World Cup Update — Show me the money [UPDATE -- U.S. advances]

The team from Ghana may be in disarray over a dispute about payments to the players for their World Cup services. This sort of thing happens a lot with African teams. In fact, the Cameroon team was going to stay at home until its federation showed players the money at the last minute. They might have been better off at home, though, considering Cameroon’s miserable showing in Brazil.

Ghana has played well, but apparently a monetary dispute has been brewing. Yesterday came reports that the president of Ghana had scraped together $3 million in cash and put it on an airplane so that the players could receive what they are owed in time for the crunch showdown match against Portugal.

Now comes word that two veterans of the team have been dismissed following a shouting match and, in one case, a physical altercation. One of the players is Kevin Prince Boateng, a big name player who has performed poorly. The other is Sully Muntari, a key midfielder and star of the Italian league.

I thought that Portugal might play the role of “team turmoil” in the match with Ghana. But now, in keeping with the tradition of African soccer, it looks like that part goes to Ghana.

Given the way this group — the “group of death” — has stacked up, that would be good news for the U.S. team.

UPDATE: The U.S. lost to Germany 1-0, but will advance to the Round of 16 because Portugal defeated Ghana 2-1.

The U.S. will probably play Belgium, a highly rated team, but one that hasn’t played all that well so far in this tournament.

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