Typically, the USA does moderately well in the qualifying for the World Cup, having qualified for every World Cup since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. However, with their last Third Round game just around the corner, their fate in qualifying is certainly in their own hands. In their last game, they play host to Guatemala who were able to equalize against USA in the 81st minute in their previous group stage match up. This game will be the last of the group stage (Third Round), with the top two teams of each group advancing to the Fourth Round, which will play itself out a year from now.
USA and Guatemala have exactly the same stats. Both have a +3 goal difference, the same goals scored and conceded, and have the same record, 3-1-1. Both have accrued 10 points in the group prior to this game, and Jamaica, currently third, has 7. Anything less than a draw to aggressive Guatemala national team may cause trouble for the Americans. Many people expect Jamaica to be able to handle Antigua and Barbuda, who have yet to win in a game in the group stage. So, if the Jamaicans can win by enough, and the Americans were to lose the Guatemala, the Jamaicans might just sweep their spot. USA’s long time rival, the Mexicans, have already qualified for the Fourth Round.
The USA played a match against Antigua and Barbuda a few days ago, and won very unconvincingly. Only a late late goal from Eddie Johnson saved 3 points for the Yanks, and had he not scored, they would be in a much scarier qualifying position. Amidst poor playing, the team has been threatened by countless injuries. Also, Klinsmann has expanded his reach, bringing in all sorts of players who haven’t donned the Red, White, and Blue in a long time, or maybe never at all. Many fans are disheartened by the team’s current progress, and many are extremely nervous about the upcoming game. First, the team failed to qualify for the Summer Olympics over this summer, and now their having serious trouble in the World Cup qualifying.
The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN2, starting at 7:00PM EDT. The last Third Round game for the Americans, and a draw or a tie secures their spot in the Fourth Round. They host a team playing just as well as them, and certainly able to surprise them while their on the back foot, which it seems like the Americans have been on for quite some time. This game is sure to bring some high intensity and, as comes so often with the USA national team, a show certainly worth remembering.