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June 23, 2010: U.S. Men vs. Algeria

US MNT Set For Round of 16 Showdown Against Ghana

U.S. Men's National Team vs. Ghana
Rustenburg, South Africa
2010 FIFA World Cup
June 25, 2010

THE LAST 16: By virtue of winning Group C at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. Men’s National Team will face Ghana in the Round of 16 on Saturday, June 26, at 2:30 p.m. ET. Coverage from Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg begins at 2 p.m. ET on ABC HD and Univision, as well as ESPN Radio and the Futbol de Primera Radio Network. Fans can also follow the game on’s MatchTracker and at


  • The USA won its group at the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1930 (that's 80 years ago), and for the first time ever in a four-team group. The win against Algeria marked the first point and win for the U.S. in the third group game at the World Cup in eight tries. 
  • The 1-0-2 record also represents the first time the United States has gone unbeaten in group play during a World Cup. 
  • Tim Howard posted the first shutout by a U.S. goalkeeper in the World Cup since the famous 2-0 victory against Mexico on June 17, 2002, in the Round of 16 in Korea/Japan. 
  • Tournament rules provide that all 23 players dress for FIFA World Cup matches. 
  • Both teams will have a full complement of players from which to select. Robbie Findley returns from a one-match ban for yellow card accumulation served for the Algeria match. 
  • The meeting with Ghana marks the third match for the U.S. against an African team in the World Cup, all which have come in the past two tournaments. The U.S. also faced Ghana in 2006 in Germany, and defeated their only other African opponent, Algeria, this past Wednesday. 
  • Landon Donovan’s 91st minute goal against Algeria made him the only American player to score multiple goals in two World Cups. His second-half goal against Slovenia a week ago sparked the U.S. comeback, and the USA’s all-time leader in scoring also netted twice in 2002 against Poland and Mexico. 
  • Donovan’s fourth FIFA World Cup goal ties him with Bert Patenaude (all in the 1930 World Cup) for most by a U.S. player in a career. 
  • Donovan became the third U.S. player to score in multiple World Cups, joining Clint Dempsey (who reached that feat with the tying goal on June 12 against England) and former U.S. forward Brian McBride. 
  • Donovan collected his 11th World Cup cap, tied for first on the U.S. all-time list with Cobi Jones and Earnie Stewart. 
  • He has started in every World Cup match for the U.S. since 2002. Steve Cherundolo has started all six of the USA’s previous World Cup matches dating back to 2006. 
  • With his appearance against Algeria, DaMarcus Beasley increased his World Cup cap total to seven games. 
  • Conversely, 12 different U.S. players have made their World Cup debut in 2010: Jozy Altidore, Jonathan Bornstein, Michael Bradley, Edson Buddle, Ricardo Clark, Jay DeMerit, Maurice Edu, Findley, Herculez Gómez, Stuart Holden, Howard and José Torres are the other World Cup debutants. 
  • Eight players started all three group matches for the USA: Altidore, Carlos Bocanegra, Bradley, Cherundolo, DeMerit, Dempsey, Donovan, and Howard. On that list, everyone except Altidore has played every minute of the first two matches. 
  • Against England, Findley became the first U.S. player to start a World Cup game for the U.S. after not participating in the qualifying cycle since Pablo Mastroeni started against Portugal to open the 2002 FIFA World Cup. 
  • The shutout against Algeria was the first for the U.S. in all matches since Sept. 9, 2009, when the U.S. beat Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 in Port of Spain, a string of 12 games. 
  • Nineteen of the 23 players on the U.S. World Cup Team appeared in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying for the U.S., although only eight appeared in at least half of the USA’s qualifiers (Altidore, Beasley, Bocanegra, Bradley, Dempsey, Donovan, Howard and Oguchi Onyewu). 
  • The U.S. squad carries a variety of World Cup experience into South Africa, as 15 players have been named to their first World Cup roster. Meantime, six players had played in a World Cup game prior to South Africa. Cherundolo, Donovan, and Beasley have earned a place in their third World Cup. 
  • Sixteen players on the roster have scored at least one international goal, and eight have scored in 2010: Altidore, Bradley, Bocanegra, Buddle, Dempsey, Edu, Gómez, and Clarence Goodson. 
  • Buddle became the most recent debutant on a U.S. scoresheet, netting a pair in the USA’s 3-1 win against Australia on June 5 in Roodepoort. He is the first player to score his first two goals in the same game since Sacha Kljestan posted a hat trick on Jan. 20, 2008, against Sweden. 
  • Donovan’s assist against Australia increased his record-setting total to 45 for his career. 
  • Howard finished the 2010 qualifying cycle with six clean sheets in 13 appearances and a 0.92 goals against average. 
  • By earning 45 minutes against Australia, Marcus Hahnemann made his first appearance for the U.S. since Oct. 17, 2007, a 1-0 win in Switzerland. Hahnemann holds the record for the longest layoff between caps for the United States, with an eight-year, five-month, 28-day break between games from Nov. 19, 1994 to June 8, 2003. 
  • With their goals on May 25 against the Czech Republic, Edu and Gómez became the first pair of U.S. players to get their first goal in the same game since Holden and Robbie Rogers tallied in the 4-1 win against Grenada on July 4, 2009, to open the 2009 Gold Cup. 
  • Gómez made the World Cup team after appearing in just two matches before coming on at halftime against the Czech Republic to earn his third cap. 
  • Five of the seven defenders on the roster have at least one goal for the national team: Bocanegra, Bornstein, Cherundolo, Goodson, and Onyewu. Three of those tallied in 2009, and all of them memorable. Bocanegra’s game-winning header against Honduras in Chicago; Goodson performing the same feat against the same team in the same stadium in the Gold Cup; and Bornstein capping off qualifying with a last-second header against Costa Rica. 
  • With his goal against the Netherlands on March 3 in Amsterdam, Bocanegra upped his career tally to 12, just one shy of the mark set by Marcelo Balboa for U.S. defenders. 
  • Only two players on the U.S. World Cup team made their first U.S. appearance for Bradley within the last year. Holden debuted on July 4, 2009, with an Independence Day goal in the Gold Cup, and Buddle in the match against the Czechs.

