Soccer betting fans will have more than a reason to rejoice this week. The US national team will be back in action when they return to World Cup qualifying play on Friday. The U.S. men will square off against Guatemala at Estadio Mateo Flores in Central America for the first match of a home-and-home set with Los Chapines. The U.S. men would love nothing better than to get a huge victory that would allow them to stay atop Group C in CONCACAF qualifying.
The American men have four points through their first two semifinal round matches, and lead second-place Trinidad and Tobago by goal differential. Guatemala is currently in third-place with three points through two matches, and will be looking to pick up at least a draw at home as they try to keep the Hexagonal within reach. Now, let’s find out which team will win this match.
Guatemala vs. USA Soccer Betting Odds & Game Prediction
Date/Time: March 25, 10 pm ET, Estadio Mateo Flores, Guatemala City, Guatemala
TV: beIN SPORTS, NBC Universo
Match Odds: USA -350 Guatemala +260
Why to Bet on the U.S.
The US could almost assuredly clinch a spot in the Hexagonal round with a pair of wins against Guatemala. The US and Trinidad and Tobago both have four points through two Group C matches. Guatemala is in third place with three points. St. Vincent and the Grenadines are bringing up the rear with both clubs having lost both of their first two matches.
If the US can pick up the full six points from their two games against Guatemala and St. Vincent and the Grenadines doesn’t earn at least four points in their two matches against Trinidad and Tobago, the US would cinch up a spot in the Hex. The US Men’s National Team are entering two important games as the double header against Guatemala will be Jurgen Klinsmann’s last chance to assess his squad ahead of this summer’s Copa America Centenario.
The German head coach has said the USA “badly want to get the job done before the Copa America if possible” and he is targeting six points from the two games against Los Chapines this week. Jurgen Klinsmann has called up 26 players for the upcoming home-and-home series with Guatemala over the next five days, with 13 MLS stars in the latest squad. There are eight players looking to appear in their first World Cup qualifying matches, while 15 members of the squad traveled to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
Bobby Wood, USA – The Union Berlin striker Bobby Wood will be a player to watch for the U.S. in this match. Wood has a fine finish to his 2015 campaign and could very well pick up where he left off.
Why to Bet on Guatemala
Guatemala has given the US some trouble at Estadio Mateo Flores. Colorado Rapids midfielder Marco Pappa scored a late equalizer to give the hosts a 1-1 draw against the Americans in the third round of 2014 World Cup qualifying.
Guatemala also played the US tough at Estadio Mateo Flores in 2010 and 2006 qualifying, limiting the Americans to a scoreless draw in September of 2005 after suffering a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat in August 2008. Guatemala has plenty of incentive to win this match as they are looking to qualify for their first-ever World Cup tournament in 2018.
To do that, they first need to qualify for the Hexagonal. Unfortunately, Guatemala hasn’t pulled off this feat since 2006. Los Chapines finished second in the Central American championship in 2014, but came in last in their group at last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup and failed to move on to the knockout stage.
Guatemala has called up 24 players for the two qualifying games against USA, with six attackers named to the roster. MLS fans will recognize players like Colorado Rapids midfielder Marco Pappa as well as Carlos Ruiz, who played for five MLS clubs between 2002 and 2013. Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas) and Rodrigo Saravia (Columbus Crew) have also made the squad.
Pappa had a wild offseason switching MLS teams, but he’s been in fine form since the start of 2016, nailing a last-second winner for Colorado while demonstrating an often astonishing skill set.
Expert Prediction and Pick
The US has dominated the all-time series with Guatemala, posting a 15-4-6 all-time record against Los Chapines. Not only that, but the Americans also hold a 21-match unbeaten streak against Guatemala, the team’s longest current unbeaten run against any international opponent.
The U.S. win this match 2-1.