It wasn't the easiest Gold Cup group stage for the United States, but they avoided defeat in all three games and topped their group -- something Mexico and Costa Rica can't say. Their reward for pulling off that feat is the easiest quarterfinal anyone could have hoped for -- a matchup against Cuba.
Jurgen Klinsmann will be tempted to change formations after three rough games with the diamond. His team isn't really suited to it -- everyone he can play as a No. 10 is better as a striker or central midfielder -- and they've put together some excellent performances in a 4-3-3 in the past.
If nothing else, Klinsmann will need to make a switch at central defense. John Brooks is suspended for yellow card accumulation. Klinsmann has said that he has specific left and right central defenders, so expect Tim Ream to take his place.
The United States made three changes to their squad ahead of the knockout stage. Jozy Altidore, Alfredo Morales and Greg Garza have been sent back to their clubs, with Alan Gordon, Joe Corona and DaMarcus Beasley brought in to replace them. Gordon gives the U.S. a physical aerial threat, Corona is quite a bit trickier than the man he replaced and Beasley is the Americans' most experienced left back. Expect him to start right away, with Fabian Johnson switching sides.
Cuban striker Ariel Martinez recently defected, becoming the fourth player to do so during this tournament. Incredibly, Keilen Garcia, another forward, went on Univision TV after he defected. The Cubans will have 19 players to face the USMNT.
Match date/time: Saturday, 5 p.m. ET
Venue: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
TV: FOX (U.S. -- English), UniMas, Univision Deportes (U.S. -- Spanish), Sportsnet One (Canada), BT Sport 1 (U.K.)
Online: Fox Soccer 2 Go (U.S. -- English), Univision Deportes en vivo (U.S. -- Spanish), Sportsnet World Now (Canada), BT Sport (U.K.)
Listings via Live Soccer TV.