On Monday, the United States defeated Ghana by a score of 2-1 thanks to goals from Clint Dempsey and John Brooks. Losing in 2006 and ’10 by the same score, the U.S. knew that the third time had to be the charm against Ghana in the World Cup. With coach Jurgen Klinsmann implementing a tightly-knit 4-4-2 diamond formation, the boys knew they had his trust to make things happen.
With this win, they have arguably defeated their toughest opponent. Sure, Portugal and Germany are superb, but Ghana plays an attack-minded style that allows them to create so much magic to go along with their physically-tough style of play. Defeating them should only boost USA’s confidence ahead of this Sunday’s match against Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.
Two sour notes from the match are the injuries to Matt Besler (precautionary measures due to his hamstring) and Jozy Altidore, who left the game less than 10 minutes in due to a more severe hamstring issue. Besler can be back in the starting lineup against Portugal but Altidore’s tournament may very well be over.
Jermaine Jones has to be considered Monday’s warrior as he fought hard to win the ball, broke opposing plays and took some hard hits from the Ghanaian team. Dempsey scored the fastest ever goal by the U.S. in the World Cup just 34 seconds in, which was the fifth-fastest in tournament history as a whole. These are just some of Monday’s highlights that will never be forgotten.
Aron Johansson should not take part in the next game from the start as he lost the ball several times due to pressure from the defense. Chris Wondolowski should be given a chance as he is a braver striker who will take guys on and not give in to the physical nature of the game.
Now, the U.S. can ride this high heading into their game against Portugal. After Monday’s triumph, surely anything is possible for the boys in red, white and blue.