An economist friend of ours insists that home field advantage is worth about two-thirds of a goal.
In that case, St. Louis native Tim Ream has already scored (two thirds of) the opener in tonight's game at Busch Stadium.
The Americans are 5-1-2 all-time in Missouri's largest city, while sporting a 70-36-32 overall mark in World Cup qualifiers.
That two-thirds may be all the Stars'n'Stripes need to finish off St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a national side known far and wide as, without a doubt, one of the members of CONCACAF.
New York City's Mix Diskerud joins a blend of old and new faces for this initial stage of 2018 World Cup qualifying: what's good, Matt Miazga and Darlington Nagbe??? The U.S. men have put together a string of maddeningly inconsistent results since bowing out in the Round of 16 last summer in Brazil. While the women's team soared to another world title, the men answered every win over a European power with an equally surprising loss to a Panama or a bunch of Reggae Boyz.
Yes, the summertime loss to Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, followed by an October defeat to Mexico that anointed El Tri the undisputed champions of the confederation, was hopefully the nadir for this team.
Tonight, we'll find out if Jurgen Klinsmann & Co. hit rock bottom and kept digging.
HOW TO WATCH
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Jeff Crandall of USSoccer.com names his five biggest topics going into tonight's game.
- SB Nation's own Kevin McCauley gets acquainted with the tiny island nation the Americans are very likely going to vivisect.
- Elsewhere on the big front page, Conor Dowley identifies his key player and key factor to keep in mind.
- Stars & Stripes FC's Rob Usry wants to see what new boys Miazga and Nagbe have got, and whether or not Fabian Johnson's head is on straight for this one.
- U.S. Soccer has all the rest of your news and notes.
OK, GET PUMPED NOW
UNITED STATES ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS: Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Club Leon), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Alan Gordon (L.A. Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Stanford University), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Gyasi Zardes (L.A. Galaxy)