With a few hours to spare until the highly anticipated World Cup clash between USA and Ghana, Black Stars manager Kwesi Appiah has unveiled the team's starting XI via the nation's official FA website.
There will be six players making their World Cup debuts for the Ghanaian side, including Jordan Ayew, who will be pairing up front with team captain Asamoah Gyan. It was Gyan's goal that eliminated the USA from the 2010 World Cup in the round of 16. Ayew had a hat trick in Ghana's final pre-World Cup friendly, scoring three times against South Korea in Miami.
The complete starting XI includes Adam Kwarasey in goal; a defensive unit of Kwadwo Asamoah, Daniel Opare, Jonathan Mensah and John Boye; Rabiu Mohammed, Christian Atsu, Sulley Muntari and Andre Ayew in the midfield, and Jordan Ayew and Gyan leading the front line. Asamoah, a midfielder with Juventus, is a makeshift left back to deal with Fabian Johnson.
The lineup omits veterans Kevin-Prince Boateng and Michael Essien. Abdul Majeed Waris is also not included, with the young, athletic attacking star still recovering from an injury suffered against South Korea.
The U.S. has fallen to Ghana in each of the last two World Cups, but even though revenge would be an obvious motivation, U.S. players are downplaying that angle, according to SI's Brian Straus.