KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Americans will unite Monday as the U.S. Men's Soccer Team takes on Ghana in the first round of the World Cup. Kansas City soccer fans will be gathered at the Power and Light District for the big game.
Four years ago, more than 12,000 people packed into the KC Live area to watch the US take on Ghana on the big screen. They are expecting even more people this year, especially now that soccer in Kansas City is more popular than ever thanks to Sporting KC's big MLS Cup win last year.
In fact, two Sporting KC players are playing in Brazil: midfielder Graham Zusi and Overland Park native Matt Besler. Besler is starting at centerback and will be tasked with defending the goal against the best strikers in the world.
There's a lot of buzz surrounding this U.S. soccer team. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, a former World Cup star for Germany, has already publicly declared the U.S. cannot win the World Cup this year.
As you can imagine, many have not taken that well. Then a few weeks ago, he cut soccer star Landon Donovan from the team, who will comment on Monday's game for ESPN. Despite these obstacles, the players believe they can win by taking it one game at a time.
"Ghana is a good team. They've done well in the past two world cups, but at the same time, every time you come to the World Cup, it's always a fresh slate," Jurgen Klinsmann, USMNT head coach. "If we play to the best of our ability, we have the quality that we can go far in this tournament. We want to do really well. This is step one, and that is why we have worked more than four week's time for preparation, to time it the right way, to give the players all the confidence they need to beat Ghana."
You can watch the game at Power and Light. There is no cost to watch and kickoff is set for 5 o'clock.
Ghana is considered the best African soccer team in the World Cup, and the Black Stars are favored to beat the U.S. even though we are ranked higher at 13th in the world versus Ghana at 38th.