Ghana's David Accam sees 'growing respect' for US soccer
Ghana international David Accam says July's meeting against the United States will be 'huge' for Ghana in general, and for Ghanaians who play in Major League Soccer in particular.
MLS has become a popular destination for Ghanaian players, with Accam, currently with Chicago Fire, one of three regular Black Stars in the league, alongside the Columbus Crew pair of Jonathan Mensah and Harrison Afful.
Accam expects a lot from the upcoming friendly in Connecticut on 1 July, including the hope that the meeting will highlight the strength of MLS and increase the respect that Ghanaian players have in the league.
The striker, referencing Ghana's 2-1 loss to the US at the 2014 World Cup, told KweséESPN: "I think most Ghanaians still have the perception that the MLS is not a good league, but we all saw what they did to us at the last World Cup with a squad dominated by players from that league.
"The league has quality now and hopefully that growing respect will rub of all of us who play here."
There are around 20 Ghanaians, or players of Ghanaian origin, in MLS and Accam reckons the friendly will be special for them.
It will be a huge game for Ghanaian players that play in the USA because there are a lot of young soccer fans here and this will be a good opportunity for Ghana to gain many more followers here," Accam added.
The forward will be hoping to play a part in that game after missing the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, but has been pushing his case for a return with two goals and two assists in eight games this season for Chicago. He may well be one of the players new coach Kwesi Appiah would count on for the clash in East Hartford, which will come after a friendly against Mexico, also in the States.
"Friendly matches are always good opportunities to see as many players as possible but also but on the strength of a team, so for us those games in the USA will serve a useful purpose," Appiah told KweséESPN.
Appiah was in charge during the 2014 defeat and was assistant coach when Ghana beat the USA 2-1 to reach the quarterfinals of the 2010 edition in South Africa. He insists that this game will carry no undertones from those matches, adding: "The idea is to win every game and build on a team that will grow from strength to strength. Everything else will be secondary."
Michael Oti Adjei is Ghana editor for KweséESPN. Follow him on Twitter @otiadjei.