Tonight, Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen play their most important matches of their young international careers.
They, along with the rest of the U-23 team for the United States, will meet Cuba tonight in the first match of qualifying for the 2012 Olympics in London. The U.S. is the heavy favorite to win their group, which also includes El Salvador and Canada, but they still must take care of business against the weaker opponents in the tournament. A win tonight at 9:00 PM in Nashville would certainly set the Americans on the right path.
The match will be streamed live on CONCACAF.com.
Despite playing as a central defensive midfielder both for D.C. United and for Olympic coach Caleb Porter when the two won a College Cup together at Akron in 2010, Kitchen will start in the center of the back line for the Americans tonight, and probably throughout the tournament. He'll be joined in defense by former Akron teammates Zarek Valentin and Kofi Sarkodie, along with Ike Opara. Jared Jeffrey, Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, and Freddy Adu will start in the midfield, with Juan Agudelo and Brek Shea up top.
Feel free to use this space for discussion of the match. VAMOS USA!