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The United States needs only to draw Guatemala on Tuesday to guarantee advancement into the final round of World Cup qualification.
A brace from Eddie Johnson saved the United States from embarrassment in their last game against Antigua and Barbuda, allowing the Yanks to pull out a vastly important 2-1 win. That saved them from being under too much pressure going into their game against Guatemala on Tuesday, where they will only need to pull out a draw in order to guarantee advancement to the Hexagonal round of qualifying.
Fortunately, the Yanks will be playing in front of a very friendly crowd at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City. Their last home game resulted in a convincing 1-0 win over Jamaica in Columbus, continuing a strong run that hasn't seen the USA lose a home game in World Cup qualification since 2001.
Several injuries are still hitting the team hard, with left back Fabian Johnson still suffering from the flu. He will not play against Guatemala, leaving Jürgen Klinsmann with a decision to make on the left side of the defense once again. Carlos Bocanegra got the start against Antigua and Barbuda, but plenty of other options could make the lineup decisions interesting for Klinsmann.
There will be wealth of decent attacking options, at the very least. Graham Zusi will get the chance to play in front of his hometown fans, Eddie Johnson is suddenly on fire and Clint Dempsey is healthy and will be able to slot in wherever Klinsmann needs him. The two teams last met in June, with Dempsey and Marco Pappa trading goals in a 1-1 draw.
Game date/time: Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET
Venue: LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas
TV: ESPN2 (U.S. - English), Telefutura (U.S. - Spanish)