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U.S. Draws Difficult Group For 2014 World Cup

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COSTA DO SAUIPE, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 06:  Group G containing Germany, Portugal, Ghana and USA is displayed on the big screen on stage behind the draw assistants, Fernanda Lima and FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke during the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at Costa do Sauipe Resort on December 6, 2013 in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Group G (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

BAHIA, BRAZIL (CBSDFW.COM) – If the United States is hoping to advance to the knockout stage of the 2014 World Cup, they’ll likely need to do something they’ve failed to do in the last decade — beat Ghana.

The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team was drawn into Group G on Friday with three-time champion Germany, Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal, and Ghana.

The draw was held in Bahia, Brazil — the host country in 2014.

The United States is well familiar with their African opponent, having been eliminated from consecutive tournaments by the Black Stars from Ghana. In 2006, Ghana defeated the U.S squad 2-1 in the group stage, preventing the team from qualifying for the knockout round.  The same score held up in 2010 in the round of 16, again sending the Americans home.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be facing his native country when the U.S. takes on Germany. As a player, Klinsmann played in three World Cups with West Germany/Germany, helping the team win the title in 1990. He returned to coach the national team in 2004, guiding the team to a 20-8-6 record and a third place finish in the 2006 World Cup.

USA's national football team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann (R) waits for the final draw of the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia state, Brazil, on December 6, 2013. Thirty-two teams will learn their World Cup fate when the draw for Brazil's problem-plagued 2014 showpiece takes place today.  AFP PHOTO / VANDERLEI ALMEIDA        (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

USA’s national football team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia state, Brazil. (Photo: VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo, the captain of the Portuguese National Team, is widely considered one of the world’s top players. The 28-year-old Real Madrid forward scored eight goals in Portugal’s World Cup qualifying campaign, including a hat trick to secure the team’s tournament berth against Sweden.

The Americans will open the tournament against Ghana on June 16, play Portugal on June 22 in the Amazon city of Manaus, and finish up with Germany on June 26.

“Obviously it’s one of the most difficult groups in the whole draw,” Klinsmann said to ESPN. “Having Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo and then Ghana who has a history with the United States, it couldn’t get any more difficult or any bigger. But that’s what a World Cup is about. It’s a real challenge and we’ll take it. We’ll take it on and hopefully we’re going to surprise some people there.”

The other groups were drawn as follows:

Group A: Brazil, Cameroon, Croatia, Mexico

Group B: Australia, Chile, Netherlands, Spain

Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan

Group D: Costa Rica, England, Italy, Uruguay

Group E: Ecuador, France, Honduras, Switzerland

Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria

Group H: Algeria, Belgium, Russia, South Korea

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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