US Soccer World Cup Qualifiers

What you should know and why you should care.

What you should know and why you should care.

Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

We know, we know- the World Cup in Rio isn’t until 2014, but whittling down the world to 32 countries takes some time.  Before you take down the big dogs, you gotta take down the puppies, which is exactly what the USMNT (United States Men’s National Team, for the uninitiated) will attempt to do in the coming weeks. This Friday, the men will travel to Antigua and Barbuda followed by a “there’s no place like home game” in Kansas on Tuesday against Guatemala.

This is the second go-around against both of these teams. Uncle Sam earned a less-than-convincing 3-1 result over Antigua and Barbuda, who they should have put away much easier, and a 1-1 draw at Guatemala, who equalized late. Combine that with a loss at Jamaica, and you are looking at a team that should be in a much better position than it is. Truly, nothing is set in stone when you are talking international competition; just ask the men’s Olympic team who missed qualifying by one last-second goal this cycle. Not to mention that this US team will have to do without the services of the injured Landon Donovan and Brek Shea, and the mysteriously not-called-up Jozy Altidore.

But all is not lost. The US should pull out a win against Antigua and Barbuda (seriously, they are just barely a country) which means they would only have to draw the tough Guatemalan team next week to advance to the next (and last) stage of qualifying. For the sake of our country and its future with Brazilian women (and vuvuzelas), we’ll be tuned in.

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