Jurgen Klinsmann, head coach of the US men's national soccer team. Photo: Stephen Lam


Sao Paulo - The US team sounded confident on Friday of overcoming Ghana as it left its base in Sao Paulo to travel to Natal where it begins its World Cup campaign against the Black Stars on Monday.

Ghana are due in Natal later and were boosted by the return from injury of midfielder Majeed Waris who suffered a thigh injury in the Black Stars' final warm-up match on Monday against South Korea in Miami.

The Ghana team trounced their Asian opponents 4-0, but left coach Kwesi Appiah worried about Waris' injury.

But after the Spartak Moscow player, 22, returned to action, it looks like Appiah could have a full squad to choose from ahead of their Group D opener on Monday against the United States in Natal.

Juergen Klinsmann's team has no injury worries after full-back Timmy Chandler recovered from a minor leg injury to resume training in a late Thursday session.

US midfielder Jermaine Jones says the team is focused on its first game against Ghana, rather than the higher profile clashes against Portugal and Germany later in Group G.

Ghana eliminated the US in Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, and Jones said the team was prepared for the challenge this time around. “We know they're a really physical team with a lot of good players,” he told reporters before leaving for Natal.

“In training, we need to find rhythm and prepare for the system that Ghana plays. Everybody is ready to go and can't wait until everything starts.”

The US have won all three of their warm-up friendlies in preparation for the World Cup including a 2-1 victory over Nigeria - a team considered similar in style to Ghana.

“We want to win very, very badly,” said defender Matt Besler.

“We want to be able to high-press, keep the ball and drive the game. But we also have to be a little bit careful because Ghana is a very good team. “We have to respect them, and we have to be smart about how we go about the game plan.” - Sapa-dpa