Tuesday night is crucial for the future of U.S. Soccer. Two teams, the U.S. Men’s National team and U.S. U-23s both need wins to qualify a pair of upcoming international tournaments. For the senior team, the possibility of failing to qualify for the World Cup is very real and for the U-23s, the chance of missing out of a second consecutive Olympics is also quite tangible. Below is a quick preview for tonight’s matches:
U.S. Men’s National Team
There have been moments in the past where the U.S. has been on the brink of failing to qualify for the World Cup. However, the U.S. has always found a way to win and advance every time. Tonight feels different, though. Maybe it’s because the U.S. is hosting Guatemala, who just defeated the U.S. 2-0 on Friday. Or maybe it’s because the team still has yet to click under Jurgen Klinsmann. Whatever the case may be, the U.S. needs a win tonight to keep World Cup hopes alive. A loss is not the end for the U.S., but the U.S. would have to rely on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines defeating Trinidad and Tobago. Probably not going to happen.
For the U.S. it’s simple. A win and you’re on to the next round. A loss, and well Klinsmann may no longer be the coach. The U.S. has called in Graham Zusi and Christian Pulisic, who currently plays for Borussia Dortmund.
There will be a lot of nervous fans watching tonight. A loss and failure to qualify for the World Cup in the CONCACAF region would be an embarrassment. Tonight’s match kicks off at 4:00 p.m. PT on ESPN2.
U-23 Men’s National Team
Things aren’t as dire for the U-23s, but failure to qualify for a second consecutive Olympic games would be a very bad look. The U-23s are home and hosting Colombia, a team they played to a 1-1 draw on Friday. The winner of this match will secure the final spot in the Rio Olympics. In the first leg, Garden Grove’s Luis Gil scored and opening goal before Colombia found an equalizer.
Tonight’s match will be played at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas following the conclusion of the senior team’s match on ESPN2.
U.S. Soccer Announces Two Copa America Warm-up Matches and September World Cup Qualifier
The World Cup Qualifier might not even be worth anything if the U.S. drops the ball tonight and is eliminated from the World Cup. Regardless, the match will still have to be played and it will be held in Jacksonville on Tuesday, September 6. The U.S. will be taking on Trinidad and Tobago.
The U.S. also announced that it will face Ecuador on Wednesday, May 25 at Toyota Stadium and Bolivia on Saturday, May 28 at Children’s Mercy Park in a pair of Copa America Warm-up matches.