This upcoming match, a home game for the U.S. on October 16, will determine whether or not the U.S. advances to the final round of CONCACAF qualifying. While the U.S. is 5-0-3 against Guatemala over the last decade and 4-0-1 at home, this game should prove to be a solid test for the Americans.
While there are many different advancement scenarios, assuming the U.S. wins against Antigua and Barbuda on October 12, the U.S. will need a tie against Guatemala to guarantee advancement.
Against Guatemala, the U.S. will also have to deal with Carlos Ruiz, who many American fans know quite well.
Ruiz is the ninth all-time leading scorer in Major League Soccer with 88 goals. Ruiz also has a penchant for scoring in the biggest games. Over his MLS career, Ruiz scored 16 playoff goals in 17 games and already has four goals in five World Cup qualifiers for Guatemala this cycle alone.
The other big player on Guatemala the U.S. needs to worry about is Marco Pappa.
Another face familiar to U.S. fans due to his years with the Chicago Fire, Pappa contributes goals from the midfield as he did 26 times for the Fire in his three years there. Pappa is also dangerous on free kicks as the U.S. found out in its last visit to Guatemala when Pappa scored on this free kick to tie the game at one apiece.
Additionally, if Guatemala beats Jamaica on October 12, it is likely Guatemala will advance to the next round of qualifying, meaning that the U.S. will once again have to travel to Guatemala for another World Cup qualifier.