The 'Group of Death': Ghana's Final 23

With the four nations that will comprise Group G at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil having finalized their 23-man rosters, takes a quick snap shot of the teams the USA will face in the ‘Group of Death’ this summer.

Ghana, the USA’s opening opponent at this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil, released its final 23-player roster on June 1, and there are some familiar faces in head coach Kwesi Appiah’s squad.

Seven holdovers from the country’s 2010 World Cup edition – all of whom played against the U.S. in the teams’ Round of 16 match-up – were named to this year’s side, including defenders Samuel Inkoom and Jonathan Mensah, midfielders Kwadwo Asamoah, Andre Ayew and Sulley Muntari, as well as forwards Asamoah Gyan and Kevin-Prince Boateng.

Gyan, who led the Black Stars with three goals in South Africa, and Muntari are two of the team’s elder statesmen and are set to play in their third consecutive World Cup. Their leadership is augmented by veteran Michael Essien, who played against the U.S. at the 2006 World Cup in Germany but missed the 2010 tournament due to injury.

At the club level Ghana’s players populate 13 different domestic leagues around the world, with the majority being stationed in Europe – both France’s Ligue Un 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.

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 before heading to the Netherlands for a friendly with the Dutch in Rotterdam on May 24, which they lost 1-0 on a Robin van Persie goal. Ghana will conclude its World Cup preparations with a training camp in Miami, Florida, that includes a friendly against Group H qualifiers Korea Republic on June 9.

Ghana and the U.S. are set to meet in a third consecutive World Cup, when the two nations open Group G play against one another on June 16 in Natal.

Ghana Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS: Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars)
DEFENDERS: Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Boye (Stade Rennes), Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Jonathan Mensah (FC Evian), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns)
MIDFIELDERS: 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: Jordan Ayew (Sochaux), Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ayn), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke)