US vs. Ghana: Cocktail Chatter

Landon Donovan World CupEvery week in cocktail chatter, we tell you what you need to know to sound like an expert at this weekend's play date, dinner party, or post office meeting.

This week's cheat sheet: the US vs. Ghana World Cup match.


What It Is: The US has moved past the introductory round of World Cup play into the matches between the final 16. Now they have to beat Ghana to keep advancing.

Why It's Significant: The winner of this game will play the winner of the Uruguay vs. South Korea game. The loser will go home -- which exactly what happened to the US in 2006 when it played Ghana.

How You Can Watch: Although it will begin at 8:30 South Africa time, the match will be airing at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

Players to Watch:

Landon Donovan: The American midfielder secured the US win in Group C to move out of the first round with his goal in the 91st minute of the game against Algeria. The 2009 MVP of Major League Soccer plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy during the regular soccer season.

Tim Howard: The American goalie -- and Tourette's sufferer -- plays for an English football club, Everton, but he's back with his home team for the duration of the Cup. And he turned in a "Man of the Match" performance in the US draw against England.

Michael Bradley: A midfielder like Donovan, this California boy plays for a German club during the year. But he's earned Man of the Match honors three times in 2009 -- the most of any U.S. player. Expect him to dominate.

Asamoah Gyan: Arguably the best player on the Ghana side, Gyan was Ghana's Man of the Match in both the Australia and Serbia games.

Phrases to Drop:

"The games may be in South Africa, but expect the entire nation to be behind Ghana in this game as the 'home' team for Africa."

"Ghana's got a strong defense; they only allowed two goals in the first three games of qualifying."

"The U.S. hasn't placed in the World Cup since it started back in 1930 -- we were third."

Will you be watching?


Image via wjarrettc/Flickr

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