The USA begins its FIFA World Cup Brazil campaign on Monday with a rematch versus Ghana, who knocked the U.S. Men's National Team out of the 2010 World Cup in the Round of 16 after the United States finished at the top of its group. Ghana also knocked the United States out of the 2006 World Cup in the final game of the group stage and the USA will be eager to turn the tables on Monday. The Group G match kicks off at 6 p.m. in Natal, Brazil at the Estadio das Dunas and will be broadcast on ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision and ESPN Radio.
The U.S. is 0-2-0 in just two unfortunate meetings with Ghana.
But the USA is coming off a record-setting 2013 campaign, posting the most victories (16) and best winning percentage (.761) in team history. Most recently, the USMNT was undefeated in its Send-Off Series, beating 2014 World Cup qualifier Nigeria 2-1 in Jacksonville, Florida with two goals from Jozy Altidore. The USA also defeated Azerbaijan 2-0 and Turkey 2-1.
After battling Ghana, the USA then face Group G titans Portugal on June 22 and Germany on June 26. Portugal and Spain face off in Group G competition on Monday also.
The USA roster features five players who have played in a previous World Cups: DaMarcus Beasley (7 caps; 2002, 2006, 2010); Clint Dempsey (6 caps; 2006, 2010); Tim Howard (6 caps; 2010; on 2006 World Cup USA roster but did not play); Jozy Altidore (4 caps; 2010); and Michael Bradley (4 caps; 2010). Beasley is only the third USA player to be a part of four USMNT World Cup rosters.
During the qualifying cycle for this World Cup, Dempsey (37 international goals) posted a team-high eight goals. With his brace in the send-off series, the first after a long drought, Jozy Altidore now has 23 goals. Chris Wondolowski (nine goals) leads the USMNT with three goals in 2014 and Bradley leads the squad with three assists. The roster features 10 players from MLS clubs Real Salt Lake, Sporting Kansas City and Seattle Sounders FC. Howard (54-28-15) was 9-3-1 during qualification, posting five clean sheets.
U.S. Men's National Team
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City),John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Jurgen Klinsmann became the 35th coach in the history of the USMNT on July 29, 2011 and holds a 31-11-8 record. He is third on the USMNT's all-time coaching wins list and led the MNT to a 12-game winning streak in 2013, the longest in program history. The team won six straight games en route to capturing the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, during which the squad scored a record 20 goals. With Klinsmann at the helm, the U.S. beat four-time World Cup champion Italy for the first time ever and earned the first win against Mexico on Mexican soil.
Klinsmann was named the Germany National Team manager in 2004 and guided Germany to a 20-6-8 record and a third-place finish in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He earned Coach of the Year honors in Germany, and two years later, became head coach at Bayern Munich. As a player from 1981 to 1998, Klinsmann scored 226 goals in 506 appearances and was named German Player of the Year in 1988 and 1994 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1995. Klinsmann scored 47 goals in 108 caps with the German National Team and participated in three World Cups (1990, 1994 and 1998) and won the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Head Coach: James Kwesi Appiah
FIFA World Ranking: 24
Best World Cup Finish: 2006 Quarterfinals (2006)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Boye (Stade Rennes), Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Jonathan Mensah (FC Evian), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Christian Atsu (Arnheim), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Agyemang Badu (Udinese), Michael Essien (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Krasnodar), Wakasu Mubarak (Kasan), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan)
FORWARDS (4): Jordan Ayew (Sochaux), Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ayn), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), evin-Prince Boateng (Schalke)
Ghana rosters seven players from the 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, including
Asamoah Gyan, who scored three goals in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, including the game-winner against the USA in overtime. Gyan led the Black Stars in 2014 World Cup qualifying with six goals.
Ghana's roster represents 13 different leagues around the world, with the majority in Europe - both France's Ligue 1 and Italy's Serie A have five representatives on the Black Stars' roster. Only one player, goalkeeper Stephen Adams, plays in Ghana's domestic Premier League.