Average Age: 26.9
Average Caps: 34.2
Most Caps: 126 (Landon Donovan)
Fewest Caps: 5 (Edson Buddle)
Oldest: 37 (Marcus Hahnemann)
Youngest: 20 (Jozy Altidore)

Play professionally in: England (7), USA (4), Germany (3), Mexico (2), Scotland (2), Denmark (1), France (1), Italy (1), Norway (1), Spain (1)

Hometown in: California (7), Texas (3), Illinois (2), Arizona (1), Florida (1), Georgia (1), Indiana (1), Maryland (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1), New York (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), Wisconsin (1)

RULES OF THE KNOCKOUT PHASE: During the knockout phase of the tournament, matches can no longer end in draws. If a game is tied after regulation time, there will be two 15-minute periods of extra time that are played to completion no matter how many goals are scored. If the match is still tied, the winner will be determined by penalty kicks.


Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
USA 3 1 0 2 4 3 +1 5
England 3 1 0 2 2 1 +1 5
Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Algeria 3 0 2 1 0 2 -2 1

June 12 Venue Goal Scorer(s)
England 1, USA 1 Rustenburg Gerrard (ENG) 4, Dempsey (USA) 40
June 13    
Algeria 0, Slovenia 1 Polokwane Koren (SVN) 79
June 18    
Slovenia 2, USA 2 Johannesburg Birsa (SVN) 13, Ljubijankic (SVN) 42, Donovan (USA) 48, Bradley (USA) 82
England 0, Algeria 0 Capetown  
June 23    
USA 1, Algeria 0 Tshwane/Pretoria Donovan (USA) 90+1
Slovenia 0, England 1 Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth Defoe (ENG) 23


Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
Germany 3 2 1 0 5 1 +4 6
Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3 4
Serbia 3 1 2 0 2 3 -2 1

USING THE FULL COMPLEMENT: Tournaments are all about team efforts, and every member of the roster has a contribution to make to the group’s success or failure. Here in South Africa, that axiom continues to bear fruit. Bob Bradley has used three different starting lineups so far in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and with Jonathan Bornstein’s start against Algeria, 12 different players have made their World Cup debuts. All told, the U.S. has used 19 of 23 players on the roster.

