[USA-GHANA] Coach Bob Bradley and a few of his players give their views on Ghana and their round of 16 matchup in Rustenburg Saturday (2:30 p.m. ET, ABC, Univision).
On Ghana, which finished second behind Germany in Group D:
“I’ve been impressed with them. I thought they would struggle a little bit without [Michael] Essien but I think they’ve looked very good. They’re going to be a very difficult team to play with. Clearly their athleticism will be difficult to deal with. My guess is that [they’ll] have quite a bit of support. Like a lot of African teams, they can be unpredictable sometimes, which can be a plus or a minus.” – Landon Donovan.
“We’ve seen a lot of their games. They’re physical, they’re strong, they’re fast, the can create special moments one-on-one. As individuals, I think that plays to us a little bit because I think we’re strong and we’re fast and we like to go head-to-head. I think, collectively, if we do the same things we’ve been talking about, defending well as a unit, staying compact, I think the game will open up for us.” – Tim Howard.
“Talented team, athletic team, mobile. We all know the types of players that Ghana has produced, the great youth teams they’ve had and the fact that they’ve been able to, I think, do a very good job of turning very good teams at the U-17 and U-20 level into very good teams at the full national team level. We know some of their guys pretty well, we’ve watched them a lot and we expect a really good game.” – Coach Bob Bradley.
On the 2006 World Cup meeting, won by Ghana, 2-1. There are 12 returnees, six on each team, from the squads for that game.
“That was not a good day for me or for the team and what I remember most, personally, is my tentativeness and the immediate feeling afterwards, the finality of it and how disappointing that was. I’ve already put that behind me. This is a chance to do something very special.” – Donovan.
“It’s a good chance for us because it’s a rematch. A lot of the guys were on that team in 2006 that got knocked out by them. They all understand what the game means and how important it is to all of us.” – Jozy Altidore.