World Cup Group G

Ghana World Cup roster announced

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Ghana has named its 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup, and coach Kwesi Appiah has put tournament debutantes on the list.

There are plenty of familiar faces, however. Fans of the USMNT, who were drawn alongside the Black Stars in Group G, remember Asamoah Gyan – and not with fondness. In 2010, the forward scored a goal in extra-time to knock the U.S. out of the World Cup. Others, of course, will remember him for failing to convert the penalty brought on by Luis Suárez’s fateful handball. Gyan is likely hoping that his third trip to the tournament will bring more joy.

Other players who helped get Ghana to the quarterfinals in 2010 include Kevin-Prince Boateng, Sulley Muntari, Kwadwo Asamoah and Michael Essien. André Ayew went to the last Cup as well, but this is brother Jordan Ayew’s first tournament. Older brother Ibrahim Ayew stays behind.

As does defender Jerry Akaminko, who was stretchered off during the friendly with Netherlands on Saturday night. Leicester City defender Jeffrey Schlupp and striker David Accam also failed to make the cut.

Ghana 2014 World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars)

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Porto), Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Midfielders: Michael Essien (AC Milan), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Christian Atsu (Vitesse Arnhem), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Wakaso Mubarak (Rubin Kazan)

Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux)

Germany’s injury woes continue; Lars Bender out of World Cup squad

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Germany, tipped as one of the “not-quite-a-favorite” yet “definitely-not-a-dark-horse” teams for Brazil 2014, are starting to slide down into “well, maybe they’ll make it past the Round of 16”.

Which is good news for fans of the U.S.A., but not so great for, say, Germany.

Joachim Löw, already dealing with a host of injuries plaguing his squad, confirmed today that Lars Bender won’t be making the trip to Brazil. The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder picked up an injury in training and has been ruled out of the World Cup.

The 25-year-old is just the latest addition to Löw’s woes. Mario Gómez and İlkay Gündoğan were left off the 30-man preliminary roster after having their seasons shortened by injury. Sami Khedira missed the majority of Real Madrid’s season after tearing his ACL last year. Veteran Miroslav Klose, who could set a record for most appearances for Germany, has yet to train with the squad.

Bastian Schweinsteiger is nursing a knee injury, which kept him out of Bayern Munich’s 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in last weekend’s German Cup final. Dortmund defender Mats Hummels managed to play in the final, but is on medication for a foot injury, and missed quite a few matches this season with various knocks.

As if that weren’t enough, captain Philipp Lahm injured his ankle Bayern’s final match. Teammate Manuel Neuer, Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper, also picked up a knock, hurting his shoulder in the cup final. The two have yet to arrive at training, although it’s believed that both will be ready by the time matches start in Brazil.

Germany, who made it to the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup, are included in Group G. Their first round opponents are Portugal, Ghana and the United States – none of whom will be shedding tears over the knocks their strongest competitor has taken.