Three Big Storylines:
- The USMNT is on a 21 game unbeaten run against Guatemala with a 15-0-6 record including a 7-0-5 record in World Cup Qualifiers. But as Frankie Hejduk says in his "The Bro Knows" column, it is going to be tough.
- With six points from their two matches over the next five days, the USMNT could secure passage to "The Hex" (CONCACAF's final round of qualifying involving six teams for three World Cup spots and a playoff berth) as long as St. Vincent and the Grenadines do not secure four points or more in their home and home with Trinidad and Tobago. With Copa America coming up this summer manager Jurgen Klinsmann would like to secure advancement before having to play at St. Vincent and the Grenadines on August 29th and Trinidad and Tobago at home on September 6th.
- Today's game is on BeIN Sports. As a reminder, the home federation controls the TV rights for World Cup Qualifiers. In the past almost all of the Central American and Caribbean nations sold their rights to an entity named Traffic. Traffic turned around and bundled all the rights together and sold them to BeIN Sports And that is why the game is on BeIN Sports. The upside is that most bars have DirecTV and DirecTV has BeIN Sports (channel 620).
- Bonus 4th Storyline: Canada vs. Mexico play at the same time in Vancouver's BC Place stadium. Ticket sales have been great for this game with upper deck tickets starting at $15 CDN ($11.32 USD), the 2015 World Cup Final attendance record of 53,341 might be in jeopardy. Canada sits on 4 points through two matches and Mexico has 6. El Salvador (1 point) and Honduras (0 points) round out Group 1 of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying.
From a Sounders Point of View:
Clint Dempsey is back. He is not longer Captain America (Michael Bradley has taken the armband) but he is an important cog in the attack. With Jozy Altidore and Fabian Johnson both questionable and likely out with injuries, Dempsey will be needed to provide offense. Sounders academy graduate DeAndre Yedlin is also expected to start as either a right back or right mid. Yedlin has been seeing consistent starts for Sunderland in the EPL relegation battle.
Former Sounder Marco Pappa is expected to start for Guatemala. Dempsey on Pappa via U.S. Soccer:
"You need to make sure you're aware of that and try to do a good job of limiting his touches in the attacking third. I miss him in Seattle, I wish he was still there. He's a great player and a great person."
TV and Streaming Listings:
Guatemala v USA
Friday, 7 PM
Location: Estadio Mateo Flores, Guatemala City, Guatemala
TV: BeIN Sports & NBC Universo
Streaming: BeIN Sports Connect
Canada v Mexico
Friday, 7 PM
Location: BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, British Columbia
Streaming: Univision Deportes
This is your Sounder at Heart USMNT World Cup Qualifier Gamethread. Watch with us.