St. Vincent and the Grenadines vs. USA | World Cup Qualifying Preview
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES vs. USA
2018 World Cup Qualifier
Friday, Sept. 2 | 3:30 pm ET | Arnos Vale Stadium, Kingstown, St. Vincent
TV: beIN Sports
With two games left in the fourth round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the US national team is looking to win their first road game of Group C and move closer to ensuring a top-two spot and a ticket to the fifth round.
The Americans are currently in second place in Group C with seven points and a 2-1-1 record, three points behind first-place Trinidad & Tobago and one point ahead of third-place Guatemala. If the US beat St. Vincent and Trinidad & Tobago beat Guatemala, both the US and T&T will qualify. Any other combination of results means the US will need to ensure passage on Tuesday when they face Trinidad & Tobago in the final game of Group C play.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines have yet to win a game in the group, getting outscored 19-3, which included a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of the USMNT last November.
The 6-1 win by the US in St. Louis in November was in fact the first competitive meeting between the teams, so the US holds a 1-0 all-time mark against the Vincy Heat. The teams have never previously met in prior World Cup qualifying or in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
While the US are favorites for the group overall, they are massive favorites, even on the road, in this game. While strange CONCACAF results are not out of the realm of possibility, the USMNT should win this game easily, even if they are missing Clint Dempsey in the attack due to a health issue and Michael Bradley through suspension. Again, this game isn't necessarily a "win and you're in the Hex, lose and you're out" scenario, but three points could lock up a Hex berth and at the very least would make the final game of group play much more manageable.
ST. VINCENT AND GRENADINES OUTLOOK
Truthfully, Vincy Heat's objectives are more modest. For a team that has never qualified for the Hexagonal and won't be doing it this time around, picking up points in their final two games is a worthy goal. In addition to giving players like Seattle Sounders youngster Oalex Anderson, who scored in the last meeting between the two countries, more minutes, getting a result, especially against the US, would be a massive achievement.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jordan Morris, F (USA): With Dempsey out, Morris' place in the lineup is not assured for the US, especially with Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood in good form. But if Morris gets time, either as a starter or off the bench, it will be a big opportunity for the Seattle Sounders rookie to cement his place on Jurgen Klinsmann's squad moving into 2017.
Oalex Anderson, F, (St. Vincent & the Grenadines): It's a distinct Sounders flavor on both sides heading into this game, as Morris' Sounders teammate Anderson scored against the US in the 6-1 loss to the US in November, and will be one of the likeliest attacking options for the hosts.
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GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough), Ethan Horvath (Molde FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
St. Vincent and the Grenadines: