Tomorrow at Livestrong Sporting Park is a very big World Cup qualifier between the United States and Guatemala. A spot in next year's Hex is on the line with the chance to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A draw will see both the US and Guatemala through ahead of Jamaica who play Antigua. Here are some random thoughts about the game.
Get there early
Parking is going to be an absolute mess. With the lots on the Speedway side of State Ave. shut down for the NASCAR race this weekend, 20,000 people will be squeezing into the Community America Ballpark and other lots around the Legends area. It's going to be an absolute cluster fuck so I suggest getting there as early as possible.
Don't wear club gear
Almost everyone knows I'm a club over country guy, I'll choose a Sporting game over a US game most of the time, but there's no reason for that to come into play tomorrow. Sporting is off so my Sporting stuff will stay at home. I strongly suggest that you do the same. Don't brin petty club arguments into the tailgate or into the stadium with you. Sure the jersey may still say Donovan on the back, but on the front it's not a US jersey. It's not a hard concept to understand. That leads to my next point.
Or a US jersey. For as long as I remember watching or attending US games, the supporters section of the United States has always worn red as a way to support the team. It's the color of choice unless you're wearing a US jersey. So if you don't have a US jersey, find something red that you can wear and wear that for the game.
The chants are quite similar
The chants and songs that are done by the American Outlaws and US supporters aren't much different from the ones that are done for Sporting. You can basically replace KC or Sporting with US and you have the majoirty of the chants. So don't feel bad if you don't know them right away. The I believe chant is one that really took off after last year's Gold Cup game at LSP.
Expect Guatemala to "park the bus"
With Guatemala only needing a draw to advance, don't expect them to come out flying in the attack. They'll sit back, play 10-11 behind the ball and try to make this game a dull 0-0 affair. With Jamaica-Antigua kicking off at the same time, they'll have an eye on the other game if they do give up a goal. Because if Jamaica and Antigua is close, Guatemala could even get through with a low scoring loss. Should things get closer the game could get quite exciting if the US do score early. That's going to be the best way for the game to open up tomorrow, an early goal will certainly help that. For a further look at potential results see my post from Saturday.
Enjoy the game
Last time KC hosted a World Cup qualifier, it was 11 years ago. I don't expect it to be that long before KC hosts another World Cup qualifier, but they don't come around every day. Enjoy the atmosphere for the US game. This is going to be my 4th cap, and third World Cup qualifier I've attended. And it'll be just as fun. Eleven years ago Kansas City showed for at least one night that they were a soccer city, and now they're proving it on a regular basis, but it's time to show it again at the national level.