You'll be forgiven tonight for contemplating treason - after all, rooting against the United States in anything clearly counts as traitorous behavior, right? But tonight, with a loss to Panama (coupled with a Mexico loss in Costa Rica), the USMNT would be doing its part to help the Panamanians leapfrog Mexico for fourth in the Hexagonal standings, knocking El Tri out of contention for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
As much as we'd all love to see the hilarity that would ensue south of the border upon such a failure - especially on the tails of an Olympic gold medal! - I'm still rooting for an American win tonight. Because I'm always rooting for an American win.
Time: 9:30 pm EDT
Venue: Estadio Rommel Fernandez; Panama City, Panama Country
TV: BeIN Sport, which probably means you're getting yourself to a bar pretty late on a weeknight. Or, you're just following along on Twitter and in our live thread directly below this post.
Projected USA Lineup: Brad Guzan will be starting in goal tonight, with Tim Howard sent back to Everton to give his backup the starting opportunity. In front of him, look for Brad Evans, Clarence Goodson, Geoff Cameron and DaMarcus Beasley. In midfield, it should be Kyle Beckerman and Sacha Kljestan deep, with Alejandro Bedoya, Mix Diskerud and Graham Zusi ahead of them. Jozy Altidore will wear the captain's armband for the first time for the senior national team as he starts up top.
Match Prediction: Most of you here are probably D.C. United fans and will follow this - remember how Philadelphia need a win last weekend to keep their playoff hopes on life support but showed up incredibly flat? I expect Panama to do the same thing, only the United States are a much better team than United, even on relative terms compared to the opposition. 3-0 good guys, as we set sail for Brazil in style.
What Are You Drinking?: Blanton's single barrel bourbon, neat. Like an American. Like a boss.
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