USA vs. Ghana: The Pre-Game Tailgate

USA vs. Ghana: The Pre-Game Tailgate

U.S. Men's National Team

USA vs. Ghana: The Pre-Game Tailgate

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Four years ago the U.S. men's national team had its World Cup dreams ended by Ghana. Today, the Americans have a chance for some revenge, and a chance to keep a dream World Cup run going as they take on the Black Stars in World Cup Round of 16 action in Rustenberg (2:30pm, ABC).

The United States are fresh off the unforgettable last-minute victory against Algeria to reach the Round of 16, while Ghana comes in having finished second in Group D on the strength of a tough defense and a key victory against pre-tournament sleepers Serbia.

I will be at today's match, and will be providing live commentary. Before we get to the match though, let's start the day with our usual Pre-Game Tailgate. I'll share some pre-game thoughts and observations over the course of the next five hours leading up to the Live Commentary. You are welcome to share your own pre-game thoughts in the comments section below.

Let's get started:

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PRE-GAME– Okay folks, I'm going to switch over to the live commentary, which will post as soon as I have the lineups. I'm going to listen to some Drake as I get my game-face on (I know, I'm just writing, but you still need to get in the mood). See you folks on the other side.

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PRE-GAME– About 80 minutes to kickoff. Anybody else excited?

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PRE-GAME– Getting close to time to switch over to the live commentary post. Be sure to follow me over to the new post. Any minute now, as we draw closer to lineup time.

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PRE-GAME– For those wondering, the United States will wear white tonight.

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PRE-GAME– U.S. Soccer has confirmed that Kobe Bryant is here for tonight's match. He does love his soccer.

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PRE-GAME– Asamoah Gyan is Ghana's focal point in attack. He's teammates with Carlos Bocanegra at Stade Rennes. You wonder if Bob Bradley will turn to Bocanegra in central defense because of his familiarity with Gyan. My money is still on Onyewu getting the call if he's fit and ready.

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PRE-GAME– No word yet on lineups, but there seem to be three positions in question. Findley or Gomez, Edu or Clark, Bornstein or Onyewu. What do folks think?

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PRE-GAME– It's a final. Uruguay 2, South Korea 1. If the United States wins today, it will face Uruguay. It would be the first match between the teams since the United States' 2002 World Cup send-off series. The USA won that match, 2-0.

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PRE-GAME– For those asking, the weather has been beautiful in Rustenberg today. Should get chillier tonight, but it should be a great night for a soccer match.

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PRE-GAME– Anybody else watching Uruguay-South Korea? Is anybody really scared by either of those teams in a potential quarterfinal with the USA?

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PRE-GAME– My prediction for today? I'll say USA, 2-0, with Jozy Altidore scoring two goals. USA will score early, then will find an insurance goal as Ghana pushes for the equalizer.

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PRE-GAME– Apologies for the delay. I went out to see if there were fans near the stadium. It's a different vibe here compared to the USA-England match, which was also here. Fans arrived much earlier for that match. Today, the fans aren't rolling in early. I see some USA fans, and a smattering of Ghana fans, but we're still three and a half hours away so we won't know what the numbers really look like for a while. 

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PRE-GAME– So where would I be watching today's match if I weren't here in Rustenberg, South Africa? Probably Mulligans in Hoboken, or Red Bull Arena, where a watch party is being held. No official SBI Watch Party today unfortunately.

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PRE-GAME-Looking for some pre-game reading? Here is my FoxSoccer.com preview of the match, my feature on Jozy Altidore, and Five keys to the match for the USA.

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PRE-GAME– Who do I see Bob Bradley starting? I could see him with these squads:

With a healthy Onyewu

————–Altidore————Findley—————

Dempsey————————————–Donovan

—————–Bradley——–Clark———————

Bocanegra——Onyewu—-DeMerit——–Cherundolo

————————-Howard————————–

If Onyewu can't start:

————–Altidore————Findley—————–

Dempsey—————————————-Donovan

—————–Bradley——–Clark———————

Bornstein—–Bocanegra—-DeMerit——–Cherundolo

————————-Howard—————————-

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PRE-GAME– I'm settled in here at the Media Center. It's about five and half hours before the match.

Here is the lineup I would field if Oguchi Onyewu is healthy:

————–Altidore————Gomez—————

Dempsey————————————–Donovan

—————–Bradley——–Edu———————

Bocanegra——Onyewu—-DeMerit——–Cherundolo

————————-Howard————————–

Here is the lineup I would field if Onyewu isn't healthy:

————–Altidore————–Gomez—————

Dempsey—————————————–Donovan

—————–Bradley———-Edu———————

Bornstein—–Bocanegra—-DeMerit——–Cherundolo

————————-Howard————————–

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PRE-GAME– Good morning folks. I'm riding into Rustenberg as we speak. I should be there six hours before kickoff. Seems like a lot, but time does fly on big match days like these.

I'll be sharing some thoughts, links and observations throughout the day, so be sure to keep checking in throughout the day.

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