PRE-GAME HYPE: USMNT vs. Guatemala

Post Author

Christopher Donahoo

AO writer of Pre-Game Hypes and making us look cool!


USMNT v Guatemala

Date: Friday March 24th, 20163.24.2016

Location: Estadio Mateo Flores (Guatemala City, Guatemala)

Time: 10pm ET

TV: BeIN, NBC Universo, Univision

Watch at one of 187 AO chapter bars with you #AOFamily!

The Hype

The USMNT heads to Guatemala City for a tough test in this pivotal World Cup Qualifying semi-final round. The boys have four points from their opening two matches against T&T & St. Vincent. Qualification for the Hex is a
very real possibility if other results go our way if we can pull off two consecutive wins tonight and Tuesday in Columbus. Standing in their way of that feat is a tricky Guatemalan team that will be counting on the home crowd and emotion to try to get a result. Any away CONCACAF fixture can be difficult, but this one has a particularly dangerous feel to it.

The US currently sits atop Group Three in this semi-final round by goal difference after the first two matches. But a loss Friday night and the #fear could certainly begin to set in… even if it is premature. But we will always have faith in our boys.

Nice to see TH back in the fold after the long awaited announcement of his move to MLS. Will be interesting to see if #Gruzan or Timmy will be given the nod for these important fixtures ahead. Several of our defenders have been playing lights out for club and it will be tough for JK to pick his starting back line. Feels good to have depth here!

In the middle of the park it’s tough to guess how Jurgen will pair Michael Bradley and with whom. Bedoya has been taking names in France, but Nguyen and Nagbe have been solid as well. Or will Beckerman keep Klinsmann’s trust? Only JK knows.

Great to see Deuce back in the mix…nobody can deny this man and what he’s done in the national team jersey. One will wonder if red-hot Bobby Wood oGyasi Zardes have done enough lately with their fantastic club form to warrant a start spot?

Here’s the full roster:

GK: David Bingham, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, William Yarbrough

DEF: Ventura Alvarado, Matt Besler, Steve Birnbaum, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Edgar Castillo, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco, DeAndre Yedlin

MID: Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Ethan Finlay, Fabian Johnson, Darlington Nagbe, Lee Nguyen

FOR: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Chris Wondolowski, Bobby Wood, Gyasi Zardes

On the other side of the park head coach Walter Claveri will hope his team has to do to beat the USMNT. Guatemala are winless against the USMNT in their last 21 matches and Friday will be a true testament to where this team is among the kings of the region since they haven’t qualified for a World Cup since 2006. Guatemala has three points from their first two matches and will be looking at this match as one that they must get points.

Here’s their squad:

GK: Jose Carlos Garcia (Coban Imperial), Paulo Motta (Municipal), Ricardo Jerez (Alianza Petrolera; COL)

DEF: Carlos Castrillo (Comunicaciones), Stefano Cincotta (Chemnitzer FC; GER) Luis Cardona (Comunicaciones), Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas; USA), Cristian Jimenez (Municipal), Hamilton Lopez (Xelaju), Jonathan Lopez (Marquense), Rafael Morales (Comunicaciones)

MID: Gerardo Arias (Municipal), Jose Contreras (Comunicaciones), Jean Marquez (Comunicaciones), Marco Pappa (Colorado Rapids; USA), Marco Rivas (Municipal), Rodrigo Saravia (Columbus Crew SC; USA)

FOR: Kevin Arriola (Xelaju), Edi Danilo Guerra (Guastatoya), Mafre Icute (Coban Imperial), Luis Martinez (Xelaju), Carlos Ruiz (Municipal), Gerson Tinoco (Coban Imperial)

Expect a full-on CONCACAF showdown in this match. Extreme noise, missed calls, diving, unwarranted yellow cards, and 11-40 minutes of added time. This is why we “love” this qualifying region.

Friday night is a big one for US Soccer fans. The U-23 #BabyNats face Colombia in the away leg of their Olympic Qualifying playoff at 5pm ET on FS1. Be sure to catch both of these big games!

For those brave #AOAway fans….we salute you.

For those lacking bravery, here are your local watch parties!

We love you AO fam!

XOXO,

AO

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