Lots of rain in Tampa ahead of Friday’s qualifier

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TAMPA, Fla. — I suppose there’s nothing Mother Nature could throw at Central Florida that could truly tip the scales in such a seemingly one-sided matchup as the United States against tiny Antigua & Barbuda.

But the forecast can hardly been stamped “ideal” for U.S. Soccer.

It has been raining in Tampa all week, and there’s more on the way. Poor field conditions will always favor an underdog, as we know.

Chances of rain Friday evening: somewhere between 60-70 percent, depending on which weather dude you believe.

The field at Raymond James Stadium, an NFL ground, is blessed with a modern drainage system.

Still, all the rain could scuttle U.S. practice plans for Friday, when the public has been invited to watch Jurgen Klinsmann’s final walk-through from 7-8 tonight.

The choice of whether to practice on site doesn’t actually belong to U.S. Soccer; as this is a World Cup qualifier, the decision belongs to the CONCACAF match commissioner.