There are a lot of things that people can't seem to agree on when it comes to the United States Men's National Team: should Jurgen Klinsmann be fired? Is the team's current run of terrible form Klinsmann's fault? Is Klinsmann putting his players in a position to succeed?
But, there is one thing that people can agree on: no matter how you answer the questions above, the USMNT needs to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and to do that they need to beat Guatemala in this afternoon's match at Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH. The fans know it. The players know it. Klinsmann knows it.
At the center of all this mess is, of course, Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe. In yet another substitute appearance for the US in Friday's loss, Nagbe was one of the team's few bright spots. Creating a series of chances immediately after coming on, Nagbe showed flashes of everything that has had US fans clamoring for Klinsmann to build the team around him: the same dribbling, possessing, and playmaking that helped propel the Timbers to the MLS Cup last year.
How Nagbe will be deployed in this one remains to be seen, but with the future of the USMNT on the line, fans of the US and the Timbers will certainly want to see Nagbe in the XI.
Of course, Nagbe is not the only Timber with a game yet to play this evening: Alvas Powell, Jermaine Taylor, and Darren Mattocks will take to the pitch with Jamaica to take on Costa Rica this evening as the Reggae Boyz try to climb the standings in their World Cup Qualifying group in a difficult road match.
USA vs. Guatemala
Watch it on: ESPN2, UniMas
Kickoff: 4:00 p.m. PT at Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH
United States: No. 30 in FIFA World Rankings, 1-1-1 in World Cup Qualifying Group 3
Guatemala: No. 95 in FIFA World Rankings, 2-1-0 in World Cup Qualifying Group 3
Costa Rica vs. Jamaica
Watch it on: BeIN Sports Connect
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. PT at National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica
Costa Rica: No. 33 in FIFA World Rankings, 2-0-1 in World Cup Qualifying Group 2
Jamaica: No. 52 in FIFA World Rankings, 1-1-1 in World Cup Qualifying Group 2