Preview: USMNT Continues 2026 World Cup Building Process With Challenge Against Ghana In Nashville

TNT, MAX, Peacock, Universo and Futbol de Primera Radio to Carry Live Tuesday From GEODIS Park at 8:30 p.m. ET

CHICAGO (Oct. 16, 2023) — The U.S. Men’s National Team wraps its October slate of matches when it meets Ghana for the fifth time in series history Tuesday, Oct. 17 at GEODIS Park in Nashville. Kickoff of USA-Ghana is set for 8:30 p.m. ET and the match will be shown live on TNT, MAX, Peacock and Universo. Live Spanish-language audio for both matches will also be available on Futbol de Primera. 

Fans will also be able to follow the matches via Facebook, Twitter @USMNT, Instagram @USMNT and the official U.S. Soccer App.

As the USMNT continues to build towards the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the USMNT faces a Ghana team that has qualified for four of the last five world championships. Remarkably, three of the four meetings between these teams have taken place during a World Cup.

DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club/Country; Caps/Goals)

GOALKEEPERS (2): Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 9/0), Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 34/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/SCO; 13/0), Sergiño Dest (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 29/2), DeJuan Jones (New England Revolution; 7/0), Kristoffer Lund (Palermo/ITA; 2/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 53/1), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/ENG; 13/1), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 26/3), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 7/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; 8/0), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 17/0), Lennard Maloney (Heidenheim/GER; 0/0), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 47/11), Yunus Musah (AC Milan/ITA; 30/0), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 21/4)

FORWARDS (7): Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin/GER; 35/8), Folarin Balogun (Monaco/FRA; 5/2), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; 2/0), Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 19/9), Christian Pulisic (AC Milan/ITA; 63/27), Tim Weah (Juventus/ITA; 34/5), Alex Zendejas (Club América/MEX; 7/1)

KEEPING CONSISTENT

The October roster represents significant continuity, with a total of 18 of the 23 players that featured on the Gregg Berhatler’s squad last month for the consecutive shutout victories against Uzbekistan and Oman. There are 13 players who helped the U.S. reach the Round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 15 players that were a part of the squad that claimed its second consecutive Concacaf Nations League title this past June.

FACING THE BLACK STARS

The USMNT and Ghana have met four times, with two wins and two losses apiece. Three of those matches were played at successive FIFA World Cups.

The USA first met Ghana in group play at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Nuremberg, Germany. The Black Stars won 2-1, securing the winning goal on a questionable penalty in stoppage time of the first half.

The two nations met again at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, this time in the Round of 16 and just two days after Landon Donovan’s iconic stoppage time goal against Algeria. For the third time in four games, the USMNT gave up the first goal. A penalty in the 62nd minute allowed Landon Donovan to tie the game, 1-1, from the spot. In extra time, Asamoah Gyan scored the eventual game winner off a pass from André Ayew. Ghana eliminated the United States, 2-1.

In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the USA and Ghana met in the first game of play in Group G. Clint Dempsey scored the opening goal just 29 seconds into the match, and in the process became the first American to score at three World Cups. Dempsey’s goal is the fastest USMNT goal in World Cup history and the fifth fastest goal ever in the competition. André Ayew scored a game-tying goal in the 82nd minute, but second-half substitute John Brooks buried a Graham Zusi corner in the 86th minute to give the USMNT the lead. The U.S. would go on to win 2-1, their first win over Ghana.

The sides most recent meeting was a 2017 friendly at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. In the 19th minute, Dom Dwyer scored in his international debut to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute. Kellyn Acosta also scored his first international goal in the 52nd minute on a free kick, giving the U.S. a 2-0 lead. Ghana narrowed the gap minutes later when Frank Acheampong’s free kick banked into the net off the crossbar. The U.S. would go on to win 2-1, evening the series record between the two nations.

