Fans of the United States had a rare opportunity to bust out every sports cliche in their repertoire after Friday night's narrow win over Antigua and Barbuda: 'Every win counts the same', 'the only statistic that matters is the final score', etc. These are euphemisms for 'the team that won the game stunk and got very lucky'. A repeat performance against Guatemala will not yield an acceptable result for the United States.
Having said that, injuries have left Guatemala a bit shorthanded in defense. Carlos Gallardo, Elias Vasquez and Luis Rodriguez are all dealing with injuries, meaning that Guatemala will probably be forced into using a makeshift back line. Regardless of who starts for the United States, it would be surprising if they found scoring goals to be as much of a struggle as they did against Antigua and Barbuda. Guatemala have also not been great on the road; they lost away to Jamaica and only managed to beat A&B by the same one-goal margin that the U.S. did at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
For the most part, Jürgen Klinsmann's team should look similar to the one that played in Antigua. Some of his decisions have been made for him, with Jermaine Jones picking up a suspension and Fabian Johnson missing out through illness. One expected change is in the back, where Clarence Goodson had a rough game on Friday. Expect Carlos Bocanegra to move back inside, while Michael Parkhurst, who has been training at left back, should take over that spot. Maurice Edu is also a candidate for a starting spot in the back.
Klinsmann could also make one change to his attack. Eddie Johnson almost certainly earned another start with his two-goal performance, but he looked very out of place at left midfield. Meanwhile, Herculez Gomez struggled and Alan Gordon excelled when he entered the game as a substitute. It would be stunning to see no change to the way the USMNT forwards line up for Tuesday night's match.
For more on the USMNT, check out United States soccer blog Stars and Stripes FC.