Here's an amazing fact for you. The Guatemala national team have been together and training fully ever since Monday and the United States haven't even announced who they're calling up for their two World Cup qualifiers starting next week yet.
Walter Claveri, the Guatemala head coach, has had 18 of his 23 players in training in Guatemala City, the site of the first qualifier next Friday, ever since Monday. They'll basically have a week's head start on the USA who won't be together until presumably this coming Monday at the earliest. Factor in travel and rest/recuperation from weekend matches and the USMNT will maybe have three good days to prepare.
Away qualifiers are always tough, but factor in all of these other advantages for Guatemala and it's fair to say that Jurgen Klinsmann's side will have their backs against the wall come next Friday night. That isn't putting a damper on the USA boss's expectations for the matches though. He still states that the goal is to win both qualifiers and clinch qualification into the Hex next year.
"We expect both games to be challenge, starting obviously in Guatemala City which is a very difficult venue," Jurgen Klinsmann to ussoccer.com. "Their team is already in camp, so they go in a week earlier than we do into preparation for that game, so we expect a very difficult game and a very hot-tempered game."
"The goal is we would like to beat them in Guatemala City and then beat them as well in Columbus in front of our fans. That will give us six points and will virtually qualify us already for the next round. This is the objective and we will do everything possible to get that done."
-Jurgen Klinsmann; Source: ussoccer.com
The lack of preparation time will probably be a hindrance for the USA. They'll have to hope their previous sessions together and their natural talent will be enough to guide them to victory in Guatemala. The return match in Columbus three days later should offer a more balanced playing field.