MUSAH - GHANAIAN ROOTS TO U.S CREST

Yunus Musah will have the rare opportunity to play against a country for which he shares deep roots. The son of Ghanaian parents, he was born on November 29, 2002, while his mother was visiting relatives in The Bronx, New York City. Shortly after he was born, the family moved to Italy where he began playing soccer. By virtue of his time in Italy and then England, Musah was eligible to represent all four countries in international soccer. On March 15, 2021, he officially committed to playing for the United States. Starting in the match against Germany this past Saturday, Musah (20 years, 319 days) became only the fourth USMNT player to earn 30 caps before his 21st birthday. He is the third youngest player to achieve the feat, following Jozy Altidore (20 years, 277 days), Christian Pulisic (20 years, 288 days) and beating Landon Donovan (20 years, 320 days) by one day.

AT HOME IN MUSIC CITY

The USMNT is no stranger to Nashville, having compiled a 4-2-2 record in Music City across multiple competitions. In 2009, a 19-year-old Jozy Altidore became the youngest U.S. player to score a hat-trick in the 3-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago in World Cup Qualifying. In 2018, Tyler Adams netted his first career international goal in the 1-0 shutout against rivals Mexico, and a year later a Weston McKennie goal plus two from Christian Pulisic paced the U.S. to a 3-1 win against Jamaica in the Concacaf Gold Cup semifinal.

LIGHTING THE LAMP

A total of seven players on the roster have found the back of the net for the USMNT in 2023: Ricardo Pepi (6), Christian Pulisic (5), Brenden Aaronson (2), Folarin Balogun (2), Weston McKennie (2), Chris Richards (1), Tim Weah (1).

THE BUDDY SYSTEM

The roster features four sets of club teammates, all of which come from European sides:

PSV Eindhoven (Dest, Pepi), AC Milan (Musah, Pulisic), Juventus (McKennie, Weah) and Nottingham Forest (Horvath, Turner).

The PSV trio all joined former U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Earnie Stewart in Eindhoven this summer. Christian Pulisic – who has scored in the first two matches of the Serie A season in Italy – was followed by Yunus Musah to Milan, while Weah linked up with McKennie in Turin. Matt Turner moved from Arsenal to Nottingham Forest, meeting up with Evan Horvath, who returned from a successful promotion campaign with Luton Town in the English Championship.

BERHALTER BACK

Gregg Berhalter resumed the role of head coach last month after being re-hired on June 16 of this year. The first USMNT head coach to have played for the USA at a FIFA World Cup, Berhalter has amassed of 39-12-12 record in 63 matches during four years as head coach. After becoming the second-fastest manager in team history to achieve double-digit victories (17 games), he led the team to back-to-back confederation championships in 2021, defeating Mexico in both the inaugural Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup finals, utilizing almost two completely different rosters in the process.

Deploying the youngest roster in the world during World Cup Qualifying, the USMNT qualified for Qatar 2022 and advanced to the Round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup with the second youngest team at the tournament while recording multiple shutouts on the world stage for the first time since 1930.

