Four years ago - Ghana. Eight years ago - Ghana. They've ended the USA before. This time it starts with Ghana, but the pressure is no less. In a group this strong there is no room for a single bad game.
You know what America didn't have in those last two World Cups? Active Sounders. Now, when the United States takes the field there will not just be a Sounder on the pitch. The captain is a Sounder. Sometimes it just takes a Sounder.
It's going to take more than that. The US needs to win this game to have its best chance at moving on past the Group Stage. The thing is that Ghana is pretty darn good. As always there will need to be some good fortune.
A backline with little experience together will need to be seamless. A midfield that is constantly adjusting its style will need to become Klinsmann's ideal of formationless support of the other. The forward tandem of Dempsey and Altidore are capable magicians, and sometimes their tricks are just a bit off. The chances of getting through the Group are low.
But there is a chance. This is what we sports for - that chance at greatness. Ninety minutes in Natal can be a little moment of greatness. It can be joy. It can be hope, freedom and confirmation of our superiority complex. Clint, DeAndre, I'd like it very much if we earned all of that this afternoon.
There are many ways to enjoy this 3 PM match - ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, Watch ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Radio Deportes, Univision Deportes, Sirius XM 84 and probably many others (try your access to Canadian channels). A match this big demands a second screen. We'd be happy to have you.
SB Nation Soccer has a preview for you.
Things to Watch
- Jermaine Jones v Kwadwo Asamoah (per SBN Soccer)
- Michael Bradley v Ghana's DM (per SBN Soccer)
- How much s*** will Dempsey do?
- Does Yedlin taste action?
How I'm Watching
Scarf: Perilous Fight
Kit: USA 2010 Blue Sash Kit
Where I'm Watching: Capitol Cider
One Nation, One Team