The U.S. men's soccer team will take on visiting Cuba Saturday in a 2010 World Cup qualifying match at RFK Stadium in Washington. VOA Sports Editor Parke Brewer reports a U.S. victory in the nation's capital will clinch a berth for the Americans in the final round of regional qualifying.
These two teams have opposite records in their regional semifinal qualifying group, which also includes Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago. Halfway through their slate of six games, the United States is 3-0 and the Cubans are 0-3. Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago are both 1-1-1.
With the top two teams advancing to the final qualifying round, the U.S. men know if they beat Cuba they advance, no matter how they do in the final two group matches.
U.S. coach Bob Bradley said he expects Cuba to give a strong effort. "Yet at the same time, our focus throughout this week has been on our side of things, because we feel a strong effort on our part - a complete effort - in terms of making it hard for the other team, cetainly our ability on the ball, our movement for each other. If we do those things well we still feel that then we can put the match on our terms," he said.
The U.S. soccer team has not yielded a goal in a record six straight games and hopes it can continue that streak (here) against Cuba.