St Vincent and the Grenadines to take national half day for game vs. USA

Darlington Nagbe - USMNT - St. Vincent and the Grenadines - blue uniform

Friday is a big day for the US national team, but it can be argued it's a bigger day for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Caribbean country, which is hosting the USMNT in a fourth-round CONCACAF World Cup qualifier (3:30 pm ET, beIN Sports), is hoping for a result, but it's arguably about just as much off the field.

While the Vincy Heat cannot qualify for the final round of 2018 World Cup qualifying this cycle, they are getting up for the occasion in a big way, with former St. Vincent international and current Seattle Sounders 2 boss Ezra Hendrickson noting Friday will be a national holiday in his country.

“[Soccer] is what we do,” said Hendrickson in a story on the Sounders' website. “You’re going to see a sea of yellow down there. They’re going to come out in their numbers. I think the stadium holds maybe 10,000 [fans] or so, it’s going to be full, it’s going to be packed, there’s going to be music, there’s going to be dancing, it’s going to be a national half day. The government, the prime minister, has given a 12 pm [cutoff time] for everyone to leave work and head to the game. It’s a big thing for them. It’s a big occasion.”

That's right – according to Hendrickson, the entire country will get a half day holiday on Friday, so they can gear up for the big game against the heavily favored Americans.

Aside from the holiday, the visit by the US national team was a benchmark for another project, according to local reports, although it did not produce the desired outcome.

Despite St. Vincent and the Grenadines prime minister Ralph Gonsalves' vow several months ago that the USMNT would be landing at a newly-complete Argyle International Airport for this trip, the airport, under construction since 2008, was not ready in time for the US trip. As a result, opposing politicians mocked Gonsalves in the local press.

The US, for their part, underwent a lengthy journey to get to Friday's game, first flying from their camp in Jacksonville to Barbados before the group divide into three to take smaller prop planes to get to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.