USA verses Ghana, Thursday 22-06-06 Preview
Posted by ssbg on June 21, 2006
Ghana plays without striker Asamoah Gyan and midfielder Sulley Muntari who have both picked up suspensions.
Derek Boateng and Eric Addo will compete for the midfield place left by Muntari while Razak Pimpong is likely to replace Gyan in attack.
USA are minus Pablo Mastroeni and Eddie Pope who were sent off against Italy.
Fulham defender Carlos Bocanegra is likely to switch to left-back meaning Greg Berhalter and Jimmy Conrad will vie for the vacant spot in the centre.
Ghana (probable): Richard Kingston, John Paintsil, Habib Mohammed, John Mensah, Shilla Illiasu, Derek Boateng, Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah, Otto Addo, Matthew Amoah, Razak Pimpong.
United States (probable): Kasey Keller, Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Jimmy Conrad, Steve Cherundolo, DaMarcus Beasley, Claudio Reyna, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Brian McBride, Eddie Johnson.
BIG MATCH STATS
United States must win, and need Italy to beat Czech Republic to be certain of the next round. If Italy fail to defeat the Czechs, it depends on the tiebreakers (goal difference, goals scored etc) to decide which country advances to the next round.
Ghana will advance to the next round with a victory. Should they draw, they will still advance if Italy beat the Czechs. A draw in both matches puts Ghana out whilst a Czech victory combined with a draw for Ghana means that Ghana's future progress depends on the tiebreakers.
Ghana and United States have never met before.
Team facts – Ghana
Ghana are one of six countries who have made their World Cup debut in Germany. Angola, Ivory Coast, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago and Ukraine are the others. In 1991 and 1995, Ghana won the Under-17 World Championship. In 2001, they lost to Argentina in the Under-20 World Championship final. Ghana have won four African Cups of Nations (1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982).
The 23 squad members play for 23 different clubs. This is unique amongst all 2006 World Cup squads.
Team facts – United States
United States are taking part in a World Cup for the fifth consecutive time and the eighth time in total. They are one of only seven teams to have been present at every World Cup since 1990.
The US have now conceded 49 goals at the World Cup. Italy is the main contributor with nine goals in three matches against them.
Player facts – Ghana
Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari are suspended for this match. They are Ghana's only goalscorers so far at this World Cup. Habib Mohammed, Derek Boateng, Mickael Essien and Otto Addo will face suspension if booked.
Samuel Kuffour and Stephen Appiah are the most capped players in Ghana's squad with 59 and 44 caps. Appiah is also Ghana's most prolific goalscorer of those players on duty in Germany (11 international goals).
Player facts – United States
Pablo Mastroeni and Eddie Pope are suspended for this match following their red cards against Italy. Oguchi Onyewu and Claudio Reyna will face suspension if booked. Mastroeni and Pope became the third and fourth US players to receive a red card in a World Cup match. Pope also received his fourth and fifth yellow card at the World Cup, equalling the record of Germany's Lothar Matthaus. This was later equalled by Brazil's Cafu.
Claudio Reyna is the most capped player in the United States squad with 111 international matches. Brian McBride, who could become the first American to score at three different World Cup tournaments, has netted 30 international goals, the most of all players in the USA squad.
Asamoah Gyan's missed penalty against Czech Republic marked the first unconverted penalty at the 2006 World Cup.
The match between United States and Italy was the fourth World Cup match ever to feature three sendings off. The last time this happened was in 1998 when Denmark lost two players and South Africa one in a group stage encounter.
Big Match Stats source: Infostrada Sports