Carlos Ruiz, Hamilton Lopez cleared to join Guatemala vs. USA
Guatemala striker Carlos Ruiz and center back Hamilton Lopez have been cleared to play in the World Cup qualifying match against the U.S. men’s national team on Tuesday, the Guatemalan football federation announced on Tuesday.
There had been question over whether the two players would be permitted to travel with the team to Columbus, Ohio for the match. Ruiz was involved in a legal dispute regarding a property he owns, and was not to be granted permission to leave the country until the issue was resolved. The Guatemalan federation tweeted the following official notice Tuesday, stating that Ruiz was on a private plan to the U.S.:
Lopez faced an undisclosed travel issue, but was given an exemption to travel for the match, according to Fox Sports.
Guatemala beat the U.S. for the first time since 1988 on Friday, handing the USMNT a 2–0 loss in Guatemala. The U.S. currently sits in third in the group standings, but only the top two teams advance to the next stage. If the USMNT does not win on Tuesday, despite being favored over Guatemala, it will have little hope remaining of qualifying for the World Cup.
The match will be aired on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday.