U.S. Men’s National Team to face Ghana in friendly on Saturday
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will warmup for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup by taking on three-time FIFA World Cup foe Ghana on Saturday, July 1 in East Hartford, Connecticut. Coverage from Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field begins at 4:45 p.m. ET on ESPN, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 54/0), Bill Hamid (D.C. United; 2/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 5/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 39/1), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 39/1), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas; 2/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 11/0), Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 2/0), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC/CAN; 1/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna, MEX; 6/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 48/5)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 8/0), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX; 5/2), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 60/2), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX; 17/2), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 6/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 0/0), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution; 0/0), Kenny Saief (Gent/BEL; 0/0), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy; 31/7)
FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 23/3),Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City; 0/0), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 15/2)
CONCACAF GOLD CUP WARMUP
Saturday’s match against Ghana serves as the MNT’s lone warmup for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. MNT will begin its quest for a sixth confederation championship when it takes on Panama (July 8 in Nashville), Martinique (July 12 in Tampa) and Nicaragua (July 15 in Cleveland).
WORLD CUP RIVALS
Saturday’s friendly marks the first time the USA and Ghana have met outside the FIFA World Cup. The two nations have become well acquainted after meeting at each of the last three tournaments, with each match serving up memorable moments and the same 2-1 score line.
In 2006, the USA faced Ghana in its final Group Stage match and pulled level thanks to Clint Dempsey’s 43rd minute equalizer only to have a dubious penalty call at the close of the first half end the USA’s run in Germany in what was Bruce Arena’s last game as MNT manager before returning to the job late last year.
Four years later in South Africa, the U.S. met Ghana in the Round of 16 and saw Landon Donovan’s 62nd minute penalty kick force extra time only to have Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan tally the game-winner in Rustenberg.
The U.S. finally set things right in 2014 when the side faced Ghana in its opening match in Brazil. A first minute goal from Dempsey pushed the MNT ahead, but Andre Ayew equalized for Ghana in the 82nd minute. That set the stage late as Graham Zusi’s corner kick picked out substitute defender John Brooks, who headed home the game-winner in the 86 th minute.
USA-Ghana All-Time Results
U . S . Goal Scorers
|June 22, 2006||1-2 L||Dempsey 43′||Nuremberg, Germany|
|June 26, 2010||1-2 L (aet)||Donovan 62′||Rustenburg, South Africa|
|June 16, 2014||2-1 W||Dempsey 1′, Brooks 86′||Natal, Brazil|
FIRST CAP OPPORTUNITIES
Four players on the U.S. roster are in their first MNT caps and have the chance to earn their senior team debuts in Saturday’s friendly with Ghana. English-born forward Dom Dwyer has been a long-time threat with Major League Soccer side Sporting Kansas City and earned his U.S. citizenship in March, clearing the way for his summons . In similar fashion, Israeli-American midfielder Kenny Saief was granted a one-time change of association request by FIFA earlier this month, which made him eligible to represent the United States . Meanwhile, former U.S. youth internationals Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC) and Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution) have continued to find impressive form with their clubs this season, resulting in their call to join the 23-man roster for the Gold Cup .
BACK IN THE MIX
While first caps are available on Saturday night, another group of players is back in the mix after absences from the National Team. Having had an impressive run with Club Tijuana during the 2017 Clausura, midfielder Joe Corona returns for his first MNT camp since September 2015 , while Nottingham Forest defender Eric Lichaj will get an extended look with the U.S. for the first time since November 2013.
EXPERIENCE AT THE CORE …
The group-phase roster boasts a dozen players with experience in World Cup Qualifying and 11 who have played in a Gold Cup, including six with a Gold Cup medal in their trophy case and 2015 Golden Glove winner Brad Guzan.
The regular European-based contingent for the MNT is in the midst of a much-needed break between now and the World Cup next summer. Having completed their club seasons in May, the group went straight into camp for the World Cup Qualifiers in June. After a 14-day camp preparing for the rigors of altitude, the U.S. emerged with four points from two games including a huge draw away to Mexico. Now two weeks into holidays, they begin to return to preseason shortly with the hopes of earning regular playing time for the upcoming campaign.
