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USA Scores Big 4-0 World Cup Qualifying Win Against Guatemala in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (March 29, 2016) – The U.S. Men’s National Team notched an emphatic 4-0 victory against Guatemala in front of 20,624 Tuesday night at MAPFRE Stadium. With the win, the U.S. moves into second place in CONCACAF Semifinal Round World Cup Qualifying Group C, with seven points from four matches.

Dominant from start to finish, Clint Dempsey opened the scoring and tallied his 14th World Cup Qualifying goal for the MNT in the 12th minute. Geoff Cameron added a second off a Michael Bradley free kick in the 35th minute. Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore recorded second half goals while Brad Guzan made two saves to earn a clean sheet in a comfortable 4-0 win.

The USA resumes World Cup Qualifying, Sept. 2 away at St. Vincent and the Grenadines before returning home to Jacksonville, Florida to face Trinidad & Tobago on Sept. 6 in its last Semifinal Round qualifier.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Clint Dempsey (Gyasi Zardes), 12th minute:
After winning possession at midfield, Geoff Cameron sent a measured ball over the top which deflected off of Gyasi Zardes and fell perfectly for Dempsey. The veteran MNT forward one-timed his effort, catching Paulo Motta wrong-footed to open the scoring. With the goal, Dempsey moves into sole possession of the MNT’s all-time World Cup Qualifying goals record with 14. USA 1, GUA 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Geoff Cameron (Michael Bradley), 35th minute: After Bobby Wood won a free kick about 25 yards from goal, MNT captain Michael Bradley served up a beautiful free kick just outside the six-yard box. Geoff Cameron broke loose from his mark to head home inside the left post to double the lead. USA 2, GUA 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Graham Zusi (Gyasi Zardes), 46th minute: The MNT wasted no time looking for more goals after the break. DeAndre Yedlin threaded Gyasi Zardes into the box on the right, and the LA Galaxy man slipped the ball across to Graham Zusi, where the Sporting KC attacker collected and tucked his effort inside the left post. USA 3, GUA 0

USA – Jozy Altidore (Clint Dempsey), 90th minute: Altidore did well to track back and dispossess a Guatemala defender of the ball in his own half. Dempsey collected the loose ball and surged forward into the Guatemala area where he put a move on a trailing defender and los Chapines goalkeeper Paulo Botta before teeing up Altidore, who was making a late run, to lace a hard-hit strike into the upper left corner of the goal. USA 4, GUA 0 FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
GUA – Brad Guzan, 79th minute: Marco Pappa collected the ball at midfield and tried to thread a through pass for Carlos Ruiz that was broken up by the U.S. backline. The ball fell for Jean Marquez, who saw his low blast well held by Guzan.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT begins its final preparations for this summer’s historic Copa America Centenario when it hosts Ecuador at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas on Wednesday, May 25, at 7 p.m. CT.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer)

Milestone Watch:

  • With his 12th minute goal, Dempsey became the MNT’s all-time leader in World Cup Qualifying goals with 14.
  • Michael Bradley’s assist on Geoff Cameron’s 35th minute goal was his 21st with the U.S and leaves him just one behind Cobi Jones for second all-time for the MNT.
  • At 26 years, 144 days, Jozy Altidore became the youngest player in MNT history to reach 30 World Cup Qualifying appearances, beating previous record-holder Landon Donovan (26 years, 277 days).
  • Altidore followed up his appearance milestone by tying Landon Donovan for second on the MNT’s all-time World Cup Qualifying goals list with 13.
  • With his 34th international goal, Jozy Altidore tied Eric Wynalda for third place on the USA's all-time scoring list.
  • At 17 years, 193 days, Christian Pulisic became the youngest MNT player to appear in a World Cup Qualifying match.

Additional Notes:

  • With the defeat, the MNT moves to 15-5-6 all-time vs. Guatemala and 14-0-1 in home matches.
  • The USA is now 8-1-5 overall in World Cup Qualifying matches vs. los Chapines and 8-0-0 in matches on U.S. soil.
  • Clint Dempsey’s 12th minute goal was his sixth all-time against Guatemala.
  • Geoff Cameron’s 35th minute goal was his third in his last five appearances for the MNT.
  • Defender Steve Birnbaum made his MNT World Cup Qualifying debut.
  • With the win, Brad Guzan moved to 7-1-2 all-time in World Cup Qualifying and moves to 4-0-0 all-time against Guatemala.
  • Ethan Finlay made his World Cup Qualifying debut in his home stadium where he plays his club soccer with Columbus Crew SC.
  • MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann fielded a starting back line of DeAndre Yedlin on the right, Steve Birnbaum and Geoff Cameron in the middle and Edgar Castillo on the left.
  • The three-man midfield consisted of Kyle Beckerman playing in the central holding role, with Graham Zusi on the right and captain Michael Bradley on the left.
  • The three-man forward line saw Clint Dempsey as the central striker, with Gyasi Zardes and Bobby Wood supporting on the right and left, respectively.

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match:U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Guatemala
Date: March 29, 2016
Competition: 2018 World Cup Qualifying - Semifinal Round
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 20,624
Weather: 45 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F
USA                             2          2          4
GUA                             0          0          0

USA – Clint Dempsey (Gyasi Zardes)                 12th minute
USA – Geoff Cameron (Michael Bradley)            35
USA – Graham Zusi (Gyasi Zardes)                    46
USA – Jozy Altidore (Clint Dempsey)                 89

Lineups:
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 21-Steve Birnbaum, 20-Geoff Cameron, 23-Edgar Castillo; 19-Graham Zusi (11-Christian Pulisic, 81), 15-Kyle Beckerman, 4-Michael Bradley (capt.); 7-Bobby Wood (17-Jozy Altidore, 66), 8-Clint Dempsey, 9-Gyasi Zardes (13-Ethan Finlay, 71)
Subs Not Used: 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Ventura Alvarado, 6-Lee Nguyen, 10-Mix Diskerud, 12-Tim Howard, 14-Michael Orozco, 16-Darlington Nagbe, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 22-David Bingham
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

GUA: 12-Paulo Motta; 3-Cristian Jimenez, 5-Moises Hernandez, 8-Jean Marquez, 9-Gerson Tinoco (7-Luis Fernando Martinez, 74); 11-Mafre Icute (20-Carlos Ruiz, 46), 13-Carlos Castrillo, 14-Rafael Morales, 10-Jose Contreras; 18-Stefano Cincotta (16-Marco Pappa, 46), 22-Rodrigo Saravia
Subs Not Used: 1-Ricardo Jerez, 2-Jonathan Winibacker Lopez, 4-Hamilton Lopez, 6-Marco Rivas, 15-Luis Cardona, 17-Gerardo Arias, 19-Kevin Arriola, 21-Jose Carlos Garcia, 23-Edi Guerra
Head coach: Walter Claveri

Stats Summary: USA / GUA
Shots: 6 / 4
Shots on Goal: 3 / 1
Saves: 1 / 0
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 14 / 14
Offside: 6 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
GUA – Cristian Jimenez
(caution)                  34th minute
USA – Michael Bradley (caution)                  71

Officials:
Referee: Valdin Legister (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Lloyd Edwards (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Keble Williams (JAM)
4th Official: Karl Tyrell (JAM)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Geoff Cameron

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- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Guatemala
Date: March 29, 2016
Competition: 2018 World Cup Qualifying - Semifinal Round
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 20,624
Weather: 45 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F
USA                             2          2          4
GUA                             0          0          0

USA – Clint Dempsey (Gyasi Zardes)                 12th minute
USA – Geoff Cameron (Michael Bradley)            35
USA – Graham Zusi (Gyasi Zardes)                    46
USA – Jozy Altidore (Clint Dempsey)                 89

Lineups:
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 21-Steve Birnbaum, 20-Geoff Cameron, 23-Edgar Castillo; 19-Graham Zusi (11-Christian Pulisic, 81), 15-Kyle Beckerman, 4-Michael Bradley (capt.); 7-Bobby Wood (17-Jozy Altidore, 66), 8-Clint Dempsey, 9-Gyasi Zardes (13-Ethan Finlay, 71)
Subs Not Used: 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Ventura Alvarado, 6-Lee Nguyen, 10-Mix Diskerud, 12-Tim Howard, 14-Michael Orozco, 16-Darlington Nagbe, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 22-David Bingham
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

GUA: 12-Paulo Motta; 3-Cristian Jimenez, 5-Moises Hernandez, 8-Jean Marquez, 9-Gerson Tinoco (7-Luis Fernando Martinez, 74); 11-Mafre Icute (20-Carlos Ruiz, 46), 13-Carlos Castrillo, 14-Rafael Morales, 10-Jose Contreras; 18-Stefano Cincotta (16-Marco Pappa, 46), 22-Rodrigo Saravia
Subs Not Used: 1-Ricardo Jerez, 2-Jonathan Winibacker Lopez, 4-Hamilton Lopez, 6-Marco Rivas, 15-Luis Cardona, 17-Gerardo Arias, 19-Kevin Arriola, 21-Jose Carlos Garcia, 23-Edi Guerra
Head coach: Walter Claveri

Stats Summary: USA / GUA
Shots: 6 / 4
Shots on Goal: 3 / 1
Saves: 1 / 0
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 14 / 14
Offside: 6 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
GUA – Cristian Jimenez
(caution)                  34th minute
USA – Michael Bradley (caution)                  71

Officials:
Referee: Valdin Legister (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Lloyd Edwards (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Keble Williams (JAM)
4th Official: Karl Tyrell (JAM)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Geoff Cameron

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Tickets on Sale Feb. 12 for MNT World Cup Qualifier vs. Guatemala, Presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance

CHICAGO (Feb. 8, 2016) – Tickets for the U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala, presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance, on March 29 at the MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, will go on sale Friday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. ET.

Tickets for the game can be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Central Ohio (including many Kroger stores), as well as the MAPFRE Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Purchases are limited to eight tickets per household. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

The match will be televised on ESPN2 and UniMas at 7 p.m. ET. The match will occur four days after the U.S. plays their third game of the Semifinal Round of CONCACAF Qualifying against Guatemala at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.

The U.S. is 15-4-6 all-time against Guatemala, with a 13-0-1 record on home soil and 7-0-5 mark against the Chapines in World Cup qualifiers. The U.S. will enter the match with a 25-game unbeaten streak against Guatemala dating back to 1988, which is the longest run the MNT currently has against any opponent worldwide.

The U.S. began the six-match Semifinal Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying with a 6-1 victory against St. Vincent & the Grenadines on Nov. 13 in St. Louis, followed by a 0-0 draw at Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain on Nov. 17. 

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JK Q&A: MNT Ends 2015 on a High, Confident in Deep Player Pool Ahead of Busy 2016

With the 2015 slate now over for the U.S. Men’s National Team, Jurgen Klinsmann sat down with ussoccer.com for a two-part Q&A. In Part One, the MNT boss discusses the team’s accomplishments, player progression and lessons learned in 2015. Part Two of the Q&A in which Klinsmann previews the challenges and excitement of a busy 2016 calendar for the MNT will be available on ussoccer.com in the coming days. 

ussoccer.com: Going into Port of Spain, Trinidad to face the Soca Warriors was a tough match. Are you pleased with how the team dealt with the challenges of that game on the road?

Jurgen Klinsmann: “I think with the game in Trinidad & Tobago, we all knew it was going to be a tricky one. It’s a good team that proved that in the Gold Cup. And away from home, there’s a rule: don’t lose. At least get one point and don’t give the home team the three points. I think we achieved that. Did we want to win both games? Yes, it would have been nice to have six points now, but four points is ideal going into the two games now with Guatemala. Winning those two games would mean that we are qualified for the next round, so our big goal for March is going to Guatemala and get three points right away, at home in Columbus, one of our favorite places to go, and then look forward to the next round.”

ussoccer.com: Throughout the first two qualifiers you were able to get a lot of young players opportunities. How valuable was it to get them that experience at this stage?

JK: “For coaches, but also for the fans, one fascinating topic is always, ‘how do young players progress? How do they learn? How fast do they learn? How fast they can make a real improvement on the senior National Team?’ When you talk about young players, we talk about DeAndre Yedlin, we talk about Gyasi Zardes. Both of them had a very busy 2015. Gyasi played 19 games for the MNT, which is pretty amazing, but the most important part there is that everybody can see a learning curve. Everybody can that they are maturing. Everybody can see that they are growing and becoming senior players. This is what this path is about, bringing younger players, give them time and give them moments where they don’t perform or have a bad game and carry them through. Teach them during this path and what they have to improve and hopefully see the benefit later on. At the end of 2015 we saw a lot of good answers from Gyasi Zardes and DeAndre Yedlin and I’m sure we will see even more good stuff in the upcoming year.”

ussoccer.com: Bobby Wood finished with four goals in his last eight games. What changes have you seen in him in the last year?

JK: “With Bobby Wood, we’ve developed a player over some time. Even if he wasn’t a full part of the National Team program yet, we were in touch with him, following his path in Germany in the 2. Bundesliga. We explained to him that it’s not going to all happen in a short period of time. When he came in the first couple of times, he was shy and nervous, which is totally normal for the young players when they join the senior National Team. He had to get a feel for the thin air on the higher level. He tried to learn as quickly as he could. He developed more personality, more confidence. For a striker, confidence is always connected to scoring goals. After the first couple of games came the moment when he came on the field against Holland and in the last minute scored the winning goal for us, which was huge, not because you beat Holland in their own country, but it was huge for him that he started to believe in himself. A couple days later he scores the winning goal against Germany in Germany where he plays, which is another big confidence booster. He’s becoming used to the pressure, the expectations of scoring. The expectations for a forward are to score, not every game, but try to score every second game or at the very least every third game. This is his learning curve now and hopefully he keeps learning, keeps improving, keeps helping us and keep on going through that transition of a World Cup cycle between the two World Cups.”

ussoccer.com: In these last two games you also expanded the team’s options at key positions, including both fullback spots. What type of flexibility does this provide moving forward?

JK: “2015 made it clear that we struggled in a couple of areas. The most difficult area for us is the fullback positions. We moved the center backs to the fullback position. We moved Fabian Johnson from left back to right back, which is the position he played in the World Cup – and was probably one of the best right backs in the World Cup in Brazil last year. But he ended up in his club team in Germany playing left winger. So moving him constantly from left winger to left back or to right back, it doesn’t really help him. And for us, one question remains: how do we fill in those left back and right back positons with a high-quality solution? In the last games, we had Tim Ream helping us out as a left back. He plays center back in Fulham. We had Michael Orozco out as a right back, which he did tremendously well, but he’s playing center back for Tijuana. Hopefully in 2016 it will help us develop younger players in the fullback positions. For us, the next important team to look at is the Olympic team and see what Andi Herzog brings through that team in order to develop a younger player into that full back position for the senior team.”

ussoccer.com: A lot of people had positive things to say about Darlington Nagbe. What did you learn about him from this camp?

JK: “We found a player that is really good handling the ball in both directions. He is responsible defensively, to always go behind the ball and to defend, and help out. When we go forward, he knows when to pass, when to dribble, when to keep things racing forward, and also when to take some risks in a certain moment. He has a change of pace in one-on-one situations when he goes at defensive midfielders. He has the confidence to get past them and to get closer to the box. Darlington is a real nice option now going forward. He had to wait a long time, and we’ve been waiting for him as well, but it’s a great fit and we are glad to have him on board.”

ussoccer.com: You spoke of the importance of having Brad Guzan and Tim Howard on board for the next three years. How did the initial phase of rotation work out?

JK: “Having Tim Howard and Brad Guzan on board is huge. Both are top goalkeepers in the English Premiere League, very experienced and especially they are great teammates. We’ve got to keep them rotating toward Russia 2018. Then we’ve got to make some decisions once games come up, but having both of them gives us a huge boost of confidence and the backline feels real confident having one of them in goal.”

ussoccer.com: The challenge to younger players has been to push the established guys for starting spots. What is the importance of that process and how has it gone within the team?

JK: “When asking the younger players to step up and challenge the experienced ones, you want them to challenge themselves on a higher level, whether it’s going to the highest club level as quickly as you can and become a starter there and make your statement, like DeAndre Yedlin does now at Sunderland. In camp, we want them to fight harder to push established players for the spots, because if you want to steal the spot, you have to do more to try and move him out. This is an interesting process between two World Cups. Taking the example of Jones, he’s not ready to give his spot up. He’s 34 years old, but he’s a rock. He’s in there every time it matters, he stands his man. He makes it clear to the younger players that he’s not giving up his spot. These kind of competitions are real important with the team.”

ussoccer.com: How do you view the midfield partnership between Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones?

JK: “It’s real critical between Bradley and Jones, like all the fans know, they are important to our team. These two always coordinate themselves on the field. They are experienced and know what to do in specific situations. We constantly go over their tactical approach in a game because they can play many different ways. Now you can complement a Jermaine Jones or a Michael Bradley with a more defensive midfielder, like a Kyle Beckerman, or you can complement them with more offensive midfielders, like a Darlington Nagbe or Mix Diskerud. But the heart of this team is always in the center of the park, which is Bradley and Jones.”

ussoccer.com: What did you see from Jozy Altidore throughout 2015?

