Kwadwo Asamoah had an excellent season for Juventus this year, making the left wingback/winger position his own. A central midfielder converted out to the wing by Antonio Conte, Asamoah is a very good player overall who has excellent ball control and possesses a wicked shot as well. The Ghanaian made his name in Serie A with Udinese where he enjoyed an excellent four seasons before joining Juventus in 2012-13 and helping Bianconeri fans forget about the existence of one Paolo De Ceglie.
For the Black Stars, however, 'Kojo' retains his attacking midfielder position, and a lot of the team's play goes through him in the middle (EDIT: Asamoah has been playing left back in the lead up to the tournament, and it sounds like that is where we'll see him line up in the Cup). "We’re confident that we’ll be able to give a good account of ourselves," he said to reporters recently with regards to Ghana's third consecutive World Cup appearance. They will be hard-pressed to get their minds off the awful way they were knocked out of the last Cup in the quarterfinals when a notorious Luis Suarez handball kept them from being the first African semi-finalist in the tournament's history.
Caps: 61, Goals: 4
Service for Ghana: Asamoah has anywhere between 46 and 59 caps for Ghana. The number is vague due to some poor record-keeping by the African football body CAF. He made his debut for the side in 2006 and has four goals and nine assists in that time. While he was in the 2006 World Cup squad, he didn't play that year, but has gone on to feature in every major tournament for The Black Stars since.
What makes him interesting: His versatility and aforementioned skill make him very dangerous. He is adept at shooting with either foot and requires very little room to get off a shot. This makes him lethal down when he breaks down the left wing as well as he can whip in a dangerous cross or cut in and fire on goal with equal ability. A very underrated player often overshadowed by his midfield partners at Juventus, Asamoah is quite capable of grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck and charging to victory.
What to expect in Brazil: Ghana's strength lies in a midfield packed with experience, with fellow Calcio veterans Sulley Muntari and Michael Essien lined up alongside Kojo. Marseille's Andre Ayew is also in the mix with Kevin-Prince Boateng to form their midfield five, with Asamoah Gyan in the sole striker spot. Most of those are familiar names to viewers of Italian football.
This World Cup has more than one group that can be called the fabled 'Group of Death'. Ghana is in one of those in Group G. Germany always save their best for tournaments like these. Cristiano Ronaldo has injury worries but has had a scintillating year culminating in a FIFA Ballon d'Or award, and has more than once thrown Portugal over his shoulder and charged down the left wing. The United States should be the weak link in this group that The Black Stars will look to victimize, just like they have in the last two Cups.
We can expect Ghana to give Germany a game fight in their second game, but it's the two clashes against the Yanks and A Seleção that bookend that game that will be crucial. Look for Asamoah to get a goal and a couple of assists in group play, but eventually fail to make the knockout round on goal difference to Ronaldo and whatever other ten players line up around him.