EVERY AMERICAN SOCCER FAN knows Ghana as the team that eliminated the U.S. from the last two World Cups—a 2-1 win in extra time during a round of 16 match in 2010, and a group stage win by the same margin in 2006 that kept the Stars and Stripes from reaching the knockout round. (Ghana also defeated the U.S. under-20 team, 4-1, at the 2013 U-20 World Cup.) CLICK ON PLAYERS FOR PROFILES, STATS & VIDEOS The Black Stars are renowned for their talent and speed, and as soon as they were drawn into Group G with the Germans, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the West African nation that has become a U.S. rival - in a somewhat quirky manner - would be on the slate in 2014. If the past triumphs weren't enough to convince U.S. fans of the side's strength, Ghana is currently ranked as the second-best team in Africa and is ranked 24th overall in the FIFA rankings. Ghana breezed through the first stage of Confederation of African Football qualification, scoring the most goals of any team and missing out on points just once (a 1-0 loss to Zambia) in the group portion. Then, the Black Stars dispatched former U.S. coach Bob Bradley's Egypt team in the two-legged playoff. A 6-1 win in the home leg basically sealed qualification, and the team avoided collapse by losing 2-1 in Cairo for a 7-3 aggregate victory.