ROSTER NOTES

  • The roster will average 24 years, 136 days on matchday. 
  • The squad averages 21 caps overall.
  • Eighteen players took part in the USMNT’s September camp.
  • The roster is made up of 13 players that were part of the USMNT side at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 15 players helped the USA claim its second consecutive Concacaf Nations League titles this past June.
  • With 63 appearances, Christian Pulisic is the leading cap-winner on the roster, followed by Tim Ream (53), Weston McKennie (47), Brenden Aaronson (35), Matt Turner and Tim Weah (34 each).
  • The 23 players ply their trade in 10 different countries: Germany (5), Italy (5), England (4), Netherlands (2), USA (2), Brazil (1), France (1), Mexico (1), Scotland (1), Spain (1).
  • Gio Reyna returned to camp this month after recovering from the leg injury suffered during June’s Concacaf Nations League Final victory against Canada.
  • With his next appearance, Matt Turner (34 caps) will tie Arnie Mausser (35 caps) for sixth on the USMNT’s cap list among goalkeepers.
  • Christian Pulisic recorded his 27th career goal in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Germany, putting him just three behind Brian McBride for fifth on the USMNT’s all-time scoring list. Pulisic’s 27 goals along with his 14 assists combine for 41 total goal contributions, good enough for fifth all-time among USMNT players.
  • Should he score in Tuesday’s match vs. Ghana, forward Ricardo Pepi (nine goals in 19 games) would tie Jesús Ferreira’s record as the fastest USMNT player to double-digit goals. Ferreira (10 goals in 20 games) achieved the feat earlier this year during his hat-trick performance against St. Kitts and Nevis in Gold Cup play on June 28.
  • Midfielder Lennard Maloney is the lone first-time call-up to October camp and could earn his first cap on Tuesday. The German-American dual national has appeared in all six Bundesliga matches for newly promoted Heidenheim this season. Maloney made two appearances for the U.S. U-20 MYNT in 2018 and has also previously played for Germany’s U-18 and U-19 sides.
  • Seven players are on clubs currently taking part in the UEFA Champions League: Sergiño Dest and Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven); Yunus Musah and Christian Pulisic (AC Milan); Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin), Cameron Carter Vickers (Celtic), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund).
  • Seven players on the roster have found the back of the net for the USMNT in 2023: Ricardo Pepi (6), Christian Pulisic (5), Brenden Aaronson (2), Folarin Balogun (2), Weston McKennie (2), Chris Richards (1), Tim Weah (1)
  • Thirteen players are products of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Brenden Aaronson, Luca de la Torre, Ethan Horvath, Weston McKennie, Kevin Paredes, Ricardo Pepi, Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Chris Richards, Miles Robinson, Joe Scally, Tim Weah and Alex Zendejas.
  • Ten players are products of Major League Soccer Academies. The FC Dallas quartet of Weston McKennie, Ricardo Pepi, Chris Richards and Alex Zendejad lead the way, following Gio Reyna and Joe Scally (New York City FC), Brenden Aaronson (Philaldephia Union), Kevin Paredes (D.C. United) and Tim Weah (New York Red Bulls).

USA-GHANA NOTES

  • A pair of club teammates will square off Tuesday in Nashville:
    • U.S. midfielder Luca de la Torre, who plays for Celta Vigo, will face off against teammate Joseph Aidoo.
    • U.S defender Chris Richards faces Crystal Palace teammate and forward Jordan Ayew.
    • Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey will face former Arsenal teammates goalkeeper Matt Turner and forward Folarin Balogun
  • This will be the fifth meeting between the United States and Ghana, making Ghana the most played African opponent in team history. Morocco previously shared the record of four matches with Ghana.
  • A win against Ghana would tie the USMNT’s record of three victories over South Africa, the USMNT’s most wins against an African opponent.
  • The U.S. has a 2-2-0 record against Ghana, three games coming on international soccer’s grandest stages.
  • The USMNT has had a strong stretch of recent success over African sides, winning five straight and eight of its last nine. The lone defeat in that stretch was to Ghana at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
  • The U.S. has won five of its seven matches against African nations, the lone loss coming to Morocco in Nashville in 2006.
  • Tuesday will be the USMNT’s tenth game in Tennessee and the team has only lost twice in the state.
  • The USMNT is unbeaten in six straight matches in Tennessee and has never conceded more than a single goal.
  • The teams met for the first time at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany on June 22, 2006, with the African side registering a 2-1 win. Current USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter was on the 2006 USMNT World Cup roster. Haminu Draman scored the first goal in the 22nd minute. Clint Dempsey answered in the 43rd minute to tie the game. In stoppage time fo the first half, Stephen Appiah scored a penalty to seal the victory.
  • They next met in the Round of 16 at the 2010 FIFA. Ghana won 2-1 in extra time on June 26, 2010, behind goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng (5’) and Asamoah Gyan (93’).
  • In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Ghana and the United States met in their first game of group play on June 16, 2014. Clint Dempsey scored just 29 seconds into the game to take an early lead. After Ghana tied in the 82nd minute, USMNT defender John Brooks scored a header off a corner kick in the 86th minute to secure the win, 2-1.
  • The fourth and most recent meeting between the teams was a friendly at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. Dom Dwyer and Kellyn Acosta scored their first international goals to defeat Ghana 2-1, tying the series between the nations.

