Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Ghana, then and now, and the revenge factor
by Paul Kennedy, June 13th, 2014 10:53PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  ghana, men's national team, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

[BRAZIL 2014] Tim Howard is one of only four starters from the U.S. team that lost to Ghana four years ago in the round of 16 of the World Cup. He says it's ancient history, adding, "This is a different team, with a different mindset.” But what about Ghana?

Six starters from the Black Stars' 2010 team are back, including both goalscorers in the 2-1 overtime win, Kevin Prince Boateng and Asamoah Gyan. Starters Jonathan Mensah, who should anchor the backline, Juventus star Kwadwo Asamoah, who runs the left flank, and Andre Ayew also return, as does veteran Sulley Muntari, who came on late in the second overtime period four years ago.

“We felt like it was a game we could win," Howard told reporters Friday before the USA flew to Natal for Monday's game. "I want back a lot of things in life but I can’t get them. I think this team is in a good position to face Ghana. There’s no revenge factor, we don’t feel that, that’s not what’s motivating us. We think that they’re a good team but we also feel that we are slightly better as well.”

Howard, for one, thinks the 2014 Black Stars are very similar to the team of four years ago.

“They are strong individually," he told reporters Friday before the USA fly to Natal for Monday's game. "Obviously, we know how physical they are, so we are going to try to match that. I’ve said it before, very rarely do we get outmatched physically, but this is a team that has the possibility of doing that, so we’ll make sure that doesn’t happen and then just be kind of clever with our positioning and making sure that they don’t hit us in transition.”

Ghana 2 vs. USA 1 (June 2010)
Ghana -- Kingson; Sarpei (Addy, 73) , Pantsil, John Mensah, Inkoom (Muntari, 113), Jonathan Mensah; Annan, A.Ayew, Asamoah, Kevin Prince Boateng (Appiah, 78); Gyan.

Ghana 6 vs. Egypt 1 (October 2013)
Ghana -- Dauda; Afful, Opare, Akaminko, Sumaila; Essien (Wakaso, 82), Sulley Muntari, A.Ayew (Atsu , 83), Asamoah; Waris, Gyan.

Ghana 4 vs. South Korea 0 (June 2014)
Ghana -- Dadau, Afful, Boye, Jonathan Mensah, Asamoah, Rabiu (Acquah 59), Muntari (Agyemang-Badu 59), A.Ayew (Adomah 74), Gyan (Wakaso 64), Waris (K.Ayew 4), Kevin Prince Boateng (Atsu 56),

GHANA 2014. Perhaps no American knows Ghana better than Bob Bradley. He was the coach of the USA four years and coached Egypt, which fell to Ghana in the final round of African qualifying, dropping a 6-1 decision in the first leg that doomed the Pharaohs. He gave his assessment of the Black Stars in an interview with MLSSoccer.com's Jason Saghini and Jesse Marsch, who was a Bradley assistant in 2010.

Bradley says Ghana is different, beginning with its coach, Ghanaian Kwesi Appiah, who was an assistant four years ago under Milovan Rajevac.

Four years ago, Ghana played a 4-1-4-1 with Anthony Annan as a midfielder in front of the backline, while Appiah now plays with a 4-4-2 with 24-year-old Mohammed Rabiu, an Appiah favorite, according to Bradley, a possibility to start in the center of midfield alongside Michael Essien or Muntari. Rabiu has bounced around clubs in Spain, Italy and France before moving to Russia to play for Kuban Krasnodar last year.

Bradley said Egypt played Ghana even in Kumasi between the two 18-yard lines, but the Black Stars won the game -- handily -- with their play in the penalty area. How the USA fares against Ghana within the two 18s will likely determine the outcome of Monday's meeting.

With that in mind ...

-- Bradley said Richard Kingson, the goalie in 2010, was excellent. Kingson is not with the Black Stars in Brazil, and his replacement is 29-year-old Fatau Dauda, who played his entire career in Ghana before moving to South Africa last year.

-- He said Ghana is very dangerous on set pieces with balls driven in by Asamoah with his left foot. Besides Gyan and Boateng and defenders like John Boye and Mensah coming up, the athleticism of Abdul Majeed Waris (at only 5-foot-8) and Ayew (only 5-foot-9) make them threats in the air on offensive set pieces. On the other hand, he USA can exploit Ghana for the tendency of their defenders lose track of players on set pieces.



3 comments
  1. Mark Hardt
    commented on: June 14, 2014 at 9:24 a.m.
    Good analysis It comes down to set pieces, goal keeping, and couunter attacking.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 14, 2014 at 11:43 a.m.
    It really comes down to simplicity and speed of play, possession and execution, team shape, and self-motivation. Over-analyzing is a smokescreen.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: June 14, 2014 at 3:07 p.m.
    I'd settle with movement off the ball and the elimination of our undoing, the 50-50 passes, leading to the opponent's counters......


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Again, the USA wilts in the second half    
The USA's performance in a 3-2 loss to Chile on Wednesday raises lots of questions and ...
NYCFC makes change at the top    
New York City FC has appointed Tom Glick as its new president, replacing Tim Pernetti, who ...
MLS sells KickTV to Copa90    
Major League Soccer has sold KICKTV, its dedicated global soccer platform approaching one million subscribers on ...
What They're Saying: Bob Foose    
"We're a long way apart. I don't know that I want to handicap it, but it's ...
Gyau, Morse and Haley move up with U-18 women    
The U.S. under-18 women's national team will hold a one-week training camp that begins Sunday at ...
Video Pick: The Magic of the FA Cup?    
The folks at The Guardian have become suspicious about the marketing of the FA Cup, the ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
The LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes opened preseason play with shutout victories in scrimmages on ...
USA falls to Chile, 3-2, in 2015 opener    
The U.S. men's national team opened its 2015 season wtih a 3-2 loss at Chile on ...
W-League will return for 21st season with just 18 teams    
A slimmed down W-League will kick off the 2015 season in May with 18 teams, down ...
Red Bull dealing pays off; Sacha Kljestan arrives     
The New York Red Bulls have succeeded in outflanking the LA Galaxy to land U.S. national ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives