June 16, 2014
By Michael Lewis
SOME UNUSUAL BEDFELLOWS
He's from Ghana, she's from the USA and they're both soccer fanes
Big Apple Soccer Editor
NATAL, Brazil -- Soccer and the World Cup sometimes makes for some unusual bedfellows, figuratively and literally.
Take, for example, the case of Akwasi Peprah of suburban San Francisco.
Peprah, who is attending his first World Cup, is of dual nationality. He was born in Ghana and immigrated to the United States when he was 18 and eventually gained U.S. citizenship.
"My wife is from the U.S., he said with a laugh.
Still, Peprah said that he will be rooting for Ghana when the Africans meet the United States in the Cup curtain raiser for both teams Monday night.
"Deep inside, Ghana," he said. "If all goes south, I will switch for my wife's sake."
He laughed again.
The Peprahs must have some intriguing conversations when it comes to the U.S. and Ghana.
"She's not here," Peprah said. "She says, 'We've lost twice to Ghana. This time we hopefully will change.' We'll see how it goes."
Peprah was optimistic about Ghana's chances against the Americans.
"I think it's pretty good," he said. "I mean the challenges we've had, we've had some injuries recently with one of our strikers in a friendly game, and that hurt us. It's fairly good. I'm not overconfident. But it will be a good game, hopefully."
Ghana has shown the U.S. the exit door in the past two World Cups and beating a foe a third time in any sport, especially the World Cup, is a demanding proposition.
"Three times is too much," Peprah said. "Something happening three times becomes tough but I am believing the team will be strong enough to pull it off. We'll see."
Peprah, who is a buyer for Cisco, has tickets for Ghana's encounter with Germany in Forteleza on June 21.
"Then I go back," he said. "I do have tickets a little way further, but I'm trading those back in."
He realized that this could be his only World Cup.
"I'm excited," he said. "Itís the right (country) Russia, Qatar, no. When I look at it, it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I'm looking forward to doing it."
And talking about his one-in-a-lifetime experience with his wife, the American soccer fan, back home.