No need to hype this Group G matchup up more than it already has been. The United States open their 2014 World Cup slate tonight against the team that knocked them out of the last two World Cups, Ghana. Yes, they'll be looking for revenge, but it's about more than that for the USA, as they'll of course be looking to start out this year's campaign on the right foot on a potentially flooded pitch. As I'm sure you know, they'll need every point they can get if they're going to get out of the Group of Death.
Anyway, that's enough exposition. Let's do this thing.
Kickoff time: 6pm EDT
Venue: Estadio das Dunas, Natal
TV/Streaming: As with all USA games during group play, this one will be on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. For streaming, look to WatchESPN.
Projected USA XI: Your guess, frankly, is as good as mine. No telling whether Jurgen Klinsmann will run out the modified whatever it was that beat Nigeria (some called it a version of the diamond, others the Christmas Tree) or one of the myriad other systems he's run out. But as Klinsi would tell you, the formation notation doesn't matter, it's the players' roles that do. With that in mind, I think we'll see the same guys who took the field in Jacksonville: Tim Howard; Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler, DaMarcus Beasley; Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore.
Prediction: We got this, you guys. Vengeance, redemption and three points to the Stars & Stripes tonight. I say USA win 3-1 with a set-piece opener from Besler and second-half goals from Jozy and Deuce.
What Are You Drinking?: It's a long day, so I'm going with something sessionable, Flying Dog's Easy IPA. (NB: only American-made beverages will be permitted in this gamethread.)
If you're new around these parts, then welcome. If you're a regular, then welcome back. In either case, this is your place for pre-game, in-game and post-game conversation and commentary.
Come on you Rocket Pops! #COYRP