USA ROSTER NOTES:
- Five players on the U.S. roster were part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup team: Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Guzan and Graham Zusi.
- Three players played in the 2014 World Cup match vs. Ghana. Both Besler and Bedoya started the match and were replaced by John Brooks and Graham Zusi, respectively. It was then Zusi who whipped in the 86th minute corner kick to find Brooks for the game-winner.
- The majority of the roster comes from Major League Soccer, with 16 players representing 11 clubs.
- Seven players come from clubs outside of M.L.S., with four from Mexico, two from England and one from Belgium.
- Twelve players from this group have been a part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign.
- Eleven players have previously been part of a Gold Cup roster, including Alejandro Bedoya, Omar Gonzalez, Joe Corona and Graham Zusi.
- With 60 caps, Bedoya is the player with the most international experience, followed by goalkeeper Brad Guzan (54), and defenders Graham Zusi (47), Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez (39 each).
- Bedoya also has the most CONCACAF Gold Cup experience, earning 11 appearances during three different confederation tournaments.
- Guzan was one of two U.S. players to play every minute of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and was awarded the tournament’s Golden Glove as best goalkeeper.
- Six players were on the U.S. MNT’s last Gold Cup-winning side in 2013: Bedoya, Besler, Joe Corona, Gonzalez, Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson.
- Three players have previously scored in the Gold Cup: Corona (2), Gonzalez, and Gyasi Zardes.
- Four players have earned their first U.S. MNT call-ups and will also seek their first caps: Dom Dwyer, Cristian Roldan, Kelyn Rowe and Kenny Saief.
- A member of Belgian club Gent, Saief joins the U.S. roster after having his change of association request granted by FIFA . The midfielder previously played for the Israel U-19 and U-21 sides, which necessitated the one-time switch.
- A long-time member of Sporting Kansas City, Dwyer received his U.S. citizenship in March, paving the way for his first invite to an MNT roster .
- Rowe and Roldan have previously been a part of U.S. youth national teams.
- With the average cap total at 16, this Gold Cup roster will provide international seasoning to several players. It’s the second lowest average since 2000, ahead of the 2009 roster which averaged nine caps and reached the championship final.
- A total of 12 players will look for their first Gold Cup appearances: Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Dwyer, Hamid, Matt Hedges, Matt Miazga, Justin Morrow, Dax McCarty, Jordan Morris, Roldan, Rowe, Saief and Jorge Villafaña.
- Club Tijuana midfielder Joe Corona returns to the MNT for the first time since September 2015 .
- Coming off a campaign in which he won Nottingham Forest’s Player of the Season award, Eric Lichaj returns to the MNT fold for the first time since a 3-1 friendly win against Puerto Rico on May 22, 2016.
- Having helped Vitesse win the Dutch Cup back in April, center back Matt Miazga is also part of his first senior camp since last May’s friendly against Puerto Rico.
- With just one cap, left back Justin Morrow returns to his first MNT camp since March 2013.
- Youth is the movement. Nine players on the roster weren’t even born when the U.S. won the inaugural CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1991: Agudelo, Acosta, Arriola, Miazga, Morris, Roldan, Rowe, Saief and Zardes.
