I would like to address all American soccer fans (and my apologies to Bill Pullman):
“We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore: Timber or Sounder, Eurosnob or MLS. Today we will be united in our common interests. We will once again be rooting for our country… We are fighting for our right to compete. To play. And should we win the day, the country will declare in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to play on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”
Today the United States has their third chance, in three World Cups, to beat Ghana. The Stars and Stripes have made incremental improvements against the Black Stars each of the last two World Cups. In 2006, we were sent home in the Group Stage, as Ghana used the entire second half to protect their 2-1 lead. In 2010, the teams met in the knockout round and Ghana needed extra time to take the win. This time… we draw.
I do not see our young team taking a quantum leap against a talented Ghanaian squad. I see a gritty, hard-earned draw. But a draw means a lot. It gives the young Yanks a point and confidence going into their “tougher” matchups.
Both Ghana and the US want to win this game, knowing it may be their only shot to upset Group G favorites Germany and Portugal. Neither team will push their luck or the attack, as both suffer from the same weakness: a porous defense. Both the Stars and Stripes and Black Stars can score, as evidenced by Ghana’s 4-0 rout of South Korea in a World Cup tune-up last week. But goalkeeper will be the difference as Tim Howard is far superior to
Fatua Dauda Adam Kwarasey. If the US stays disciplined and counters effectively, a draw will be a relief.
Even with a draw against Ghana, I predict the United States to advance from the group. This all hinges on my 2014 USMNT World Cup Campaign Bold Prediction: We will beat Portugal. In the hothouse of the stadium to nowhere, Amazonia Arena in Manaus (which still isn’t complete), we are primed for the upset. The Portuguese will be licking their wounds from a German drubbing, while we surge with confidence from our opening performance.
With four points in the first two matches, the Yanks will face a German squad in position to win the group. Die Mannschaft will be guaranteed a spot in the knockout round and may be on cruise control. Either way, we will have banked enough points to advance. Germany wins the Group with 9 points followed by the USA with 4. Prove me right boys. USA!
I predict the following Group G results:
Germany beats Portugal
USA draws Ghana
Germany beats Ghana
USA beats Portugal
Portugal draws Ghana
Germany beats USA