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USA coach Klinsmann fires fresh World Cup warning to Ghana - we must beat Black Stars

Published on: 01 March 2014
Jurgen Klinsmann says they must beat Ghana at all cost

USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann has reiterated the importance of a win against Ghana in the World Cup opener as being critical to the Americans' chances of advancing to the knock-out rounds.

While a tie or loss wouldn't necessarily be fatal to the Americans’ ability to advance, the Ghana match -- set to take place in Natal on June 16 -- will be followed by games against Portugal on June 22 in Manaus, and Germany on June 26 in Recife.

Given the pedigree of those last two opponents, the pressure will be on the U.S. take three points from a Ghana side that has knocked the U.S. out of the last two World Cups.

And it explains why Klinsmann, speaking at a Google Hangout held on Friday by the U.S. Soccer Federation, is putting so much focus on the Black Stars.

"We basically start with a World Cup final against Ghana," he said.

"We need badly these three points. If we get three points against Ghana, I think then that the confidence will rise, the guys will be pumped up, and they will be ready for Portugal and give them a real fight."

First, Klinsmann will have to finalize his 23-man World Cup roster, a task that is set to continue next Wednesday when the U.S. takes on Ukraine in a friendly on March 5 in Cyprus.

The U.S. manager said the process involves some challenging choices. FIFA's deadline for 30-man provisional rosters is May 12.

The final 23-man roster must be submitted by June 2, although the U.S. is free to name its final squad prior to that date.

"You review all of the strengths and weaknesses of all players," he said.

"You look at what you want to see from the entire team. You look at chemistry components. You look at is [a player] a giver or a taker. Definitely, on top of all the criteria is the quality of the player. You want to have a lot of good quality in there.

"There will definitely be tough decisions, tough moments because there are 50/50 situations, and you have to make the decision, you have to make the call. There will be some upsets; some players will be left out. That is just part of it."


