The Washington Post

World Cup qualifier in Tampa: USA vs. Antigua and Barbuda

Greetings from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for the first of what should be 16 World Cup qualifiers for the U.S. national team over the next 16 months. Rain struck again this afternoon and is expected to continue into the night, making for tricky conditions.

The CONCACAF semifinal round began this afternoon with Canada earning a 1-0 victory over Cuba in La Habana. The other five matches will take place this evening.

TV: 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, Galavision and

Kickoff: 7:11 p.m. ET. Update: Weather conditions have pushed it back to 7:27.

ESPN announcers: Glenn Davis and Taylor Twellman.

Tickets: 22,000-plus, as of this afternoon.

Field width: 116 yards long, 74.3 yards wide.

My first visit to Raymond James Stadium since a D.C. United-Tampa Bay Mutiny in 2000. Long live the Mutiny.

Tonight is Carlos Bocanegra’s 105th cap. It’s my 110th. He has a harder job.

USA starters: Howard; Cherundolo, Goodson, Bocanegra, Torres; Edu, Bradley, Jones; Donovan, Dempsey, Gomez.

Subs: Guzan, Parkhurst, Cameron, Onyewu, Beckerman, Altidore, Boyd.

Not in uniform: Rimando, Castillo, Johnson, Corona, Wondolowski.

Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are warmly welcome in our comments section.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.

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