With just under two weeks before they play their first game for newly minted head coach Jurgen Klinsmann at Lincoln Financial Field, the United States national team was given the opportunity to look ahead as the qualifying pools for 2014 World Cup were announced today.
The US finds themselves in the same pool as Jamaica, a team they knocked off, 2-0, in last month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinal. The Jamaican’s feature a fast-paced style of play and are backed by six-foot-five goal keeper Donovan Ricketts, who plays professionally for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Joining the US and Jamaica in Group A of the third round of qualifying in North, Central America and the Caribbean will be the winners of the second round of Groups E and F, which remains pretty open. The World Cup will take place in the summer of 2014 in Brazil.
Highlighting group E are Grenada, ranked 120 in FIFA’s World Rankings and Guatemala, ranked 115. They’ll be joined by long shots Belize, ranked 148, and St. Vincent/Grenadines, ranked 161. In Group F, Haiti, ranked 117 and Antigua and Barbuda, ranked 106 are joined by Curacao, ranked 157, and US Virgin Islands, ranked 149.
Yesterday, the United States hired Klinsmann to replace Bob Bradley, the father of national team midfielder Michael Bradley. On August 10 at 9 p.m., the US will host Mexico at the Linc in a rematch of the Gold Cup Final, which Mexico rallied to win 4-2 after falling behind early.