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U.S. MNT Drawn with Germany, Portugal and Ghana into Group G at 2014 FIFA World Cup


USA Opens against Ghana at 6 p.m. ET on June 16 at Estadio Das Dunas in Natal, Brazil

CHICAGO (Dec. 6, 2013) – The U.S. Men’s National Team was drawn into Group G along with Ghana, Portugal and Germany at Friday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Final Draw that was held in Costa Do Sauipe, Brazil.

The U.S. opens its tournament on June 16 against Ghana with kickoff at 6 p.m. ET at Estadio Das Dunas in Natal, located on the northeast coast of the country in the state of Rio Grande do Norte.

The USA will then face Portugal on June 22 at 3 p.m. ET at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, in the state of Amazonas, and will finish group play against three-time World Cup champion Germany at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, which is the capital of the state of Pernambuco and is also located on the northeast coast of the country. Kickoff for that match against Germany is Noon ET.

“Obviously it’s one of the most difficult groups in the whole draw,” U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said to ESPN. “Having Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo and then Ghana who has a history with the United States, it couldn’t get any more difficult or any bigger. But that’s what a World Cup is about. It’s a real challenge and we’ll take it. We’ll take it on and hopefully we’re going to surprise some people there.”

2014 FIFA World Cup Groups:
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 E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria
Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea Republic

USA’s Group G Schedule at 2014 FIFA World Cup:
June 16: USA vs. Ghana, 6 p.m. ET, Estadio Das Dunas in Natal
June 22: USA vs. Portugal, 3 p.m. ET, Arena Amazonia in Manaus
June 26: USA vs. Germany, Noon ET, Arena Pernambuco in Recife

If the U.S. MNT advances out of the group stage, it would face a team from Group H (Belgium, Algeria, Russia and Korea Republic) on either June 30 in Porto Alegre or July 1 in Salvador.

The USA is gearing up for its seventh straight FIFA World Cup and 10th overall appearance in the tournament. In 2010, the U.S. dramatically won Group C as Landon Donovan scored a game-winning goal in the 91st minute to defeat Algeria 1-0 in the final group match on June 23 in Pretoria, South Africa, to advance to the Round of 16. It marked the USA’s second first-place finish in the group stage, with the other coming at the first FIFA World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay.

The USA has played in 29 World Cup games in its history, posting a 7-17-5 all-time record.

USA’s All-Time Record against Group G World Cup Opponents:
Germany: 3-6-0
Ghana: 0-2-0
Portugal: 2-2-1

Group G Opponent Profiles:
GERMANY:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 2nd
FIFA Trigram: GER
Championship Honors: FIFA World Cup (1954, 1974, 1990), European Championship (1972, 1980, 1996)
World Cup Finals Appearances: 18 – 1934 (3rd), 1938 (10th), 1954 (1st), 1958 (4th), 1962 (7th), 1966 (2nd), 1970 (3rd), 1974 (1st), 1978 (6th), 1982 (2nd), 1986 (2nd), 1990 (1st), 1994 (5th), 1998 (7th), 2002 (2nd), 2006 (3rd), 2010 (3rd), 2014
World Cup Record: 60-20-19
2014 World Cup Qualifying: Finished 1st in UEFA Group C (9-0-1; 36 GF, 10 GA)
Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Mesut Özil (8)
Head Coach: Joachim Löw (Germany)
Key Players: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich)
Fast Facts: Germany went unbeaten during 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying with nine wins in 10 games, outscoring its opposition 36-10, scoring more goals than any other European side. In its only draw, Germany had a 4-0 lead against Sweden, only to come away with a 4-4 tie … Germany is third with three FIFA World Cup titles, trailing only Brazil (5) and Italy (4) … Germany is 60-20-19 all-time in the World Cup, and the 99 matches are more than any other team in tournament history … Germany has won both of its World Cup matches against the U.S. – a 2-0 victory on June 15, 1998, in France, and a 1-0 quarterfinal win on June 21, 2002, in Korea Republic. In that 1998 victory to open Group F play, current U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann scored Germany’s second goal in the 66th minute.

GHANA:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 24th
FIFA Trigram: GHA
Championship Honors: African Cup of Nations (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982)
World Cup Finals Appearances: 3 – 2006 (13th), 2010 (7th), 2014
World Cup Record: 4-3-2 (9 GF; 10 GA)
2014 World Cup Qualifying: Finished 1st in CAF Group D; Defeated Egypt 7-3 on aggregate in CAF Playoffs (5-1-0; 18 GF, 3 GA)
Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Asamoah Gyan (6)
Head Coach: Kwesi Appiah (Ghana)
Key Players: Michael Essien (Chelsea), Sulley Muntari (Milan), Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke), Andre Ayew (Marseille)
Fast Facts: The Black Stars qualified for their third World Cup in a row by topping Egypt in the final playoff round in a 7-3 aggregate score … In their second trip to the World Cup in 2010, they qualified for the second round for the second time in row … Ghana tied Africa’s best-ever 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.

PORTUGAL:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 5th
FIFA Trigram: POR
Championship Honors: None
World Cup Finals Appearances: 6 – 1966 (3rd), 1986 (17th), 2002 (21st), 2006 (4th), 2010 (11th), 2014
World Cup Record: 12-8-3
2010 World Cup Qualifying: Finished 2nd in UEFA Group F; Defeated Sweden 4-2 on aggregate in UEFA playoffs (6-1-3; 20 GF, 9 GA)
Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Cristiano Ronaldo (8)
Head Coach: Paulo Bento (Portugal)
Key Players: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Pepe (Real Madrid), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid)
Fast Facts: After finishing behind Russia in Group F, Portugal beat Sweden in a two-legged playoff behind a hat trick from Cristiano Ronaldo in the second leg to secure a sixth trip to the World Cup ... Portugal is the only team in the field of 32 which has taken part in all 19 World Cup qualifying campaigns since 1934 … World Cup favorites in 2002, Portugal lost to the United States by an incredible 3-2 score line in Suwon for the only USA win against a UEFA World Cup participant since 1990.

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