A viewing party for the United States' opening match in the World Cup will be held at the Hermosa Beach Pier today.
The ESPN telecast of the Group G match against Ghana from Natal, Brazil, will be shown on what organizers describe as a "massive" television screen. The opening kickoff is set for 3 p.m.
The viewing party will begin at 2 p.m. and include autograph signings by current and former Los Angeles Galaxy players and appearances by the team's Star Squad promotional and entertainment group, mascot Cozmo and Futboleros freestyle soccer performance team.
There will be giveaways of U.S. men's national team and Galaxy gear, scarves, posters and other items.
Ghana has eliminated the U.S. in each of the last two World Cups. It is 37th in the rankings compiled by FIFA, soccer's worldwide governing body, 24 spots behind the U.S. Its 23-player roster consists of 18 players who play for European clubs, four for African clubs (including one in Ghana) and one for a club in the United Arab Emirates.
The 23-player U.S. roster includes three players with ties to Southern California -- Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez; reserve goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who played for UCLA and Montclair High School; and midfielder Michael Bradley, who lists Manhattan Beach as his hometown stemming from when his father Bob lived there when he coached Chivas USA of Major League Soccer in 2006 and the U.S. men's national team from 2006-2011.
The team also consists of seven players who could have played for European teams but chose to play for the U.S. -- defenders John Brooks, Timmy Chandler and Fabian Johnson; midfielders Mix Diskerud, Julian Green and Jermaine Jones; and forward Aron Johannsson.
The U.S. team has 12 players who play for European teams, 10 in MLS and one with a Mexican club.
Each team plays three games in group play, with the top two advancing to the 16-team single-elimination portion of the tournament.
--City News Service