IN FOCUS: GHANA

GHANA OF LATE

The Black Stars had a six-game unbeaten streak to start 2023 spoiled by Mexico on Saturday night, in a friendly played in Charlotte, NC. Mexico’s 2-0 win was Ghana’s first loss of the year.

The 2023 campaign began with a 0-0 draw against Algeria on January 7.

Chris Hughton was named manager on February 12 before a stretch of four 2023 AFCON qualifying matches. On March 23, Ghana beat Angola 1-0 in Hughton’s managerial debut. Ghana drew against Algeria 1-1 four days later.

In their next 2023 AFCON qualifier on June 18, Madagascar held Ghana to a scoreless draw. In early September, Ghana beat Central African Republic 2-1. Before heading to North America, Ghana wrapped up September with a 3-1 win over Liberia in a friendly.

GHANA ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS):

GOALKEEPERS (3): Lawrence Ati-Zigi (St. Gallen/SUI; 18/0), Abdul Manaf Nurudeen (Eupen/BEL; 2/0), Richard Ofori (Orlando Pirates/RSA; 24/0)

DEFENDERS (6): Alidu Seidu (Clermont; FRA; 7/0), Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo/ESP; 15/0), Nicholas Opoku (Amiens/FRA; 14/1), Jerome Opoku (İstanbul Başakşehir/TUR; 1/0), Gideon Mensah (Auxerre/FRA; 16/0), Stephan Ambrosius (Karlsruher SC/GER; 3/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Joseph Painstil (Genk/BEL; 9/0), Thomas Partey (Arsenal/ENG; 46/13), Edmund Addo (Red Star Belgrade/SRB; 10/0), Salis Abdul Samed (Lens/FRA; 8/0), Elisha Owusu (Auxerre/FRA; 4/0), Ransford-Yeboah Konigsdorffer (Hamburger SV/GER; 1/0), Mohammed Kudus (West Ham United/ENG; 25/7), Kingsley Schindler (Samsunspor; TUR; 2/0)

FORWARDS (4): Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace/ENG; 91/19), Ernest Nuamah (Lyon/FRA; 2/0), Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao/ESP; 9/0), Antoine Semenyo (Bournemouth/ENG; 9/2)

FIRST YEAR WITH A NEW MANAGER

Chris Hughton, 64, is in his first year as manager of the Ghana National Team, having been named to the post on February 12 of this year.

In his first year at the helm, Hughton has led Ghana to a 3-1-2 record. The team’s first loss of 2023 came at the hands of Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Hughton previously served as the Republic of Ireland’s assistant manager for three years. The majority of Hughton’s managerial experience comes at the club level. Hughton took on the caretaker’s role with Tottenham Hotspur in 1997 and in different stints helmed Newcastle United, Birmingham City, Norwich City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Nottingham Forest.

As a left back, Hughton played the majority of his career for Tottenham Hotspur before two brief stints with West Ham United and Brentford.

ROSTER NOTES:

  • Ghana brought 21 players for their North American slate of friendlies.
  • Thomas Partey (13 goals in 46 appearances) wore the captain’s armband against Mexico.
  • The entire Ghana team plays abroad in countries like France, England, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Serbia, Switzerland and South Africa. Notably six players compete in French Ligue 1 and four in the English Premier League.
  • Gideon Mensah and Elisha Owusu are the only pair of club teammates on the roster, both playing for Auxerre in France.
  • Lyon forward Ernest Nuamah, 19, is the youngest player on the team.

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