Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
What the USA must do to close the deal
by Paul Kennedy, September 10th, 2009 7AM



[WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING] Wednesday's Hexagonal results could not have been more favorable to the USA. Its 1-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago and El Salvador's 1-0 victory over Costa Rica -- on Rudis Corrales' goal in stoppage time -- moved the USA into first place in the Hexagonal and opened up a four-point lead over the sinking Ticos.

The results give the USA multiple ways to close the deal next month, but do pose a quandary for Coach Bob Bradley. Does he go for a win against Honduras on Oct. 10 in San Pedro Sula or save key players for the game four days later against Costa Rica in Washington when a win or tie will clinch a berth in the World Cup finals.

First things first, Wednesday's win clinched no worse than fourth place, but considering Argentina looks like it might finish fifth in South America, no Concacaf will want to finish fourth and risk a playoff date with the Argentines, with or without Diego Maradona in charge.

Here's what it take for the USA to clinch one of the top three spots in the Hexagonal, in order of ease ...

(1) Tie Costa Rica in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14; or
(2) Beat Costa Rica in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14; or
(3) Beat Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Oct. 10.

(The Catrachos will have three players suspended, including captain Amado Guevara, carded for a foul on Cuauhtemoc Blanco in the sixth minute of stoppage time at the end of their 1-0 loss to Mexico.)

Other qualification scenarios involve Costa Rica, Mexico or Honduras dropping points in their other games. A few of those scenarios are ...

(1) Costa Rica loses to Trinidad & Tobago in San Jose on Oct. 10;
(2) USA ties Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Oct. 10 and then Honduras doesn't beat El Salvador in San Salvador on Oct. 14.
(3) USA ties Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Oct. 10 and Costa Rica ties Trinidad & Tobago in San Jose on Oct. 10

Some qualification scenarios involve the USA tying one of its rivals on points, meaning goal differential will break the tie. Here is how the teams stand:

Honduras +6 (14-8)
USA +5 (14-9)
Mexico +3 (12-9)
Costa Rica -4 (9-13)

The most likely qualification scenario involving the tiebreaker ...

-- Costa Rica ties Trinidad & Tobago in San Jose on Oct. 10 (the USA will qualify unless the margin of its losses to Honduras and Costa Rica and the margin of Costa Rica's win over the USA is nine or more goals).

Trin. & Tobago 0 USA 1 (Clark 62)
Mexico 1 (Blanco pen. 75) Honduras 0
El Salvador 1 (Corrales 90) Costa Rica 0
USA 8 5 1 2 14 9 16
Mexico 8 5 0 3 12 9 15
Honduras 8 4 1 3 14 8 13
Costa Rica 8 4 0 4 9 13 12
El Salvador 8 2 2 4 8 10 8
Trin. & Tobago 8 1 2 5 8 16 5
(The top three teams advance to World Cup 2010; the fourth-place team faces the fifth-place team from South America in a playoff.)


October 10
Mexico-El Salvador
Costa Rica-Trin. & Tobago
October 14
El Salvador-Honduras
Trin. & Tobago-Mexico
USA-Costa Rica

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Watching the MLS playoffs has been tremendously exciting. The games in the first round with the ...
Klinsmann: Nagbe is a 'great fit' for national team    
One of the standouts in the MLS playoffs has been Darlington Nagbe, who has helped the ...
What They're Saying: Didier Drogba    
"It's a different challenge [in MLS]. People think it's easy to play there. Believe me, it's ...
What They're Saying: Stocksbridge Park Steels chairman Allen Bethel    
"I can't believe what I've been seeing on Saturday nights. He's always on his own. Why ...
MLS: Sporting KC continues talks with five free agents    
Sporting Kansas City re-signed 12 of the 13 players it had options on -- all but ...
MLS: Orlando City declines option on Hall    
Stemming from the roster moves announced Wednesday, Orlando City SC may not look radically different in ...
MLS: Revs re-sign Kobayashi, send three to Portugal    
New England announced Wednesday it has renewed the options on 14 players, signed midfielder Daigo Kobayashi ...
Sacramento wants to show it's ready to roll    
While efforts by David Beckham's group to find land for a soccer stadium in Miami appear ...
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
USA names 20 for U-20 Women's World Cup qualifying    
Eight collegians and 12 youth club players comprise Coach Michelle French's roster for the U-20 Women's ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives