Landon Donovan discusses USA-Ghana rivalry

27 Jul 2017

Former USA international Landon Donovan spoke of his nation's recent meetings with Ghana prior to their international friendly against the African nation earlier this month.

The USMNT and Ghana have met each other in each of the last three World Cup tournaments with the latter holding the better record.

Ghana clinched a 2-1 victory over USMNT in both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, but USA took their revenge during the 2014 showpiece event, where they won by a similar scoreline. Donovan participated in the first two encounters, but was surprisingly ignored from Jurgen Klinsmann's squad for the 2014 tournament held in Brazil.

Speaking to KweseESPN, the former LA Galaxy man shed light on the fierce rivalry between the two nations, who have happened to be drawn against each other on pure coincidence over the past decade, he said: "One of the things we [US] would have over tactically better teams or technically better teams was our athleticism.

That got thrown out when you played Ghana because they were either as athletic as or more athletic than we were, so we couldn't use that as strength in the way we could against other teams. Then, a lot of times, with African countries or sometimes Caribbean or Central American countries, they're a little disorganized and so you could take advantage in that way. But Ghana is at the higher end of that spectrum where they were just organized enough to cause us problems."

Bruce Arena decided to rest some of his key European-based players for the friendly earlier this month, but the USMNT managed to still come victorious over their African counterparts as goals from debutant Dom Dwyer and Kellyn Acosta sealed yet another 2-1 result between the countries with Asamoah Gyan finding the net for the Black Stars.

With the World Cup coming along next year, the USMNT find themselves in cruise position to secure the final automatic qualification spot ahead of Panama. However, it looks highly unlikely that they will face Ghana for the fourth successive tournament with the Black Stars lingering in third place in their group – five points adrift of Egypt.