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.
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
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