JK: “2015 for Jozy Altidore has been a transition year, but it has become a year where he has gotten stronger toward the end. He had some injury issues. He had some fitness issues in the beginning of the year. We had the episode in the Gold Cup where he was not in the shape where he needed to be. Toward July, August and September he got more into a flow. He started to score goals for Toronto and he got stronger for the National Team, as well. This is a very positive sign for us to have Altidore playing well. We plan to bring him into a very busy 2016 with the biggest highlight of Copa America next June.”

ussoccer.com: What has been your impression of the MLS playoffs?

JK: “Watching the MLS playoffs has been tremendously exciting. The games in the first round with the penalty shootout, to Portland and Kansas City, to games that were very close, very tight and hard fought. It’s been very exciting. The stadiums are packed, the fans are fully engaged and the teams battle themselves through. Sometimes you have your favorite pick then you realize after a game or two, your favorite is not there anymore and out of the playoffs. It’s at another level this year and I can’t wait to see the MLS Cup final!”

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MNT to Play FIFA World Cup Qualifier in Columbus Against Guatemala in March

CHICAGO (Nov. 23, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will return to MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, to play its second home match of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on March 29 against Guatemala. 

The match will be televised live on ESPN2 and UniMas. Ticketing information will be provided at a later date.

Home of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew SC, few venues have provided as much of a home-field advantage as MAPFRE Stadium. Since first opening in 1999, the MNT has gone 7-0-3 all-time and 6-0-2 in eight World Cup Qualifying matches at the venue. Most notably, the site has played host to four straight World Cup Qualifiers against Mexico, each finishing with the famous “Dos a Cero” score line.

The match will occur four days after the U.S. plays their third game of the Semifinal Round against Guatemala at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City. The U.S. is 15-4-6 all-time against Guatemala, with a 13-0-1 record on home soil and 7-0-5 mark against the Chapines in World Cup qualifiers. The U.S. will enter the match with a 25-game unbeaten streak against Guatemala dating back to 1988, which is the longest run the MNT currently has against any opponent worldwide.

The U.S. began the six-match Semifinal Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying with a 6-1 victory against St. Vincent & the Grenadines on Nov. 13 in St. Louis, followed by a 0-0 draw at Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain on Nov. 17. 

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MNT Opponents Finalized for Semifinal Round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying

CHICAGO (Sept. 8, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team’s opponents are now set for Group C in CONCACAF’s Semifinal Round of Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. will face St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala in a six-game round-robin format, facing each opponent twice, once at home and once away.

With aggregate-score victories in the Third Round of qualifying, St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Guatemala both clinched a berth into Group C. Trinidad & Tobago was already drawn into Group C with the United States during the Preliminary Draw for 2018 World Cup Qualifying on July 25 in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

The USA’s first ever meeting against St. Vincent & The Grenadines will kick off its 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign. The opening match will take place on Nov. 13 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri; a limited number of tickets are still available. The U.S. will then travel to Trinidad to face the Soca Warriors on Nov. 17 in their second match of the Semifinal Round.

The next matches in the Semifinal Round will be played in 2016. The U.S. will face Guatemala away on March 25 before returning home for the return leg on March 29. Five months later, the U.S. will finish the Semifinal Round with matches against St. Vincent & The Grenadines away on Sept. 2 and then host Trinidad & Tobago at a yet to be determined location on Sept. 6.

Group A and Group B of CONCACAF’s Semifinal Round of Qualifying were also set this evening. Group A is composed of Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Canada, while Group B features Costa Rica, Panama, Haiti and Jamaica.

The group winner and group runner-up from each group will advance to Final Round of World Cup Qualifying, otherwise known as the Hexagonal. The six teams face each other in a home and away round robin format, with the top three teams advancing to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The fourth-place team moves on to play a home-and-away intercontinental playoff against a team from the Asian Football Confederation.

The USA has finished first in the Hexagonal during the past three FIFA World Cup cycles.

The U.S. holds an all-time record of 16-2-3 against Trinidad & Tobago and swept the pair of matchups when the teams last met in World Cup Qualifying in 2009. The MNT cruised past Guatemala 4-0 in July when the teams faced off in a Gold Cup tune-up, and is unbeaten against the Central American team in twelve World Cup Qualifying matchups.

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
Semifinal Round

Date                Opponent                                           Location
Nov. 13           St. Vincent & The Grenadines            Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo.
Nov. 17           Trinidad & Tobago                              Away (TBD)
March 25         Guatemala                                          Away (TBD)
March 29         Guatemala                                          Home (TBD)
Sept. 2             St. Vincent & The Grenadines            Away (TBD)
Sept. 6             Trinidad & Tobago                              Home (TBD)

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