United States vs. Antigua and Barbuda: Individual Battles That Will Decide Match

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United States vs. Antigua and Barbuda: Individual Battles That Will Decide Match
J. Meric/Getty Images

It's the last pair of matches in the third round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, and it's as down to the wire as it can get.

The United States, thanks to a demoralizing 2-1 loss to Jamaica last month, earned just seven points in their first four matches—drawing them equal with Jamaica and Guatemala for the lead in Group 1.

With just two matches to go, the Americans have their destiny in their own hands. A victory and a draw will advance them into the final round of qualifying.

Antigua and Barbuda sits as their first opponent, and the Benna Boys are no lightweight, especially at home. They've drawn against Jamaica and lost by the score of 1-0 against Guatemala. If the United States expects to march into Sir Vivian Richards Stadium and dominate Antigua and Barbuda, they'd better think again.

On paper, the squads are unevenly matched, with the Americans playing club football against better competition and Antigua and Barbuda playing largely against fellow Caribbean players. But it's individuals matched up against each other who will decide this match.

Who are they and what battles will be key on Saturday night?

Join me as I present the players and their respective opponents who will clinch the group for the United States, or give Antigua and Barbuda a story to tell for decades to come.

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