Remember one of the opening montages during the great 1989 baseball comedy 'Major League' when the citizens of Cleveland wondered aloud, "Who are these *@$%^ guys"? You can apply that logic to Wednesday night's final CONCACAF Round 2 2010 World Cup qualifier for the U.S. men's national team against the hated Yankees, err, Guatemalans.
With the European season in full swing and the Nats already qualified for the final round that begins in early 2009, coach Bob Bradley left out almost all the 'big names' and in their stead brought in a collection of players that could fill out half of an MLS all-star team. Bucking the trend, the new school 'A-Team' of Jozy Altidore and Freddy Adu were recalled, likely since they're only seeing limited action at Villareal and Monaco, respectively.
It's easy to take the cynical approach and complain about who wants to see 28-year-old Davy Arnuad play. Then again, think back even a decade and how shallow the player pool for the U.S. team was. At the very least MLS has produced depth in the American game.
And for the game itself? It means nothing for the U.S., but Guatemala needs to win and hope Trinidad & Tobago loses to Cuba in Port-au-Spain. Not too many tears would be shed by American fans to seen the Guatemalans return home with nothing to show for it, due to their questionable tactics over the years.
The game is on ESPN Classic at 8 p.m. So if you lose interest tedious early-season college basketball games why not tune in? I hear that Michael Parkhurst is shaving his head like Wild Thing Vaughn.
If you're so inclined, the full roster is after the jump.