In the regional semi-final the U.S. is in a group with Cuba, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago. The top two teams advance to next year’s regional finals, which will produce three World Cup qualifiers and fourth team that goes to a playoff against the No. 5 nation in South America for another berth.
The United States opens the regional semifinals on Aug. 20 at Guatemala, then plays Sept. 6 or 7 at Cuba, the first match there for the U.S. soccer team. The first American home game is Sept. 10 against Trinidad and Tobago at Bridgewater, Ill.
The U.S. hosts Cuba on Oct. 11 at Washington, plays at Trinidad and Tobago four days later and closes the round Nov. 19 against Guatemala at Commerce City, Colo.
I expect the U.S. to pick up at least 13 points in this round and top the group. Anything less will be a major disappointment.