This article has 26 comment(s), give your comment
  • A concerned citizen says:
    March 01, 2014 12:38 pm
  • selfmade says:
    March 01, 2014 01:14 pm
    First of all, if we lose this match, we are out and I can see that happening because of two things!! Ghana, always Start slowly in a tournament and sometimes pick up as the tournament progresses and my question is this, are we going to start slowly against USA again knowing the Americans now have a solid team compared to last two encounters?!! We have struggled against all of our opponents in our first matches against even minnows during major competitions and should we play lackadaisical like we did previously, we are in for a long ride!! Secondly, this match is different from other USA encounters because the Americans are quite bent on revenge and I know they ll even love 2 beat us than qualifying to the second round and we have to be careful because they can!! All our encounters has been too close and I can see a different script in Brazil if we don't peak for this match!
  • kwame says:
    March 01, 2014 11:24 am
    To me this match will be like Ghana vs Egypt.6-1
  • Eizack Akyempon says:
    March 01, 2014 02:14 pm
    Ghana will beat the US and they know it
  • texas says:
    March 01, 2014 01:43 pm
    Selfmade I don't think that we started Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010 slowly. We were on fire right from the start. The fact that our players and coaches are not talking too much like the US coach and players does not mean they don't know the importance of the first game against US. If they don't want to lose a third straight match against Ghana then they are in the wrong group because we must beat them at all cost and our players and coaches know that!
  • smh says:
    March 01, 2014 09:23 am
    Ayaa na klinsman no dam
  • kuukuphilly says:
    March 01, 2014 09:55 am
  • 21guns says:
    March 01, 2014 10:58 am
    Seriously klinsman you are talking too much,you have right to talk bet you are talking too much let see what will happened on the field. Ask Bradley what happened
  • yenkasa says:
    March 01, 2014 11:05 am
    Even US knows that they cant beat Ghana.....Klinsman should hold up his beath and wait for the D-day
  • Stranger Danger says:
    March 03, 2014 03:36 am
    We have Mexicans too? did not know that
  • Africanus says:
    March 01, 2014 02:54 pm
    Guys the man has sat down and done his calculations, and has concluded that if he is to advance he must beat Ghana. His goal is to beat Ghana, fight for a draw against Portugal and get his German countrymen to play soft against him to allow US to go through. His calculations is that by the time Germany comes up against the US in the third game, Germany will not need a win as they may have secured enough points from their first two games to advance with only a draw against the US. Here is his hypothetical permutations: 3 points against Ghana, 1 point against Portugal and 1 point against Germany, bringing him to a total of 5 points. Which may be good enough to secure him a second place in the group, to advance. I would say he is entitled to his plans, let him keep planning around Ghana.
  • Dan says:
    March 01, 2014 04:58 pm
    Brothers, I believe we can beat the US again, but I am still bothered by the fact that we are camping in the US. Of all places in the world????
  • jay 344 says:
    March 01, 2014 05:39 pm
    well said Africanus, very good inside, however, I want to know what quality of the players it he Jurgen Klinsmann talking about? everyone USA doesn't have any good players...
  • Nana says:
    March 01, 2014 06:27 pm
    People are panicking , esp , you don't need a rocket science to tell you the importance of the first game, he knows that and Maxwell K said the same thing, this is work hard play hard affair
  • selfmade says:
    March 01, 2014 06:56 pm
    @ Texas... Buddy, in Germany 2006, our first match was against italy( western Europe nation) and though that's was our first match at the worldcup, we still lost!! Now, Ghana have a poor record in football with respect to western European countries!! We have never ever beaten any western European football nation at the senior level and Germany in particular has beaten us right from under 17 to the senior teams!!! Again buddy, we have this poor attitude to our first matches in each and every tournament and we struggle against minnows during first matches in any competition with the exception been against Serbia in south Africa! In can 2006, we lost our first match against Nigeria! In can 2008(host and win), we struggled to win against guinea! In Angola, we lost our first match against I.coast! In gabon-eq guinea, we struggled against Mali! In south Africa, we surrendered a healthy two goal cushion against common congo! So Texas, u can see that our first matches has been very poor! In Germany 2006, we qualified to the second by beating USA thru a soft penalty and in south Africa, we were able to beat them in the extra time which means we have equal strength!!! Finally, all western European countries has beaten us and sometimes is a trashing too!! Germany beat us by 6 to 1... Holland beats us by 4 goals to 1 and Italy also beats us!! England with a second string team held us to a draw!!! Can we beat Portugal and Germany judging by history? I ll say no!!
  • texas says:
    March 01, 2014 09:45 pm
    You got a point Selfmade....this is why our attitude for this year's world cup and for any future tournaments must change. For we should not expect to win any trophy if we keep approaching tournaments the same way as we have done for thirty something years now.
  • EA1us says:
    March 02, 2014 01:17 am
    @ Selfmade, good points bro! That's what I want our fans and the players to recognize; we have to forget the mindset that we've beaten U.S twice. It's a new match-up and definately different U.S roster. I'm not saying they'll beat the mighty black stars, but I just want them to be more vigilant.
  • EA1us says:
    March 02, 2014 02:09 am
    @ Jay 344, do a little search bro J.Klins not joking, we now have at least three players from germany through naturalization; also, about three mexicans [naturalization]. These guys are playing in english and dutch league. Lol
  • ZG GH4LIFE says:
    March 02, 2014 02:16 am
    OK so USA should know that when Ghana knows they must win a game they always do or die, example Uruguay game, getting to crunch time we where on their ass,we almost scored if not for suarez,up to today i still say we won that game in my heart.Egypt will beat USA if they played them today,so they should play a friendly with them to really see where they stand against the Blackstars this june
  • ZG GH4LIFE says:
    March 02, 2014 02:19 am
    Bro please spare me all that, are our players all playing in local teams, believe in ur abilities a little.
  • selfmade says:
    March 02, 2014 02:42 am
    @EA... Ghanaians are taking the USA lightly but history is against us in this tournament!! If we lose our first match against USA, we are definitely out of this WC and there is no two ways about that!! People has short memories because we hardly qualified to the second round in south Africa and we did so with the help of Australia beating Serbia whiles Serbs were denied a clear goal!! Had the ref given that goal to the Serbians, ghana would have been out!! If people remember, we had a fabulous match against serbs with gyan penalty winning the match for us and instead of sealing our qualifications cooly by dispatching ten man Australia, we flopped badly which shows our inconsistencies in group stage matches!! This is the first time of having two top western Europe countries in our group and should USA defeats us in our first match, we ll have to ready our bags before we play Germany and Portugal because we have poor records against western European countries!! Finally people are underestimating the USA but I can say confidently that klinsman ll be a huge deciding factor in this match and it ll be prudent not to overlook him because we all know that Germans are very effective, efficient and organized at whatever they do!! Let's us not forget that klinsmann is a semi finalist coach at germany 2006 so he definitely has the experience too!!
  • EA1us says:
    March 02, 2014 03:34 am
    @ ZG GH4LIFE, hahaha bro on my second comment was a joke....that's why I said 'Lol' haha.
  • EA1us says:
    March 02, 2014 04:03 am
    @ Selfmade, that's true bro! We have to take it very serious. We can't let them off the hook or else, it'll be very difficult to advance to the next stage. Regardless of what U.S will throw at Ghana, the truth is we're simply better than them. That's a game we can't lose if black stars indeed want to succeed in Brazil.
  • selfmade says:
    March 02, 2014 05:15 am
    USA has a completely different team now coached by a better manager who has basic knowledge about the game and we need to remember that is not going to be a cheesecake for us because the Americans are bent on revenge and ll come fully prepared into this match! Another important information is that, all our encounters against them happens after the opening match( in germany 2006 it was the second match and in south Africa during the second round), so they mighty have been stretch and burnt out already but in Brazil, is going to be out first match and they ll be looking fresh and fit!! If we played like we have been doing during every opening match, the US ll beat us and is a mission possible!!
  • ZG GH4LIFE says:
    March 02, 2014 08:28 am
    Really? are u saying the blackstars had not played any games before they met in the last two world cups?
  • selfmade says:
    March 02, 2014 02:46 pm
    @ zg... Listen mate, west African footballers are more naturally endowed physical and possesses exclusive fitness and power compared to Europeans or south Americans and this is a fact!! The main reason African players tend to received a lot of unnecessary cards at WC is because of our aggressiveness and physicality! My point is this, in our two WC natches, USA was simply bullied by Ghanaians because we have more reserved energyies to as compared to them and this help us a lot though we have played some matches too! In Brazil, unlike our previous two matches, the first match us against them and they will have enough energy, endurance and fitness to face us without burning out like the two previous encounters and even judging by our last two matches, the encounter was extremely close and tight and I can confidently say that a fresh USA can be dangerous!!