June 25, 2010
Ghana: The Team That Prays Together
America's Saturday World Cup opponent is reportedly one in the Spirit.
The team America faces Saturday in its second round World Cup matchup is spiritually united, ESPN's Jeff Bradley reports.
"We love to sing together, dance together, pray together," Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan told Bradley. "It brings joy to our hearts. This is our team."
Bradley says that spirit continues to the field. "What I've noticed, more than anything, about the Black Stars, is they are a team in every sense of the word," he wrote. "From their pregame (and postgame, and halftime, and pre-training and post-training) songs and prayers, to their disciplined adherence to Rajevac's rigid system that features a single striker, they are true believers that the whole can be greater than the sum of its individual pieces. ... It's 11 together with one goal."
Captain John Mensah (right) told the German news service DPA that prayer is no afterthought.
"We are Christians and we all know how important God is," he said. "We all respect God and we pray every time before the game and after the game. ... We praise God, what he has done for us. Then the next day is match-day, so we use that opportunity to give us strength and help us go on into the game."
The team isn't praying alone. The government and nation's churches have called for united prayers at home for the team.
The country of Ghana is 83 percent Christian--mostly Protestant (71%) and Pentecostal (26%). 83 percent of Christians say they attend services at least weekly.