Sports News of Saturday, 1 July 2017
Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan feels the team’s chaotic preparations for their international friendly against the USA could negatively affect them.
Gyan, a veteran of two previous meetings with the USA in the FIFA World Cup, claims the game in Connecticut is ‘more than a friendly’ but Ghana’s preparations have not reflected that.
Members of the side arrived in bits to the Black Stars’ Connecticut base on Thursday and missed training as a result on that day. Rain then delayed their scheduled training on Friday.
“We have hardly trained since the Mexico game,” Gyan told KweséESPN. “That plus the difficulties with travelling could affect us but we are professionals and desperately want to win this game so we will forget that and give of our best on the field.”
Gyan has played in two of the three previous Ghana-USA meetings and scored the winner in 2010 to help Ghana through to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in South Africa with a 2-1 win. Four years later, he started in Natal as the USA exacted revenge with a 2-1 win of their own in the group stages of Brazil 2014.
“We have come to know each other a bit and played some good games. There are also a lot of Ghanaians here in the USA so there is a sense of rivalry that gives this an edge beyond a friendly.”
In addition to the disruption to his training plans, Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has had to deal with the loss of the experienced defensive duo of Jonathan Mensah and Harrison Afful but he does expect the replacements to make a strong case in their absence.
“There is nothing like friendly games. You need to get in there as a team and do your best, Appiah said. “Every player in the side deserves to be here but they must prove it to everyone and give us a good result.”