The Americans will begin their World Cup in the "Group of Death" Monday when they face a Ghana squad that eliminated them from the last two World Cups.
Ghana is the slight betting favorite in the match even though they have lost two of their last three World Cup tune-up matches.
Sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark had Ghana and the United States at virtually even odds Monday morning. The draw line was sitting around 5-2.
The U.S. had unimpressive wins over Azerbaijan and Turkey before a solid win over Nigeria in their last three tune-up matches. However, all three matches were on American soil, so they had the home-field advantage.
Every group match is critical, but this one is even more so for each squad since both teams still have to face Portugal and Germany (who play earlier Monday). The U.S. and Ghana are the third and fourth choices, respectively, in Group G betting futures.
Ghana has a solid midfield with the likes of Prince Boateng, Kwadwo Asamoah and Michael Essien and a solid striker in Asamoah Gyan. USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann picked a squad that is younger and mobile, which should pay dividends facing a Ghana side that boasts size and speed in equal measure.
The counterattack, and defending it, will be crucial in this match, as both squads thrive on it. For Ghana, the counter happens with speed, while for the United States, it happens with creativity, especially in the midfield.
Michael Bradley is the leader of the American squad in the midfield, and he must play well in this match. The one main weakness of Ghana is their defense, which the Americans must take advantage of.
Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, who snapped his scoring drought in the Nigeria friendly match with two goals, must pressure Ghana’s defense.
The U.S. is a very slight betting underdog in this match, but veteran goalie Tim Howard can keep a clean sheet here.
The Americans can avenge those prior defeats at the hands (and feet) of Ghana and will score at least one goal to win this match and take the vital three points.
Prediction: 2-0 USA