By Aristo Dotse, in New York

The United States have now confirmed an international friendly game with Ghana in July in preparation for their participation in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup which takes place across the United States from July 6-21.

The United States, who were semi-finalists in the last Gold Cup in 2015, will play Ghana in a friendly for the first time on Ghana’s republic day of July 1 at the Pratt and Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, in Connecticut, a week before they open their 2017 Gold Cup campaign against Panama on July 8.

Bruce Arena, the returning US coach who took over from German Jurgen Klinsmann last November, over 10 years after leaving his first post, is happy for a Ghana test which he believes would put the US in good stead for the Gold Cup. “Ghana is certainly a team that brings different challenges, and it’s the type of competition we need as we continue to develop our program,” he told, the official US soccer website. “Winning the Gold Cup is one of our priorities in 2017, so this is an important opportunity. We’ve always had great support in Hartford, and look forward to more of the same this summer.”

The July date will be the fourth time Ghana and the US are meeting at senior level, after their three World Cup meetings in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Arena, a New Yorker of Italian descent, was in charge when Ghana beat the US 2-1 at Germany 2006 and he will be looking to get his current team to put up a better display against the Black Stars for a sound preparation for the Gold Cup.

Credit: Soccernet newspaper