It’s that magical time once again. The CONCACAF Gold Cup is upon us. But not just any Gold Cup, it’s the wondrous edition where many teams send their reserve teams to audition for the first-team. Bruce Arena and the USMNT are no different as they’ve largely sent a squad full of players hoping to breakthrough to the senior team once World Cup qualifying resumes later this year. While the hype and interest may not be what you’d expect for an international tournament, but this thing still serves an important purpose.
Before the Goldish Cup kicks off next weekend, the U.S. will play one preparation match against their old World Cup foes Ghana. While a lot of media talk in the build-up to this “friendly” has been hitting at the narrative that the USA and Ghana aren’t exactly rivals, my World Cup memories beg to differ. Each of the last three World Cups these two countries have played each other in crucial matches. The Black Stars of Ghana eliminated the U.S. both in 2006 and 2010, with the Americans finally breaking the curse thanks to John Brooks’ beautiful dome in 2014. That’s 12 years of soccer history linked between them. Just for reference, I’ve enjoyed only four total World Cup as a soccer fan and they’ve played each other in three of them. That seems like rivalry material to me.
John Brooks isn’t walking through that door, however. This may be a rivalry, but this current U.S. squad is all about building for the future. Which of these fringe players will make a case for more minutes? Like Stuart Holden in 2009, there are bound to be some players who seize their opportunity and turn themselves into first-team contributors.
This match will be televised on ESPN and UniMas and supposedly kick off around 4:45 p.m. ET.
United States Lineup:
How to Watch
Venue: Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field; East Hartford, Conn.
Kickoff Time: 4:45 p.m. ET, 1:45 p.m. PT
Available TV: ESPN, UniMas, Univision Deportes
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