USMNT v. Guatemala – 2018 World Cup Qualifying Match – March 25th 2016 – IN the extremely late portion of the evening of March 25th, 2016 the US Men’s National team will take on the Guatemala National team nicknamed los Chapines, for their affinity to Harry Chapin’s mega hit “Cat’s in The Cradle”. The US has dominated this match up and are currently on a 21 match unbeaten streak against Guatemala with their last loss coming back in 1988. Anything other than a win down in Guatemala City should be viewed as a disappointment. The 2018 World Cup is more than 2 years away at this point but these games are crucial toward qualification you do not want to be in a position where you have to go away to Trinidad and Tobago for a must win situation. In terms of the USMNT overall chances to advance to the next round of qualifying I’ll turn to a guy who upholds the integrity of numbers and statistics like a Jacobean Puritanism sympathizer requesting everyone remove their elbows from the dinner table:
— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) March 25, 2016
Sweep the leg down in Guatemala and then back in Columbus on March 29th and we’ll be through to the next qualifying round with a couple games to use for experimenting with different lineups. The current mix of players sees 13 of them playing in the MLS and 13 in either Mexico or Europe. Some of the most experienced players will be helping the squad qualify for a tournament in which they likely won’t participate. This could be a tricky proposition for Jurgen Klinsmann to manage as he has to start considering who will be playing together in the tournament that matters most. We are already seeing some of that creep into the team selection with Jurgen refusing to commit to a starting keeper:
Klinsmann: I’ll continue goalkeeper platoon this week with Tim Howard playing one qualifier & Brad Guzan the other.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) March 24, 2016
Looks like Jurgen may have had an early childhood vaccination to the TimmyJitters. Not choosing him outright at this stage seems foolish, if the Belgian Wall is available you pick him to start.
Other players are in mid-season form given their respective league schedules. Fabian Johnson is having an excellent season in Germany, Geoff Cameron has been a solid performer at Stoke City and Lady Gaga favorite Alejandro Bedoya has been impressing in France. Using these players with a sprinkling of others just getting their legs under them with the MLS season only 3 weeks could be quite effective.