FCD players anoint US as quarterfinalists

FC Dallas players and coaches will join the millions around the country to tune in when the United States and Ghana take the field on Saturday in the knockout round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

FCD will be in Los Angeles as they play Chivas USA that same night at The Home Depot Center. The entire squad will be taking in the game away from home and four starters spoke about how things might go for the US.

“Ghana is definitely a very athletic team," said FCD captain Daniel Hernandez, who has been in several camps with the US side. "I don’t think they looked that great so far in their first three games. I think on paper, the US should beat them. Hopefully they can take care of business and head on to the next round. I think without a doubt, they should beat Ghana. No way should they beat us.”

Teammate and midfielder Brek Shea, who is second on FCD with three goals, agrees.

“I think they’re going to win," he said. "If they [USA] play good defense, Ghana’s not going to be able to break them down. I watched their last game and they had some opportunities, but nothing spectacular. If they [USA] play defensively like they did against Algeria, then I think the US should create enough chances.”

Shea also sees the revenge factor coming into play since it was the Black Stars who eliminated the US from the 2006 World Cup.

“Definitely, the US plays on adrenaline and spirit and I think they’re going to be riled up,” he said.

Fellow midfielder Dax McCarty likes how things have panned out for the US. He has two caps for the US.

“I don’t think you could have gotten a better opponent, not because Ghana is going to be a pushover but you can kind of exact a little revenge for the last World Cup,” McCarty said. “If you would have asked the US who they’d like to play - Germany or Ghana - the majority of them would have said Ghana.”

While McCarty does expect the US to prevail, he knows it won’t be easy.

“They’re a tough team," he said. "They have very athletic players and basically the entire continent of Africa behind them and supporting them. By no means will it be easy but the US has confidence. They’re certainly a resilient group. I think it will be a great game.”

FC Dallas center back Ugo Ihemelu, who also has two caps for the US, made the US a unanimous selection among those polled.

“I think it’s a great draw for the US,” Ihemelu said. “They tend to be pretty organized. It depends on what team Ghana comes with. They played pretty well against Germany but Germany found a way to win. I think the US could do the exact same thing.”