According to ESPN Soccer the United States will play Ghana, Portugal and Germany in a tough group stage at next year’s World Cup that will take the Americans on a lengthy 9,000-mile trip around Brazil.
Making their seventh straight appearance at soccer’s showcase, the Americans were drawn Friday into Group G and will open on June 16 in Natal against Ghana, which eliminated the Americans at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
The U.S. meets Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo six days later in the Amazon rain forest city Manaus. The Americans have just three off days to recover before closing group play on June 26 in Recife against Germany.
“It’s definitely one of the tougher groups, if not the toughest, but at the same time, this is what the World Cup’s all about. You go there to play against the best,” American forward Jozy Altidore said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I think the boys will be excited, will be up for it.”
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann played for Germany’s 1990 World Cup championship team and coached his native country to third place in the 2006 tournament, commuting to Europe from his California home in Orange County.
“Obviously it’s one of the most difficult groups in the whole draw, having Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo and then Ghana, who has a history with the United States. It couldn’t get any more difficult or any bigger,” he said. “It’s a real challenge. And we’ll take it. We’ll take it on, and hopefully we’re going to surprise some people there.” MORE..