The long, laborious march of World Cup Qualifying commences against tonight for the U.S. Men’s National Team, as they travel to Kingston, Jamaica, to play Jamaica at 8 p.m. The U.S. and Jamaica are currently tied atop Group A with four points; Guatemala and Antigua & Barbuda are behind them with one point. (You have to finish in the top two to advance to the fourth and final round of CONCACAF qualifying. Here’s a handy guide.) The U.S. will be absent Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley but are still favored against Jamaica, and not just because all of Jamaica’s fans are stoned. You’re gonna have to go to a sports bar to watch the game, though; the game is only on beIN Sports, Al Jazeera’s soccer affiliate that only Dish Network, DirectTV, and Comcast carry. (Though, uh, those places you watched Knicks and Rangers games during the MSG–Time Warner standoff? You can watch beIN Sports there too.) The U.S. plays Jamaica again in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday night, and wins in both matches would essentially assure them of advancing to the fourth round, which begins in February 2013. USA! USA!
Prepare to qualify.