Mike Ehrmann - Getty Images
Despite a rocky group stage, the US Men's National Team is looking like the clear winner of the group stage to advance to the Hex.
Last Friday's match wasn't exactly a convincing effort by the United States. To be honest, I don't really remember the last time the USMNT was able to put on a convincing effort in any match. They're just not a dominant team no matter how much talent there supposedly is. It's an unfortunate situation that won't be solved within the current generation of players.
However, despite all this, the USMNT is still looking like the best team out of the group with the best odds of advancing to the "Hex" (also known as the next round of World Cup Qualifying). Here are all the possibilities heading into Tuesday's matches and what that means for the USMNT going forward:
- USA wins, Jamaica wins - USA advances. Jamaica and Guatemala tie on points, advance is decided by GD.
- USA wins, Jamaica draws or loses - USA and Guatemala Advance.
- USA draws with Guatemala, any outcome of Jamaica vs. A&B - USA and Guatemala advance.
- Guatemala wins, Jamaica wins - Guatemala advances, USA and Jamaica tie on points, advance is decided by GD.
- Guatemala wins, Jamaica draws or loses - Guatemala and USA advance.
As you can see, there is only a single possibility that leads to a USMNT side being thrown out of the tournament at this early of a stage and even that will come down to goal differential of which the USA current has a +3 GD on Jamaica. So Guatemala would have to win by at least 3 goals, or Jamaica would have to win by at least 3 or some combination of the two (G:2, J:2, etc.) in order for the USA to not advance to the next round.
Any other outcome and the US Men's National Team will advance to the Hex. Albeit not in the highest of confidence (should they advance through a loss) but they'll advance nonetheless.
What do you think of the USMNT chances? What are you expecting out of Tuesday's match?
[Care of Reddit user IWillKickU]