BACK AT THE BAFOKENG: Making their third visit to Rustenburg, the U.S. team will certainly be happy to step back into the friendly confines of the Royal Bafokeng Stadium this Saturday, since it will bring back fond memories of what this team can accomplish. The U.S. drew 1-1 with England here to open Group C play in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, setting the stage for the team’s first place finish in the group. Clint Dempsey tallied his second goal in that stadium that day, raising memories of his first strike there a little more than a year before. After playing with 10 men against defending world champions Italy and then Brazil in their first two matches of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, the U.S. entered the match against Egypt needing a world-class performance and a six-goal swing to advance, which is precisely what they delivered. Goals from Charlie Davies, Michael Bradley and Clint Demspey gave the U.S. the three goals they needed, while Brazil rocked Italy for a treble. The combined results put the United States into the semifinals and their now famous victory against Spain.

MOTM: In all three of their group matches, players from the United States have been awarded the Budweiser Man of the Match award as voted on by fans around the world. In the 1-1 draw against England, goalkeeper Tim Howard took home the trophy after his six-save performance. For the comeback against Slovenia and the win against Algeria, the honor went to Landon Donovan.

CLUB MATES: U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra plays at Rennes alongside Ghanaian forward Asamoah Gyan, who scored both goals for the Black Stars from the penalty spot in group play. Clint Dempsey and defender John Pantsil are teammates at Fulham. Pantsil, who has 58 caps, had previously played at West Ham with U.S. defender Jonathan Spector.

GHANA GAME VETS: The only previous meeting between the nations came during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Black Stars coming away victors following a dubious penalty call at the end of the first half. Each team has six players on the current squad who were on the field that day, including the USA’s goal scorer Clint Dempsey and Ghanaian penalty-kick taker Stephen Appiah. The vets:

USA                       GHANA
DaMarcus Beasley    Matthew Amoah
Carlos Bocanegra     Stephen Appiah (1)
Steve Cherundolo    Derek Boateng
Clint Dempsey (1)    Richard Kingson
Landon Donovan     John Mensah
Oguchi Onyewu       John Pantsil

REFEREE - VICTOR KASSAI: The referee for the Round of 16 clash is Viktor Kassai from Hungary. This will be his third assignment of the World Cup, the 34-year-old having run the middle for Brazil’s 2-1 win against North Korea and Uruguay’s 1-0 win against Mexico. U.S. fans may remember Kassai from the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, when he refereed the USA’s 2-1 loss to Spain. A UEFA Elite Category referee, he has been working European competitions at the club and international level since 2003.

PRESIDENTIAL SUPPORT: The U.S. team has certainly enjoyed the massive support back in the United States, including the “First Fan” in President Barack Obama. President Obama called the team during the team dinner June 24 to offer his congratulations and support. Meantime, former President Bill Clinton celebrated with the team in the locker room following the USA’s 1-0 victory against Algeria on June 23 in Pretoria, and will attend Saturday’s match against Ghana.

FAN-TASTIC: The following of the U.S. team in South Africa and in the United States is nothing short of staggering. From fans watching in bars across the country to TV ratings and the massive media coverage, interest in the U.S. team and the World Cup is at an all-time high. If you haven’t already seen, this video compilation of fan reaction around the world from the U.S.-Algeria game says it all. And if you want to hear it, listen to the call from legendary voice Andres Cantor on the Futbol de Primera Radio Network.

ESPN SETTING RATINGS RECORDS: The broadcast of the USA's thrilling 1-0 victory against Algeria on ESPN delivered the highest-rating and largest audience for a soccer game in the history of ESPN networks, posting a 4.6 rating (4.0 household U.S. rating), 4,582,000 households and 6,161,000 viewers. Also impressive was the fact that the telecast was the highest-rated program of the day on any network among two key demographic groups, males 18-34 and males 35-49.

AND ONLINE…: Viewership online has also reached unprecedented levels, with 1.1 million people watching at least some of the United States' 1-0 victory as it was streamed on an ESPN website on Wednesday. The online audience was its biggest for a sporting event, surpassing the Duke vs. Butler collegiate championship basketball game on a Monday night earlier this year.

USA IN THE WORLD CUP: The U.S. is competing in their ninth World Cup finals tournament since participating in the inaugural event in 1930 where they finished as semifinalists, defeating Belgium in their first match. Some other facts:

Matches played: 28
Record: 7-16-5
GF/GA: 31/54
Best finish: Semifinals (1930)
Highest margin in win: 3-0 (vs.Belgium, Paraguay in 1930)
Biggest defeat: 1-7 (vs. Italy in 1934)
Most matches, player: 11 (Landon Donovan, Earnie Stewart, Cobi Jones)
Most goals, career: 4 (Landon Donovan, Bert Patenaude)


  • The United States are only the fifth team in World Cup history to come back from down two goals at halftime to draw a match. 
  • The first hat trick in World Cup history was recorded by Bert Patenaude, who scored three times in the 3-0 victory against Paraguay on July 17, 1930. 
  • Brad Friedel is only one of two goalkeepers – joining Poland’s Jan Tomaszewski – to save two penalties in one tournament. 
  • The U.S. is the only CONCACAF team to reach the semifinals of the tournament, achieving that feat in the 1930 event before losing to Argentina.


  • Landon Donovan is the fifth most capped player in the tournament. Rigoberto Song (Cameroon) and Amado Guevara are tied for first with 137 caps. 
  • Marcus Hahnemann is the third-oldest player in the tournament. England’s David James at 39 years is the elder statesman. 
  • At 217 pounds, Hahnemann is listed as the heaviest player in the tournament. 
  • Steve Cherundolo and José Torres are tied with six others as the fourth shortest in the tournament. 
  • Three of the USA’s seven all-time victories in the World Cup have come against teams from Europe (Belgium 1930, England 1950, Portugal 2002).

SOUTH AFRICAN EXPERIENCE: Fifteen players on the U.S. roster had played at least one match on South African soil prior to the tournament, having played in the 2007 Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, several putting their name on the scoresheet. The U.S. faced South Africa on Nov. 17, 2007, at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, winning the Cup after a 1-0 victory on the strength of Steve Cherundolo’s second career international goal. That match also marked the debut of Jozy Altidore for the full team. During the Confederations Cup, Clint Dempsey netted in three consecutive matches, including one against then No. 1-ranked Spain in the semis and the first goal in the final against Brazil. Landon Donovan collected a pair himself, finishing off a beautiful counter against the Brazilians to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead. Michael Bradley also tallied against Egypt, and Altidore scored the game-winner against Spain.

UBUNTU: The U.S. team has adopted the African concept of Ubuntu as their motto for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Ubuntu refers to the interconnectedness of all human beings, that we are all part of a greater community and that we cannot succeed without the help of others, and they cannot succeed without us. Loosely translated, the word Ubuntu means ‘I am because you are.’ Only together can we prosper. This is the essence of what it means to be a team. U.S. Soccer has produced team pins and coins that the players will distribute throughout the tournament symbolizing the spirit of this idea.

DONOVAN, BEASLEY THE MOST VETERAN OF VETERANS… : A pair of 28-year-olds top the experience leader board in camp as fellow U-17 Residency founding fathers Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley are the highest cap-winners present. Donovan holds 126 caps and a record-setting 44 goals and 45 assists, contributing to 12 of the USA’s 19 goals in the final round of World Cup qualifying. Beasley earned his 93rd cap against Algeria and is the next active player in line to earn his 100th cap. If he does, he would join an elite group of just 11 men to play 100 times for the United States.

… WHILE BUDDLE AND GOMEZ ARE HAPPY TO BE BACK: Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez are the newcomers to the group, holding just five and six caps, respectively. Their recent goal-scoring form in Major League Soccer and the Mexican First Division certainly played major roles in their selections to the World Cup Team. On a tear for the Los Angeles Galaxy with nine goals in nine games, Buddle made his previous only appearance for the U.S. in 2003, playing the final 11 minutes on March 29 against Venezuela. Meantime south of the border, Gomez struck for 10 goals for Puebla to become the first U.S. player to lead a foreign league in scoring. Gomez has played six times for the U.S., twice in the 2007 Copa America tournament and of course when he came off the bench to score goals against the Czech Republic and Australia. He’s since added two World Cup appearances to his list, coming on against Slovenia and starting against Algeria.

