CHICAGO (March 24, 2016) – The U.S. Men’s National Team plays the first match of a pivotal pair of semifinal round World Cup Qualifying matches against Guatemala on Friday, March 25 in at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City. The match kicks off at 10 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on beIN Sport and NBC Universo. Fans can also follow the game live on Twitter at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.
After earning four points from its first two games in the group last November, the USA could clinch a berth in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying with two wins against los Chapines over the course of the next week, depending on other results.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called a 26-man roster to prepare for Friday’s game in Guatemala City, with a split of 13 players that play in MLS and 13 that ply their trade in Europe or Mexico.
The USA holds an all-time 15-4-6 advantage against Guatemala, with the MNT’s last loss coming in a 1-0 friendly defeat on January 10, 1988. Since then, the U.S. has run up a 21-match unbeaten streak against los Chapines - a team record against any international opponent. Wins in World Cup Qualifying in Guatemala have been a challenge, the U.S. going 1-0-5 in matches away from home. The only victory came in a 1-0 result on August 20, 2008 in Guatemala City. Overall, the United States holds an unbeaten 7-0-5 lifetime record against Guatemala in World Cup Qualifying,
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; WCQ Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (4): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa; 9/0), Tim Howard (Everton FC; 30/0), William Yarbrough (Club Leon; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (9): Ventura Alvarado (Club America; 0/0), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 8/0), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United; 0/0), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin; 0/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City; 15/1), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey; 4/0), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca; 8/0), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana; 4/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland; 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake; 6/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes FC; 3/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; 26/5), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC; 3/0), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC; 0/0), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach; 11/1), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers FC; 2/0), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution; 0/0)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC; 28/12), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC; 34/13), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin; 2/1), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy; 2/1)
- 15 players from the USA’s 2014 FIFA World Cup roster are a part of this group: Jozy Altidore, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey, Mix Diskerud, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Chris Wondolowski, DeAndre Yedlin
- 18 players have previous World Cup Qualifying experience.
- Four players on the roster have played in 25+ World Cup Qualifying games: Dempsey (34), Howard (30), Altidore (28), Michael Bradley (26)
- Eight players have the chance to appear in their first qualifier: David Bingham, Steve Birnbaum, John Brooks, Ethan Finlay, Lee Nguyen, Chris Wondolowski, William Yarbrough
- Eight players have registered goals in a World Cup Qualifier: Altidore, Bradley, Cameron, Dempsey, Johnson, Orozco, Wood, Zardes
- With 13 total, Dempsey is tied with Landon Donovan for most World Cup Qualifying goals by a U.S. player. Altidore is right behind them with 12.
- Monterrey defender Edgar Castillo returns to the squad after last appearing in the MNT’s 2-0 defeat to Ukraine on March 5, 2014 in Larnaca, Cyprus.
- Having scored in his World Cup Qualifying debut in last November’s 6-1 win vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Union Berlin striker Bobby Wood comes into camp sitting third on the Second Bundesliga scoring chart with 14 goals this season.
- Having signed a contract extension with Hertha Berlin in January, Brooks has appeared in 11 competitive matches since the German winter break, helping the club to third place in the Bundesliga and a spot in the semifinals of the DFB Pokal.
- Fabian Johnson has continued his strong form tallying two goals and two assists in 10 matches for Borussia Monchengladbach since the new year, helping the club to fifth place in the Bundesliga.
- French-based midfielder Alejandro Bedoya has also seen an inspired start to 2016, racking up four goals and two assists in 14 competitive appearances, while helping Nantes to sixth place in the tight Ligue 1 table.
- DeAndre Yedlin has hit his stride for Sunderland of late, starting in each of the Black Cats’ last six league matches while helping the club to a six-game unbeaten streak including wins against Manchester United and West Ham United.
- After earning his MNT debut in January’s 3-2 win vs. Iceland and first assist in the 1-0 win against Canada on Feb. 5, Columbus Crew SC midfielder Ethan Finlay has the chance to play for the USA on his home field at MAPFRE Stadium.
- Seven players have taken part in a World Cup Qualifying match in Guatemala: Jozy Altidore, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson
- With five goals, Dempsey is the USA’s all-time leading scorer against Guatemala. He has tallied four of those in his last three appearances against los Chapines.
- Both Wondolowski and Bedoya scored their first career international goals against Guatemala in a 6-0 win on July 5, 2013 in San Diego, Calif. Wondolowski has scored in both of his appearances against the Central American nation, with the other coming in a 4-0 win on July 3, 2015 in Nashville, Tenn.
