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Atlanta Native Ricardo Clark Struggles In World Cup Loss

U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Ricardo Clark started Saturday's match against Ghana, a controversial decision by coach Bob Bradley. Clark had played well in his minutes against England, but the more experienced Maurice Edu seemed the better choice to most observers.

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Raised in Jonesboro, Georgia, and an alum of Atlanta's St. Pius X Catholic High School, Clark currently plays in Germany's elite Bundesliga league. According to Wikipedia, the former MLS All Star cheers for the Braves, Thrashers, and Falcons, and listens to Atlantan musicians like T.I. and OutKast.

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Against Ghana, Clark's overly aggressive play allowed midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng a one-one-one break to the goal, which Boateng took advantage of. American goalie Tim Howard appeared surprised to see a shot on goal in only the match's fifth minute. Soon after the goal, Clark earned a yellow card. He was subbed out for Edu in the 31st minute and Landon Donovan scored a goal soon after halftime, but the damage had been done.

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From Yahoo! Sports:

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"That was totally unacceptable for a player with my experience and caliber," said Clark referring to the way he was unable to control a pass from Michael Bradley and lost possession. "I take full responsibility for letting my teammates down and I should have done better.

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"This is on me. If that hadn’t happened, then things could have been different. I told the coach that it was my fault and that I was sorry."

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.