coco's Blogs Read Blog : shots subsequently published online. Following their controversial opening 3-1

Posted on: Jun 15, 2014
Being in one of the hardest groups in the World Cup, the United States need a
vital three points in their opening game against Ghana. In 2010, Ghana knocked
the Unites States out of the tournament in a Round of 16 overtime thriller. 
After finishing 1-1 in regular time, the Black Stars shocked the United States
when Asamoah Gyan scored the dagger in the 93rd minute thatsaw Ghana go
through.  This World Cup, the United States hope to turn the cards and squeak
out a victory over the physically superior Ghana team.  There are three key
things the United States must do to get the victory over the Black Stars
United States may not be the most skilled team in the World Cup, but they are
clinical inside the box. 38% of the UnitedStates goals in World Cup qualifiers
were scored inside the 6 yard box, second among the 32 teams in the World Cup
Finals, most of these off of set pieces.  With the heads of Clint Dempsey and
Jozy Altidore, along with the perfectly timed runs of Michael Bradley, F50
the United States are always a threat on set pieces. 
Defending set pieces is also one of Ghana’s team weaknesses.  Expect to see
Graham Zusi swinging in set pieces that will be capitalized on by the Yanks.

Another key element that could lead the United States to victory is scoring
first.  Obviously every team wants to score first, but scoring firs against
Ghana is especially important.  In the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers, Ghana never
came back to win a game after being scored on first.  This clearly ranks last in
the 32 teams at the Adidas
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World Cup.  It is importantfor the United
States to make sure that Adidas F50 Messi
they press high and make chances early in the game.  Reversely, if
Ghana scores first, the United States will have a tough challenge, because Ghana
never lost after getting the lead in the World Cup Qualifiers.  However, Ghana
scoring first would not be fatal, because the United States are the “comeback
kings“, but scoring first would not only Adidas
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put the United States off to a flying start, but
statistics would back up an American victory.
Anyone who watched Serie A in
2012 saw Kevin-Prince physically dominate the midfield for AC Milan.  After
transferring to Shalke 04, Boateng scored 7 goals in 28 appearances for the
Bundesliga side.  American defensive midfielder Jermaine Jones will have to
body-up against the large Boateng.  Jermaine Jones played as Kevin-Prince’s
teammateat Shalke 04 this season, so knows how the Ghanaian star plays. 
Kevin-Prince can be deployed F50
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at many different positions, so he may be hard to
mark, but expect to see him in the center of the midfield.  Boateng is important
to shut down because of his strength, endurance, work rate, ball skills, and
ability to shoot and pass with both feet equally.  Boateng is also known for his
bone-crunching tackles, which make him an even more fearful player.  Shutting
down the best, and most important Ghanaian playmaker is vital to a United States


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