BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, July 5, 2013
The United States national team will host Guatemala in San Diego in its only friendly ahead of the Gold Cup which begins next week.
The United States enters the game on the heels of a remarkably successful June where the team picked up all nine possible points in World Cup qualifying and now sits atop the CONCACAF standings. The roster for the Gold Cup, however, is far different.
For one, the game will mark the return of Landon Donovan who has not played with the national team since last August. Following the last MLS season, he decided to take a four month break in his career and missed out of important World Cup qualifiers. As a result, Klinsmann has been slow to bring him back into to the team.
Donovan still remains the all-time leading scorer for the U.S team with 49 goals in 144 caps. He also has 48 assists in that span.
Earlier in the week, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named DaMarcus Beasley at the captain for the U.S team at the Gold Cup. Beasley is a veteran of three World Cup and has been impressive in World Cup qualifying playing out of position at left back.
Also likely to feature for the U.S team is 20 year old forward Jack McInerney who is uncapped but has 10 goals so far this season in MLS with Philadelphia.
Guatemala enters into the game in a rebuilding phase after failing to advance to the Hexagonal phase of World Cup qualifying. The Central American nation also failed to qualify for this summer's Gold Cup thereby having little to play for at the moment.
The United States will open its Gold Cup campaign on Tuesday in Portland against Belize. It will then head to Salt Lake to face Cuba. It will round out Group C play in Hartford against Costa Rica.