KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- To a man, members of the U.S. national team insist that they're not going to sit back and settle for a tie against Guatemala tonight (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2) at LiveStrong Sporting Park even though a point would be good enough to put them into next year's six-team, 10-game final round of World Cup qualifying.
"Win-win-win, man," keeper Tim Howard said Monday when asked about the Americans' game plan. "We'll try to win, push the tempo at home and dominate possession. If we get a tie -- OK, great. But obviously, ideally we'd like to win and finish strong."
It's a noble approach, sure, but not one without risks.
Because Guatemala also needs only a tie to advance, they're expected to assume a defensive posture, putting numbers behind the ball and hoping to spring veteran forward Carlos Ruiz on counterattacks when opportunities arise. While the U.S. is pressing forward, La Bicolor could find room to exploit with balls over the top of the Yanks' back line.
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