With their eyes firmly set on a second consecutive CONCACAF Gold Cup championship, Jurgen Klinsmann's U.S. Men's team will square off with Los Chapines hoping to shake off the cobwebs and get set to kick off the regional competition in top form.
A win in this year's Gold Cup would seal an automatic bid for the Americans in 2017's FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. The stars and stripes haven't appeared in that competition -- held each year before a men's World Cup at the host site, contested among the host nation and the champions of each continental confederation -- since making a Cinderella run to the final in 2009.
Mix Diskerud resumes his international tenure with the wind at his back. His karate-kick finish in June's friendly against Germany opened the scoring in what was a rampant U.S. win.
Jason Kreis and New York City FC will have to make do without Mix for what presumes to be four MLS dates in July, beginning with Saturday's away tilt in Montreal against l'Impact.
Let's do this!
MATCH DAY NOTES
- The Americans are 14-4-6 all-time against Guatemala, and unbeaten in their last twenty dating back to 1988.
- Overall, the U.S. have outscored Los Chapines 39-17.
- Following his well-deserved red card for the Seattle Sounders in the U.S. Open Cup, Klinsmann announced this week that USA captain Clint Dempsey will hand the armband over to Michael Bradley, who has been in capital form conducting the Americans' midfield.
- Four members of the current roster are captains of their club teams: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).
- Tonight's game features three members of the Seattle Sounders: Dempsey, Evans, and Guatemala's Marco Pappa.
- Midfield veteran Brad Davis was a late scratch from the roster with a knee injury. The Houston Dynamo man has been replaced by Greg Garza of Club Tijuana, who looks to make his first-ever Gold Cup appearance.
- In all likelihood, tonight will mark the first time since February that Dempsey, Bradley, and Jozy Altidore appear together for the United States.
HOW TO WATCH
- "For the time being, it's the best thing to give the captaincy to Michael Bradley and let Clint [Dempsey] focus on what he's all about. Clint is about scoring goals."
- "[W]e have the chance to use six subs. We will use all six subs, most likely, to give the players minutes and give them a chance to show us what they have."
- "We are under expectations of winning this tournament. Even if we know that teams like Honduras, Costa Rica, and Mexico all are very good teams and can also beat us, you've got to be on top of things."
- "We're going to watch [the Women's World Cup final]. We're going to be as loud as we can, even though they won't hear us, but already a huge accomplishment for them and we'll keep our fingers crossed for the final.
USA GOLD CUP ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS: Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana -- replaces Brad Davis), Omar Gonzalez (L.A. Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC -- Captain), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur), Gyasi Zardes (L.A. Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)