Question of the day: Who will win U.S. vs. Ghana?
Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they're wrong.
Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant
Landon Donovan and his teammate will still be riding an emotional high when they take the field Saturday. After winning their group with a dramatic 1-0 victory over Algeria on Wednesday, the Yanks have developed a bit of a World Cup swagger.
So how appropriate that Ghana awaits them. Four years ago, the U.S. lost to Ghana in the final game of group action and was bounced from the tournament.
Think the boys will spend the next few days talking about the 2006 loss? That’s all this team needs — added incentive.
And with Ghana missing midfielder Michael Essien, the squad facing the U.S. is diminished. With some added bounce in their step, the U.S. won’t lose in the Round of 16 Saturday.
Bring on the Uruguay-South Korea winner in the quarters.
Updated at 9:44 a.m.
George Diaz, Orlando Sentinel
True confession: I am rooting for the United States on Saturday, and therefore, I am a completely biased observer.
That said, the Americans have a good chance to advance into the round of eight by beating Ghana. The U.S. will go into the game on an emotional surge, following Landon Donovan’s dramatic goal against Algeria in extra time.
Mr. Mo is always an important intangible in sports, and he will be wearing red, white and blue Saturday.
The U.S. will win if Donovan continues to lead the U.S. attack as he did in pool play, and if the defense keeps Asamoag Gyan in check. Gyan, a 24-year-old striker, has scored both of Ghana's goals in the tournament, both on penalty kicks. Ghana will not be able to sustain enough offense to match the U.S. firepower.
One cautionary note: The U.S. needs to be sharp early - something that hasn’t happened in earlier games - and not get into come-from-behind mode.
Still, I like the U.S chances.
Updated at 2:07 p.m.
Grahame L. Jones, Los Angeles Times
Predictions are a perilous business, especially at this World Cup. Just ask Italy, Spain, Germany, France or England. The U.S. is unbeaten, has the momentum, is relaxed after achieving its stated goal of getting past the first round, and has its key players in peak form.
On top of all that, there is the not-so-small matter of avenging its first-round loss to Ghana in 2006. Landon Donovan, Carlos Bocanegra, DaMarcus Beasley, Steve Cherundolo, Clint Dempsey and Oguchi Onyewu all started in that 2-1 loss.
Think they don’t want to return the favor? The Black Stars will be carrying what, by Saturday, is likely to Africa’s last banner at South Africa 2010, but they are having trouble scoring. Given all that, it’s the U.S. to win, 2-1
Photo: Landon Donovan celebrates after scoring the winning goal against Algeria on Wednesday. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images.