- Nine players are also alumni of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Acosta, Agudelo, Arriola, Corona, Hamid, Miazga, Morris, Rowe and Zardes.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Joseph Addo (Aduana Stars; 0/0), Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars; 4/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew SC/USA; 78/0), Lumor Agbenyenu (1860 Munich/GER; 1/0), Jerry Akaminko (Eskiserhispor/TUR; 11/1), John Boye (Sivasspor/TUR; 60/4), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew SC/USA; 58/1), Nicholas Opoku (Berekum Chelsea; 0/0), Samuel Sarfo (Liberty Professionals; 0/0), Rashid Sumalia (Al Gharafa/QAT; 8/0),
MIDFIELDERS (8): Mohammed Abu (Columbus Crew SC/USA; 5/0), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht/BEL; 19/2), Thomas Agyepong (NAC Breda/NED; 1/0), Winful Cobbinah (Hearts of Oak; 0/0), Ofori Ebenezer (Stuttgart/GER; 1/0), Gershon Koffie (New England Revolution 0/0), Kwadwo Poku (Miami FC/USA; 1/0), Isaac Sackey (Alanyaspor/TUR; 1/0)
FORWARDS (4): David Accam (Chicago Fire/USA; 8/1), Raphael Dwamena (FC Zurich/SUI; 1/0), Asamoah Gyan (Al-Alhi/UAE; 102/49), Majeed Waris (Lorient/FRA; 27/4)
- Ghana comes into the match off a narrow 1-0 friendly loss to Mexico on Wednesday night in Houston.
- The Black Stars are led by former Ghana international James Kwesi Appiah.
- Six players on the Ghana roster were part of the team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup: Harrison Afful, John Boye, Asamoah Gyan, Jonathan Mensaw, Rasheed Sumalia and Majeed Waris.
- Six players on the roster have ties to the United States. Fresh off his hat trick in Chicago Fire’s 4-0 win against Orlando City SC, David Accam re-joins the Ghana squad and will look to line up against club teammate Dax McCarty in Saturday’s friendly. New England Revolution midfielder Gershon Koffie also received his first Ghana call and will hope to earn his first cap against club teammates Juan Agudelo and Kelyn Rowe.
- Columbus Crew SC has a trio of players on the Ghana roster in defenders Harrison Afful and Jonathan Mensah, as well midfielder Mohammed Abu, while Miami FC attacker Kwado Poku is also in the squad.
- Full club/country distribution: USA (6), Ghana (5), Turkey (3), Germany (2), Belgium, France, Netherlands, Qatar, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates (1 each)
LAST TIME OUT
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Ghana
Date: June 16, 2014
Competition: 2014 FIFA World Cup – Group G
Venue: Estadio das Dunas; Natal, Brazil
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Weather: 81 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
GHA 0 1 1
USA – Clint Dempsey (Jermaine Jones) 1st minute
GHA – Andre Ayew (Asamoah Gyan) 82
USA – John Brooks (Graham Zusi) 86
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson, 20-Geoff Cameron, 5-Matt Besler (6-John Brooks, 46), 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 11-Alejandro Bedoya (19-Graham Zusi, 77), 15-Kyle Beckerman, 13-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley; 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.), 17-Jozy Altidore (9-Aron Johannsson, 23)
Subs Not Used: 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 10-Mix Diskerud, 12-Brad Guzan, 14-Brad Davis, 16-Julian Green, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 21-Timmy Chandler, 22-Nick Rimando
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
GHA: 12-Adam Kwarasey; 4-Daniel Opare, 19-Jonathan Mensah, 21-John Boye, 20-Kwadwo Asamoah; 17-Mohammed Rabiu (5-Michael Essien, 71), 7-Christian Atsu (14-Albert Adomah, 78), 11-Sulley Muntari,13- Jordan Ayew (9-Kevin-Prince Boateng, 59); 3-Asamoah Gyan (capt.), 10-Andre Ayew
Subs Not Used: 1-Stephen Adams, 2-Samuel Inkoom, 6-Afriyie Acquah, 8-Agyemang Badu, 15-Mohammed Awal, 16-Fatawu Dauda, 18-Abdul Majeed Waris, 22-Mubarak Wakaso, 23-Harrison Afful
Head Coach: James Kwesi Appiah
Stats Summary: USA / GHA
Shots: 8 / 21
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 4 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 7
Fouls: 12 / 10
Offside: 1 / 5
GHA – Mohammed Rabiu (caution) 30th minute
GHA – Sulley Muntari (caution) 90+2
Referee: Jonas Erikkson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Warnmark (SWE)
Fourth Official: Norbert Hauata (TAH)