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The first group stage of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying is set to kick off on Wednesday with the U.S. national team in Guatemala City to take on Guatemala. The Americans will be favored but can’t expect an easy game, especially considering they have never won a qualifier in Guatemala before.
Guatemala should come in with some confidence, having beaten Bolivia 3-0 in a friendly earlier this month and having limited the Americans to just one goal in their past two meetings, both in 2007.
The United States will have a full-strength squad for the match, meaning Bob Bradley will be able to get a good look at his Best XI. Just what that Best XI is a bit uncertain, at least in part because of the status of DaMarcus Beasley, who is normally a first-choice left winger but who is recovering from a hamstring injury.
With that in mind, here is a look at the Starting XI we are likely to see against Guatemala on Wednesday night:
USA Projected Starting XI vs. Guatemala
Eddie Lewis will get the start if Beasley isn’t fit enough. I know we haven’t seen much of the Dempsey-Ching combo but I have a feeling we’ll see it here, though a Dempsey-Johnson tandem is a very real possibility. Pablo Mastroeni gets the nod over Edu for his experience in these kinds of environments, though it whouldn’t shock me to see the young tandem of Bradley and Edu in the middle. The back-line is set barring injury.
What do you think of this lineup? What lineup would you like to see vs. Guatemala? Share your thoughts below.