CHAMPIONS AGAIN: The U.S. Men's National Team finished atop the FIFA World Cup qualifying Final Round standings in CONCACAF for the second consecutive cycle, besting Mexico by one point. Jonathan Bornstein's stoppage-time goal with only seconds remaining leveled the score in the final qualifying match with Costa Rica on Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C., the 2-2 draw giving the USA the vital point it needed. The result at RFK Stadium, coupled with Mexico's draw by the same score with Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain, kept the U.S. first with El Tri second. The late drama in the nation's capital served to shake up third and fourth spot in the standings as well, with Honduras the beneficiary. Los Catrachos won on the road in El Salvador (the first time in the final round the visitors won in San Salvador) and leapfrogged Costa Rica to claim the third and final automatic berth to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
United States* 10 6 2 2 19 12 7 20
Mexico* 10 6 3 1 17 11 6 19
Honduras* 10 5 4 1 17 11 6 16
Costa Rica 10 5 4 1 15 15 0 16
El Salvador 10 2 6 2 10 16 -6 8
Trinidad & Tobago 10 1 6 3 10 22 -12 6

* qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup

GOLDEN BOOT WINNERS IN QUALIFYING: The U.S. scored more goals than any other nation in the world in 2010 World Cup qualifying, bagging 42 goals in 18 games.

ON TO THE NEXT CHAPTER: Since January of 2007 it has been the charge of U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to achieve the most important goal of any soccer playing nation: qualification for the FIFA World Cup. With 61 games under his belt, seeing 92 different players at least once and the process of reaching South Africa in 2010 complete, a review of the body of work during the past nearly-three years points to the U.S. clearly heading in the right direction. Bradley’s 31 victories in 50 games outdistanced his predecessor Bruce Arena, who had collected 25 victories at that point in his tenure. Since the start of the four-year cycle, the U.S. has:

  • Produced the best finish ever at a FIFA tournament, finishing second at the FIFA Confederations Cup. 
  • Finished in first place in CONCACAF qualifying, collecting the most road wins of any team in the region during the campaign while going unbeaten at home in nine matches. 
  • Won six straight FIFA World Cup qualifiers in a row in 2008, a new team record (June 15-Oct. 15). 
  • Won the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2007 to qualify for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. 
  • Won by the largest margin of victory in U.S. World Cup qualifying history (8-0 vs. Barbados on June 15, 2008). 
  • Won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007 @ Switzerland, Nov. 17, 2007 @ South Africa and March 26, 2008 @ Poland). 
  • Played seven matches against four teams ranked in the top five in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil-3, Italy, Spain-2). 
  • Played matches on four continents. 
  • Posted 1-1-1 record against No. 1-ranked teams, including a semifinal upset of Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup. 
  • Finished in first place of their FIFA World Cup first round group for the first time since 1930.

All-Time: 38-19-8
Qualifying: 13-3-2
Gold Cup: 10-1-1
Goals For: 119
Goals Against: 78
Shutouts: 25

Record vs. …
CONCACAF: 25-5-5, 74 GF, 33 GA
CONMEBOL: 1-6-1, 9 GF, 19 GA
UEFA: 7-8-2, 24 GF, 24 GA
AFC: 2-0-0, 7 GF, 2 GA
CAF: 3-0-0, 5 GF, 0 GA

Record when …
Leading at half: 21-3-2
Losing at half: 3-7-3
Tied at half: 13-9-3

By year …
2007: 12-5-1
2008: 9-3-2
2009: 13-8-3
2010: 4-3-2

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: Keep up with all U.S. Men’s National Team news (in short form, of course) by following at

SPECIAL OLYMPICS UNITY CUP: The members of the U.S. Men's National Team are not the only athletes representing their country in South Africa this summer as American Matthew Millett is set to participate in the inaugural Special Olympics Unity Cup in Cape Town. Millett, along with 15 other Special Olympics athletes from around the world, will play in a match on July 3rd alongside soccer legends and celebrities in Cape Town's fabulous Green Point stadium, site of a quarterfinal match for the 2010 FIA World Cup. Millett visited the team before leaving for South Africa as he was getting ready to represent the USA and 3.5 million Special Olympics athletes worldwide. The Unity Cup will serve as a leading example of the power of Special Olympics Unified Sports, with the goal of the match to support the mission of inclusion and acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities. To learn more about the Special Olympics Unity Cup please visit

BE OFFICIAL WHEN YOU’RE WATCHING: What’s the next best thing to being at a game surrounded by your fellow screaming fans? Watching a game at an Official U.S. Soccer Bar surrounded by your fellow screaming fans! Bars across the U.S. are becoming the destination spots to gather and watch your U.S. teams in an atmosphere that is loud and rowdy. Head out in the afternoon and have lunch with other U.S. fans and watch the U.S. take on Ghana Saturday afternoon! A full list of Official U.S. Soccer Bars is available at

U.S. SOCCER ON FACEBOOK: U.S. Soccer is offering a new way to follow its teams with the “Official U.S. Soccer Page” on Facebook. Visit the page to post videos, interact with other fans and follow the latest news from all U.S. Soccer teams. The Official U.S. Soccer Page on Facebook is the best place to keep with your favorite teams and make your voice heard in the U.S. Soccer community.