- Goalkeeper Brad Guzan made his MNT debut in a 4-0 friendly win against Guatemala on February 19, 2006. The Aston Villa net minder holds a perfect 3-0-0 record and has never conceded a goal to Guatemala.
TEAMMATES AND OPPONENTS: With a few of Guatemala’s players having made career stops in Major League Soccer, there are some club connections between the two teams.
- The only current connection comes through Columbus Crew SC where U.S. midfielder Ethan Finlay and Guatemala’s Rodrigo Saravia are teammates.
- Having moved to the Colorado Rapids during the offseason, Marco Pappa spent two years at Seattle Sounders FC. Playing alongside Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin, the trio won the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup together.
- Pappa will soon be teammates with U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who will join the Colorado Rapids from English club Everton FC in July.
- Though he’s never been teammates with anyone on the current U.S. roster, Guatemala captain Carlos Ruiz is well-known in American soccer circles after playing eight seasons in MLS with the LA Galaxy, FC Dallas, Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union and D.C. United. A two-time MLS Golden Boot winner, Ruiz was the league’s MVP in 2002 and went on to score the game-winner in that year’s MLS Cup Final, helping the Galaxy to its first league title.
GUATEMALA ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jose Carlos Garcia (Coban Imperial), Paulo Motta (Municipal), Ricardo Jerez (Alianza Petrolera; COL)
DEFENDERS (8): 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)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Gerardo Arias (Municipal), Jose Contreras (Comunicaciones), Jean Marquez (Comunicaciones), Marco Pappa (Colorado Rapids; USA), Marco Rivas (Municipal), Rodrigo Saravia (Columbus Crew SC; USA)
FORWARDS (6): Kevin Arriola (Xelaju), Edi Danilo Guerra (Guastatoya), Mafre Icute (Coban Imperial), Luis Martinez (Xelaju), Carlos Ruiz (Municipal), Gerson Tinoco (Coban Imperial)
Head Coach: Walter Claveri
- Guatemala is led by head coach Walter Claveri, who was hired on January 19, 2016. Claveri last coached Guatemalan club Suchitepequez.
- Guatemala won its first game under Claveri, defeating Honduras 3-1 in a friendly played on February 10 in Guatemala City.
- With los Chapines dropping a November World Cup Qualifier 2-1 at home to Trinidad & Tobago in November, Guatemalan clubs agreed to allow the National Team’s 18-domestic players to begin training together on March 14. The side’s five foreign-based players joined the team following club matches this past weekend.
- Guatemala bounced back from their defeat to Trinidad & Tobago with a 4-0 win at St. Vincent and the Grenadines on November 17. With three points from two games, Guatemala sits third in World Cup Qualifying Group C, behind the USA and Trinidad & Tobago who have four each.
- Of the five foreign-based Guatemala players, three ply their trade in Major League Soccer: Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas), Marco Pappa (Colorado Rapids), Rodrigo Saravia (Columbus Crew SC).
- The nation’s all-time cap winner (120), Carlos Ruiz’s 59 international goals is third most among active players world-wide behind current LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane (67 for the Republic of Ireland) and Paris Saint-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (62 for Sweden).
Date: July 3, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. CT
Weather: 76 degrees; Cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 3 4
GUA 0 0 0
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 21-Timmy Chandler, 3-Omar Gonzalez (13-Ventura Alvarado, 46), 6-John Brooks (15-Tim Ream, 61), 23-Fabian Johnson (14-Greg Garza, 46); 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 10-Mix Diskerud (7-Alfredo Morales, 61), 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 19-Graham Zusi (20-Gyasi Zardes, 46); 8-Clint Dempsey, 17-Jozy Altidore (18-Chris Wondolowski, 68)
Subs Not Used: 12-Nick Rimando, 22-William Yarbrough, 16-Brad Evans, 5-Kyle Beckerman, 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 9-Aron Johannsson
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
GUA: 12-Paulo Motta (capt.), 2-Ruben Morales, 4-Wilson Lalin, 13-Carlos Castrillo (19-Carlos Figueroa, 74), 15-Deniss Lopez; 6-Carlos Mejia (18-Aslinn Rodas, 84), 14-Kendel Herrarte (10-Jose Contreras, 46), 17-Brandon De Leon (8-Jonathan Marquez, 69), 23-Jorge Aparicio, 7-Jairo Arreola (16-Marco Pappa, 46), 22-Minor Lopez (20-Carlos Ruiz, 46)
Subs Not Used: 1-Victor Ayala, 21-Ricardo Jerez; 3-Jose Pinto, 11-Gerardo Arias
Head coach: Ivan Franco Sopegno