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Grudge match, USA vs Ghana

Grudge match, USA vs Ghana

Posted by Liliana Castaño on June 16, 2014

Your co-workers will bolt from work early today. Bars will make a killing. And even the most indifferent of your friends will feign a slight interest in the World Cup.

For today, the United States begins its Brazil adventure when it goes toe to toe with its nemesis, Ghana.

The Black Stars have knocked the U.S. out of competition the last two go-rounds -- in 2006 and 2010.

Can the U.S. avoid a three-peat? It'd better, if it wants to see its World Cup ambitions stay alive.

Because after Ghana, the U.S. takes on two giants: Germany and Portugal -- ranked by FIFA as the second and fourth best teams in the world.

For its part, the U.S. is ranked 13th. Ghana is 37th.

No wonder Group G -- the one the U.S. finds itself in -- has been nicknamed the "Group of Death."

Why focus on the negative though?

Sure, America's odds of lifting the most coveted soccer trophy in the world are 100 to 1. But the 23 players on the squad have dreamed of playing on the grandest stage of soccer since they were kids.

Kyle Beckerman, 32, was one of them.

As a child, he'd leave notes for his mom, signed, "Kyle Beckerman USA #15."

Now, he signs autographs that way.

This is their moment.

"For one month every four years, the world stops, everybody is watching," said team captain Michael Bradley. "To have the opportunity to represent our country, to wear our colors, there's nothing else like it."

 
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