USA vs. Guatemala preview: USMNT faces one last tune-up game before Gold Cup

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The Gold Cup is just around the corner. By the end of July, a champion will be crowned who could (potentially) go on to take part in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia but before any of that, the US has one final tune-up game against Guatemala.

When selecting the 23 man roster for the Gold Cup, Jurgen Klinsmann opted to put the youth movement on temporary hold and went with a team of vastly experienced players. The usual suspects headline the roster with the likes of Clint Dempsey (who should be relatively fresh due to a three game suspension for ripping up a referee’s notebook), US captain Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore. Some surprise inclusions are those of Tim Ream, Brad Davis (who unfortunately had to be replaced due to injury with Greg Garza coming in) and Chris Wondolowski. Meanwhile, it was a surprise to see Matt Besler, Jordan Morris and Juan Agudelo left off the roster. It should be noted that Klinsmann can make as many as 6 changes to the roster after the Group stage (though only players originally list on the provisional 35 man roster can be brought in).

It is important for the US to play well in this last tune-up game. The chemistry needs to be perfected and the team needs to sustain the positive momentum from winning three in a row including two road wins over the Netherlands and Germany. CONCACAF has been making huge strides in recent years (as evidenced by the good showings of USA, Mexico and Costa Rica at the last World Cup) and the Gold Cup looks to be one of the toughest yet.

This is also the final tune-up for Guatemala, who are glad to be returning after missing the 2013 Gold Cup. It’s been a rough 2015 so far for Guatemala, having only won one in six games. That lone win was an away World Cup Qualifier against Bermuda where they advanced to the next round by the skin of their teeth. However, this is still a team capable of winning some games (they were the runner-up of the 2014 Copa Centroamericana). Players to watch include Marco Pappa and Carlos Ruiz who keeps on chugging at the age of 35.

Interesting facts:

1. 17 of the 23 players on the US roster were also on the roster at the 2014 World Cup.

2. The last tune-up for the US before the 2013 Gold Cup was also against Guatemala.

3. Geoff Cameron was left off the US roster at the request of Stoke City on the grounds of needing to rest some nagging injuries.

SEE MORE: Check out our complete Gold Cup schedule for U.S. viewers

TV Times:

USA vs Guatemala
Friday, July 3
6:30pm ET
FOX Sports 1, UniMas
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee

All-Time Series
USA leads 14-4-6

Last Meeting
7/5/13
Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego, California
6 USA Guatemala 0

Next Game Up
7/7/15
USA vs. Honduras
Toyota Stadium
Frisco, Texas

 

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