QUEST TO TOP THE GOAL! LEADERBOARD: Show your support for the USA in our quest to top the Popularity chart on the Facebook Goal! Leaderboard. U.S. Soccer is asking all fans to post the link on your wall and share with your friends to help raise the U.S. flag to the top of the leader board. Show your passion as the Men's National Team heads to South Africa!

THE GAME IS IN US: Support for United States' bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 has picked up some serious steam since the launch of Twelve other nations are bidding to host at least one of the tournaments and if we're going to win the honor of hosting the FIFA World Cupâ„¢, it'll be because of the overwhelming grassroots support of soccer fans who believe in our bid's official theme, The Game Is In US. Please take a moment to sign the petition to officially show your support for the US bid to bring the World Cupâ„¢ back to America.


Ghana Football Association
Founded: 1957 (Joined FIFA in 1958)
Head Coach: Milovan Rajevac
Current FIFA Ranking: 32
Best World Cup Finish: Round of 16 (2002)
Best African Cup of Nations Finish: Champions (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982)
Caps Leader: Richard Kingson (81)
Top Scorer: Adebe Pele (33)
Key Players: Stephen Appiah, Asamoah Gyan

GHANA’S SECOND TRIP TO THE SHOW: As the only African side to get out of the group stage at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the first to qualify for South Africa, Ghana once again is carrying the torch of the continent as they are again the sole representatives in the knockout phase. Holders of four African Cup of Nations titles, they became the first African team to lift the FIFA U-20 World Cup when they beat Brazil on penalties in October of 2009.

FIRST ROUND RECAP: Ghana advanced to the Round of 16 by finishing in second place in Group D ahead of Australia based on goal differential. The Black Stars opened the campaign with a big 1-0 victory against Serbia, with Asamoah Gyan converting from the penalty spot to earn the valuable three points. A 1-1 draw against Australia included another penalty conversion by Gyan, putting Ghana in the pole position heading into the final group match against Germany, needing a victory to secure the top spot. Despite a 1-0 loss to the Germans, they pushed through to the knockout phase since Australia’s 2-1 victory against Serbia didn’t make up the necessary ground in the scoring column.

RAJEVAC RIGHTS THE SHIP: Taking over the reigns in 2008, Milovan Rajevac marshalled the Black Stars through the qualifying campaign with efficiency. A former defender, the Serbian had a brief coaching stint with Red Star Belgrade. Going unbeaten in their first four matches of the final round of qualifying to essentially book their ticket to South Africa, Ghana also didn’t concede a goal through that stretch.

THE REMATCH: The U.S. and Ghana met at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany in the group stage, but it was a virtual knock out match for both teams. Ghana’s 2-1 win came through a controversial penalty kick in first-half stoppage time, and gave the African team a trip to the Round of 16 while eliminating the United States. Ghana struck first, in the 22nd minute of that match but the Americans fought back and Clint Dempsey leveled the score in the 43rd. Minutes later, however, referee Markus Merk blew the whistle for a phantom foul against Oguchi Onyewu inside the penalty area and Stephan Appiah converted to lift Ghana to the win.

On the field for USA
June 23, 2010 – Loftus Versfeld Stadium – Tshwane/Pretoria, South Africa – 2010 FIFA World Cup
USA        1    Landon Donvan 90+1
Algeria   0

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 15-Jay DeMerit, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 12- Jonathan Bornstein (7-DaMarcus Beasley, 80); 10-Landon Donovan, 4-Michael Bradley, 19-Maurice Edu (14-Edson Buddle, 64), 8-Clint Dempsey; 9-Herculez Gomez (22-Benny Feilhaber, 46), 17-Jozy Altidore
Subs not used: 2-Jonathan Spector, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 11-Stuart Holden, 13 -Ricardo Clark, 16-José Torres, 18-Brad Guzan, 21-Clarence Goodson, 23-Marcus Hahnemann
Not Eligible: 20-Robbie Findley (suspension)
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

