Donovan explains USA / Ghana rivalry

4:11 PM GMT 30/06/2017
Landon Donovan USA. 06172017
The ex-Stars and Stripes captain speaks ahead of Saturday's international friendly between the two teams

The USA may have beaten Ghana at the 2014 Fifa World Cup, but having twice lost to the Black Stars in two earlier meetings, it is fair to say the Africans still hold the bragging rights.

In Brazil, the Stars and Stripes handed the Black Stars a 2-1 defeat in their group opener, but that was only after they lost by the same score margin at the 2006 and 2010 tournaments.

And ahead of Saturday's international friendly between the two sides, former US skipper Landon Donovan sheds light on the fierce matchup.

"One of the things we [US] would have over tactically better teams or technically better teams was our athleticism," the former Bayern Munich man explains to KweseESPN.

"That got thrown out when you played Ghana because they were either as athletic or more athletic than we were, so we couldn't use that as strength in the way we could against other teams.

"Then, a lot of times, with African countries or sometimes Caribbean or Central American countries, they're a little disorganized and so you could take advantage in that way. 

"But Ghana is at the higher end of that spectrum where they were just organized enough to cause us problems. 

"Coupled with their athleticism, they could make enough plays where they would keep us from scoring, and it just ended up being a bad matchup in that way for us."

Although coach Bruce Arena has excused a host of European-based players from Saturday's clash, the USA still have five members of the 2014 World Cup team in the current squad, with Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi playing in the 2-1 win in Natal three years ago.