It is almost 2 years to the day until World Cup 2014 kicks off in Brazil, and it is time for the USMNT to kick off their journey towards qualification with what should be an easy win against Antigua and Barbuda. In celebration of the start of qualifying, I’ll be with you tonight for a liveblog of the action from a rainy Raymond James Stadium. Lineups are below, and commentary after the jump. I also promise Euro 2012 racist jokes are on hold until tomorrow.
If you are new to the qualification game, the U.S. plays 2 matches against 3 group opponents. The top 2 in this group will advance to the final qualifying round, or hexagonal as it is known in CONCACAF. There are 2 other groups which means the US will play 5 other teams 2 times in the final round. The top 3 teams in the hexagonal will automatically qualify for the World Cup, while the 4th place team will go into a playoff with the winner from Oceania. For our expectations during qualifying, read our article here.
US XI: Howard, Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Goodson, Torres, Edu, Jones, Bradley, Donovan, Dempsey, Gomez
US Bench: Guzan, Parkhurst, Cameron, Onyewu, Beckerman, Altidore, Boyd
A&B XI: James; McCoy, Joseph, Dublin, Leigertwood, Murtagh, Griffith, Burton, Robinson; Thomas, Blackstock
A&B Bench: Honestly who cares