ALG: 23-Raïs M'Bohli; 2-Madjid Bougherra, 3-Nadir Belhadj, 4-Anthar Yahia (capt); 5-Rafik Halliche, 8-Mehdi Lacen, 13-Karim Matmour (10-Rafik Saifi, 85), 15-Karim Ziani (17-Adlane Guedioura, 69), 19-Hassan Yebda; 11-Rafik Djebbour (9-Abdelkader Ghezzal, 65), 21-Foued Kadir
Subs not used: 1-Lounes Gaouaoui, 16-Faouzi Chaouchi; 6-Yazid Mansouri, 7-Ryad Boudebouz, 12-Habib Bellaid, 14-Abdelkader Laifaoui, 18-Carl Medjani, 20-Djamel Mesbah, 22-Djamal Abdoun
Head Coach: Rabah Saadane

On the field for Ghana
June 23, 2010 – Soccer City Stadium – Johannesburg, South Africa – 2010 FIFA World Cup
Ghana      0
Germany  1    Mesut Oezil 60

GHA: 22-Richard Kingson, 2-Hans Serpei, 3-Asamoah Gyan (14-Matthew Amoah, 82), 4-Johhn Pantsil, 5-John Mensah (capt.), 6-Anthony Annan, 8-Jonathan Mensah, 12-Prince Tago (11-Sulley Muntari, 64), 13-Andre Ayew (18-Dominic Adiyiah, 90+2), 21-Kwando Asamoah, 23-Kevin Boateng
Subs not used: 1-Daniel Agyei, 16-Stephen Ahorlu, 7-Samuel Inkoom, 9-Derek Boateng, 10-Stephen Appiah, 17-Ibrahim Ayew, 19-Lee Addy, 20-Quincy Owusu-Abeyie
Subs not available: Isaac Vorsah
Head Coach: Milovan Rajevac

GER: 1-Manuel Neuer; 3-Arne Friedrich, 6-Sami Khedira, 7-Bastian Schweinsteiger (18-Toni Kroos, 81), 8-Mesut Oezil, 10-Lukas Podolski, 13-Thomas Mueller (15-Piotr Trochowski, 67), 16-Philipp Lahm (capt.), 17-Per Mertesacker, 19-Cacau, 20-Jerome Boateng (2-Marcell Jansen, 73)
Subs not used: 12-Tim Weise, 22-Hans Joerg Butt, 4-Dennis Aogo, 5-Serdar Tasci, 9-Stefan Kiessling, 14-Holger Badstuber, 21-Marko Marin, 23-Mario Gomez
Subs not available: Miroslav Klose
Head Coach: Joachim Loew

vs. Ghana
June 22, 2006 – Frankenstadion – Nuremberg, Germany – 2006 FIFA World Cup
USA     1    Clint Dempsey 43
Ghana 2     Haminu Draman 22, Stephan Appiah 45+2

USA: 18-Kasey Keller; 6-Steve Cherundolo (9-Eddie Johnson, 61), 13-Jimmy Conrad, 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra; 10-Claudio Reyna (14-Ben Olsen, 40), 8-Clint Dempsey, 21-Landon Donovan, 17-DaMarcus Beasley, 7-Eddie Lewis (15-Bobby Convey, 74); 20-Brian McBride
Subs not used: 1-Tim Howard, 19-Marcus Hahnemann, 2-Chris Albright, 5-John O’Brien, 11-Brian Ching, 12-Gregg Berhalter, 16-Josh Wolff
Head Coach: Bruce Arena

GHA: 22-Richard Kingson; 15-John Pantsil, 5-John Mensah, 13-Habib Mohamed, 7-Illiasu Shilla; 8-Michael Essien, 9-Derek Boateng (20-Otto Addo, 46), 10-Stephen Appiah, 23-Haminu Draman (12-Alex Tachie-Mensah, 80); 14-Matthew Amoah (18-Eric Addo, 59), 19-Razak Pimpong
Subs not used: 1-Sammy Adjeu, 16-George Owu, 2-Hans Sarpei, 4-Samuel Kuffour, 6-Emmanuel Pappoe, , 17-Daniel Quaye
Head Coach: Ratomir Dujkovic