Three Big Storylines:
- Russia 2018, it begins today for the United States Men's National Team. Concacaf actually started World Cup 2018 Qualifying on March 22nd, 2015 with Barbados versus the US Virgin Islands. 23 Concacaf teams have already been eliminated and we are down to 12 countries vying for 3 spots and a playoff spot. This is the opening match of the Fourth Round of Concacaf Qualifying. There are three groups of four teams in this round and the top two from each group advance to The Hex. In addition to St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago round out the USMNT group. This stage of World Cup Qualifying has been moved up because Concacaf's participation in next summer's Copa América Centenari has eliminated some open FIFA dates, thus this is the earliest the USMNT has started qualifying.
- How did they get here? Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) entered Concacaf qualifying in the second round and advanced past Guyana on away goals after a 6-6 aggregate scoreline then SVG eliminated Aruba 3-2 on agg. The USMNT earned a bye into the fourth round as one of the 6 highest ranked Concacaf teams.
- After a dispiriting summer for the USMNT that included a worst ever 4th place finish in the Gold Cup and a loss to Mexico in the Concacaf Cup, Jurgen Klinsmann has deemed that the team needs to get younger. Sounders academy products DeAndre Yedlin (22 years old) and Jordan Morris (21) are part of this camp, while 32 year old Clint Dempsey was left off the roster. 34 year old and twice capped Alan Gordon was included in the roster, apparently because Klinsmann likes to disrupt roster predictions. Brad Evans was left off the roster due to injury.
From a Sounders Point of View:
When doing USMNT threads, sometimes this category has to be somewhat shoehorned in to fit the narrative. Not today. The Dempsey and Evans omissions were covered in point three above. As well as the inclusion of Morris and Yedlin. But there are more players with a Sounders connection, and not where you would normally expect.
Sounders 2 player Oalex Anderson scored for SVG against Aruba and should be in line for the start. Joining Anderson is S2's Myron Samuel. Samuel had two goals in his mid-season debut game for S2 where he unfortunately broke his leg, ending his USL campaign on the same day it started. This could possibly be Samuel's first game back from injury. Lastly former Sounders assistant coach (2009-2014) and current S2 head coach Ezra Hendrickson has joined SVG's coaching staff as an assistant coach. Hendrickson captained SVG for 12 years making 123 appearances.
National TV Listings:
USA v Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Friday, 4:00 PM
Location: Busch Stadium, Saint Louis, Missouri
Streaming: Watch ESPN
This is your Sounder at Heart USMNT World Cup Qualifying Gamethread. Watch with us.