkable performance from him that I think everybody would talk about right away. He's a tremendous personality, a very calm, quiet leader. Obviously he has all the experience that you need in his position but also in his career. He's played pretty much his entire career in Europe on a very high level, so he's a role model for many, many young players coming through the ranks and not only goal keepers, also field players. It's just great to have him.” 

ussoccer.com: You will be attending the Nike Friendlies and the Development Academy Showcase at the end of the month. What is on the agenda there? 

JK: “For us coaches it's important to see what the talent is doing on a younger level so going to the Nike Friendlies, seeing our U-17s competing with teams like Brazil, Australia and England is quite exciting. I was there last year and it was neat to see. It's also important for us to connect with the Academy program, with the coaches from the Academy clubs, with a lot of people who are down there and seeing things first hand. That's why I called in my coaching staff, assistant coaches and other people to have a closer look at the young players. It's important to always be up to speed with the development on the youth side.”

ussoccer.com: Many of the players are now heading into their offseason. What will your message be to them on how to bridge the gap between now and the start of their next season? 

JK: “For us it's a tricky situation. MLS players are pretty much done, NASL players are done, the college season gets to an end, Mexico plays its own agenda and the Europeans now are going full steam basically until the end of May. We're monitoring all of them, their club teams, we're keeping in touch with their coaches and with themselves as well. It's a lot of scouting. It's a lot of communication, a lot of tracking down the right people to get the right information. What we hope from them is absolutely to establish their starter position stronger and stronger. This is the biggest challenge for them. This is what quite a lot of them lost after the World Cup. For us this is a bad situation to develop a National Team program with players not starting in their club situations. Hopefully they get that done over the next couple weeks and we can look at it a little bit calmer.”  

ussoccer.com: You have considered different approaches to the January camp, including not having one at all. Why is this camp important and what will be the focus in terms of roster and schedule? 

JK: “With the tricky situation that we have in the United States that now we have the season for the MLS players going towards the end and a lot of them having a break of almost two or three months, we are forced to hold a January camp to try and get the players in early in order to build their foundation for the season. It probably will go with the theme we had the last couple of months, bringing experienced players, bringing a lot of younger players in and kind of meld them together and have that mentorship for the developmental aspect of it.

“We want to explain a lot more what it takes to get to the international level - that you have to be on top of your game on the field, but you also have to be on top of your life off the field. With that schedule that we carry in the United States that we only get a nine, nine-and-a-half month season, we can't compete with the nations that go 11 months through. We're missing two months basically, so we try to bridge that with camps. We keep working, we keep explaining, we keep educating, which is very important on the field and off the field. It's going to be an exciting January camp like all the other ones in the past.” 

ussoccer.com: Next year has been described as one of the most challenging schedules the National Team has ever put together in terms of the opponents as well as the competitions which would suggest a significant growth opportunity. How important is it to have the full team available?

JK: “Looking forward to 2015, obviously there's an exciting Gold Cup on the agenda in July, which we want to badly win because it takes us to the Confederations Cup 2017 in Russia. Certainly there are challenges with the FIFA fixture dates. The calendar is not in sync with MLS, so hopefully we're getting closer with MLS to solve that situation so that we can always call the strongest team possible for senior National Team games, which is very important to us because we want to do well and we want to get the results. We can't always compromise our players on this side or the other side, so having that calendar together would help us tremendously.

“2015 will be a year of developing talent on and off the field. The theme will be education. Education wherever we can. We want to educate more on the coaching side, we want to educate on the players side, we want to educate on the parents side about what it really takes to become a professional. What's exciting for us is we're building our own counseling office with Nelson Rodriguez leading it. This is a huge step. It's something we copied a bit from the universities where we try to establish contact with the players and their parents early in order to help them understand what you need to know to become a pro. So there will be a lot of educational topics out there. We want to improve coaching education wherever we can because it's crucial, and we want to challenge our players and not let them settle, not even for a second, for whatever they have achieved up to that point. We want to grow our program and one day compete with the best in the world, so it means a lot of hard work in 2015.”

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.”

×