Local soccer coaches weigh in on USA-Ghana matchup

The fifth day of the World Cup brings the matchup soccer fans around the United States have been waiting to see for four years: USA vs. Ghana at 6 p.m (ET) tonight in Natal, Brazil. The game will air on ESPN.

Ghana knocked the USA out of the World Cup in the 2006 tournament in Germany and again in 2010 in South Africa.

Three local college men’s soccer coaches who will be watching with great interest are the University of Dayton’s Dennis Currier, who plans to watch the game with players at his soccer camp, Wright State’s Bryan Davis, who’s going to watch at the public viewing area set up in Fountain Square in Cincinnati, and Wittenberg’s Steve Dawson, who watched his native England lose to Italy on Saturday with friends in Columbus and plans to watch tonight’s game at a sports bar in Springfield. Where are you watching the games? Here are 5 places to watch World Cup soccer.

Here are their thoughts on the game and the tournament:

Currier: “I always thought the matchup with Ghana wasn’t great for us. But the way we’ve been playing, the Nigeria game we played in the friendlies a couple weeks ago, we looked very strong. Our attack is on the same page. I feel this time around, unlike the last two times, we match up well with them. This time around, we’re a little bit more prepared. It’s the first game. I think the U.S. is going to have a lot of energy going into the game.

“I think it’s a very difficult group. I do feel although there’s a lot of unknowns with the team, especially over the last few weeks with the selections and the different players coming together, the US does a very good job with the team camaraderie. Over the last few years, they’ve really grown. I do think they can get out of the group. I think as with anything they need a little luck here.”

Davis: “I think it’s a unique (matchup). It’s a great test to see how far we’ve come so far as a soccer nation. We should win on paper, but it’s a team that’s had our number. When you play teams that have that on you, it’s a challenge no matter what. If they score a goal, you start to think, ‘What if?’ and things like that. It’s a great psychological test.

“I think the (U.S.’s) chances are very good for two reasons. The World Cup is every four years. It’s a different team. Two, we’ve had the best year in the history of our country in soccer in terms of wins and how we’re playing. We’re playing a very attractive and successful brand of soccer. That puts the odds greatly in our favor. I’m pretty excited to see it.”

Dawson: “I think it’s going to be a close game. The thing about the World Cup now or soccer in general around the world, it’s not like 30-40 years ago, when you had some teams that were just absolutely awful or couldn’t compete. There are no cupcakes anymore. This game is pretty well-matched game, a pretty even game.

“The United States will be organized, very drilled. (Coach Jürgen) Klinsmann has them well prepared. They’ll be very prepared physically and mentally. Their strength likes in their ability to stay in the game, stay together and maybe catch them on set pieces. They deliver the ball well. They’ve got some good size. Ghana’s strength is their speed, but it’s not a great difference. Technically, (Ghana) has one or two players who can turn a game.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Dragons drubbed, but Siri extends hit streak to 28 games

By John Cummings Contributing Writer Somewhere, a switch was flipped on the Dayton Dragons and manager Luis Bolivar is trying to switch it back. The Dragons, who had five of their last seven games decided by two runs or less, were banged out of Fifth Third Field for the second consecutive night Saturday, 8-2 by Burlington. Dayton lost 8-1 to Peoria...
Reds notes: Scuffling Votto not ready to rest
Reds notes: Scuffling Votto not ready to rest

Much was made of New York Yankees phenom Aaron Judge going eight games without hitting a home run before he almost launched one out of Seattle Safeco Field on Friday. Many were wondering if participating in the Home Run Derby might have sapped some of Judge’s stamina. Other sluggers have gone through similar struggles, most notably Todd Frazier...
Tom Archdeacon: Still treasuring Barcelona 25 years after Olympics
Tom Archdeacon: Still treasuring Barcelona 25 years after Olympics

LaVonna Martin-Floreal ended up with two keepsakes from the Barcelona Olympics. One was her silver medal. The other? Her husband. This coming Tuesday marks 25 years since the Olympic Games opened in Barcelona, Spain in 1992. While LaVonna said she hadn’t realized the anniversary was right around the corner, she wasn’t surprised. &ldquo...
Hartsock: Gilkison expands lead in Dayton Metro golf tournament
Hartsock: Gilkison expands lead in Dayton Metro golf tournament

He knows what it’s like to come from behind to win the Dayton Metropolitan Championship, now Josh Gilkison is on the other side. The defending champion took a six-shot lead into Sunday’s final round at Heatherwoode Golf Club in Springboro. He trailed by six shots a year ago before rallying to force a playoff with Adam Armstrong, he won...
Ole Miss football coach made phone call to number tied to escort service
Ole Miss football coach made phone call to number tied to escort service

University of Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze announced his resignation Thursday night after school officials cited personal conduct issues that included a one-minute telephone call to a number associated with a female escort service, USA Today reported. >> Read more trending news The phone call was raised as a potential issue in a legal...
More Stories