The road to the 2018 World Cup starts today for the United States and it is a very soft start. The Americans' first World Cup qualifier comes at home against St. Vincent and the Grenadines, making this almost certainly the easiest qualifier they will have all cycle.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines are ranked 129th in the world, making them by far the lowest ranked team left in CONCACAF qualifying. They got to this round by beating Aruba, 4-1, over two legs and, before that, prevailing on away goals over Guyana. Their only players who don't play for domestic clubs play for Tobago United, Jennings Grenades FC, Oulun Palloseura FC, FS Kemo, Camdonia FC, Maudenhead United FC, Rendezvous and Seattle Sounders 2. Suffice to say, it's not an overly intimidating team.
The match does mark the team's return to St. Louis, once the biggest producer of national team players and a regular home for the Yanks' matches. The U.S. hasn't played there since 1997, in large part because the growth of the team has taken it from small venues and St. Louis doesn't have a mid-sized venue. To make this match happen, they will play in the St. Louis Cardinals' stadium, making it a rare match at a ballpark, but one that should bring in a capacity crowd of roughly 46,000.
ESPN2 will broadcast the match live. There will be no pregame or postgame show, with college basketball preceding the match and college football on immediately after. UniMas will have the match in Spanish and it will also be streamed on Watch ESPN.
Match date/time: Friday, 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
TV: ESPN2 (English), UniMas (Spanish)
Streaming: Watch ESPN