The United States men's national football team will embark in its first major test in the group death, as they take on former World Cup conqueror Ghana on Monday at 6:00 pm EST (8:00 am Sydney Time) at Estadio Das Dunas in Natal, Brazil.
Four years since they got booted out of the World Cup in the round-of-16, the Yankees are all set to exact revenge against the Ghana squad which has been their executioner for the past two World Cup stints.
Winners of 11 qualifiers en route to Brazil, the Americans are thrilled to represent their country in what is perhaps the greatest sporting spectacle in the world.
"For one month every four years, the world stops, everybody is watching," team captain Michael Bradley said in an interview with CNN. "To have the opportunity to represent our country, to wear our colours, there's nothing else like it."
However, the chance of USA progressing to the knockout rounds seems so remote, after being placed into what football analysts dubbed the group of death (Group G).
The United States, which is ranked 13th in the world, is pitted against African superpower Ghana, no.2 ranked Germany and no.4 ranked Portugal in a very tight grouping.
German head coach Jurgen Klinsmann isn't quite optimistic on the idea of winning the World Cup this year, though surprises could happen, especially if his team managed to come out of the group.
"For us now talking about winning a World Cup, it's just not realistic. First we've got to make it through the group. So let's keep our feet on the ground and say, let's get that group first done, and then the sky is the limit."
The wet weather will also be an issue in the upcoming showdown between USA and Ghana. According to CNN correspondent Lara Baldesarra, the complexion of the game could change in a blink of an eye if the rain becomes a factor.
When there's rain in a soccer game, it means that it's pretty much an equaliser a lot of the time," Baldesarra said. "Anything can happen."
Ghana's Probable Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1): Adam Kwarasey (GK); Kwadwo Asamoah, Jonathan Mensah, John Boye, Harrison Afful; Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari; Kevin-Prince Boateng, Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew; Asamoah Gyan (C)
USA's Probable Starting Lineup (4-3-1-2): Tim Howard (GK); Fabian Johnson, DaMarcus Beasley, Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler; Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley; Alejandro Bedoya; Clint Dempsey (C), Jozy Altidore
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