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USA and Guatemala in driver's seat
by Paul Kennedy, October 12th, 2012 10:05PM

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TAGS:  men's national team, video, world cup 2014

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[ANTIGUA & BARBUDA-USA] Narrow wins by the USA and Guatemala on Friday put them in the driver's seat to capture the two berths from Group A in next year's Hexagonal. They will find themselves in the unique position of both advancing if they tie on Tuesday in Kansas City. Friday's results leave them with a three-point edge and three-goal advantage on goal difference over Jamaica, meaning the USA or Guatemala might still qualify if it loses on Tuesday.

YELLOW CARDS. Jermaine Jones' yellow card, picked up six minutes after entering the game, was his second of qualifying and will keep him out of the Guatemala match.

TRIVIA. The USA improved to 8-2-2 this year and currently holds the best winning percentage (0.750) since its 13-3-4 performance in 2005.

Oct. 12 in North Sound
Antigua & Barbuda 1 USA 2. Goals: Blackstock 25; E.Johnson 20, 90.
Antigua & Barbuda -- James; Joseph, G.Dublin, Griffith, A.Thomas, George, Francis-Angol, Burton, Byers (Smith, 89), T.Thomas, Blackstock.
USA  -- Howard; Cherundolo, Goodson, Cameron, Bocanegra, Zusi (Kljestan, 78), Williams (Jones, 56), Bradley, E.Johnson; Dempsey,  Gomez (Gordon, 73).
Yellow cards: Antigua & Barbuda -- T.Thomas 61; USA --Jones 62.
Referee: Neal Brizan (Trinidad & Tobago).

GROUP A
10 USA (8-5)
10 Guatemala (8-5)
7 Jamaica (5-5)
1 Antigua & Barbuda (3-9)

Schedule:
Oct. 16
Jamaica-Antigua & Barbuda   
USA-Guatemala   

First goal:



Second goal:



8 comments
  1. Paul Stierle
    commented on: October 13, 2012 at 6:58 a.m.
    As a Seattle fan Eddie pulls it out. But where is Wondoloski? We barely beat an Island of semi pros. Who expected at least 3-0? The 2 goals were a combo of MLS players. Yes I am a fan of the MLS but watch premier soccer too. Good luck against Guatemala. Seattle, good luck against Real Salt lake without Eddie

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: October 14, 2012 at 1:02 p.m.
    All this means is we have survived to move on to the next round.Does anyone out there think we'll have an easy time finishing in the top three in the next round,or for that matter at least 4th?It is sad that this is the best we can hope for after all this time,energy and money has been spent.Someone must be held accountable regardless of the final outcome,and I do not believe it is Klinsi.I believe he is doing what he can with what he has.

  1. Eric in DC
    commented on: October 14, 2012 at 7:36 p.m.
    Really? So Klinsi comes in and starts a top to bottom restructuring of USSoccer, we're on the verge of probably finishing 1st in our group and it still in't good enough? At the end of the day, you can't squeeze water out of a rock...

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: October 14, 2012 at 9:31 p.m.
    Eric, the issue is that this is not a rock. It is mediocre for a country this big and rich with so many soccer living immigrants in now several generations to be settling for no better than 2nd in Concacaf. What possible advantage does Jamaica, Guatemala, Costa Rica or El Salvador have over USA as far as being better soccer countries? Please don't say that it's because it's their first sport and we pick others. I am pretty sure we have more soccer players in USA than they do in Jamaica at least. We are richer, have more facilities, etc. There is no way thats the best we can scout for our usmnt.

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: October 15, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
    Luis is right,you miss the point Eric.We were getting better results 10 -15 years ago,BEFORE so much time,energy and money was invested.Our current player pool is deplete of the kind of players that will make the difference and make us a power in CONCACAF.We have to ask ourselves,why are we not keeping pace with the other national sides in our own region?Its' not tactics;its' player development.We don't have the new Tabs,Claudios or even Landons or Clints?The whole system needs to be revamped.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 9:08 a.m.
    The scouting system is extremely political in USA, even at the youngest of ages U14. If we fail to identify, scout, refer a top talent at this age so we can give him the best training and have him play vs the best international competition then how do we expect to develop top talented teams?

  1. joe young
    commented on: October 17, 2012 at 6:49 p.m.
    Quality players are born not made. We do have larger sports bigger than soccer in the US. The best athletes play basketball and football. If a great athletes like Kobe Bryant or Lebron James played soccer from a young age we would have the best team in the world.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: October 22, 2012 at 11:56 a.m.
    Joe, there are many different cultures in USA that can and have contributed the best athletes at different sports. Why would Lebron and Kobe necessarily make the best soccer players in the world when you have Messi, Xavi, Villa, Fabregas as the very best in the world now?? I can't see how your analogy can be a gaurantee when the characteristics of the current top players are very different from your 2 examples. Are there no tall, black and extremely athletic soccer players in the rest of the world or in mostly every country for that matter? USA has great hockey players, Swimmers with Gold Medals, Golfers, Baseball players, gymnasts, etc. that look nothing like Lebron and Kobe. Would Jordan have been the best soccer player in the world? How did he do with baseball? Historically the best soccer players of all time have not resembled a Lebron or Kobe Physically and most of the time have had extremely different physical characteristics. It baffles me that so many people make this argument. Spain and Argentina are developing excellent basketball players as well. Why can't Usa develop excellent soccer players?? Makes no sense when you consider the economical differences of these countries. So the problem must lie in the scouting of our best talent which we do have but countries like Mexico are tapping into first. Wake up!!


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