Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
A six-pointer that really matters
by Paul Kennedy, June 17th, 2013 11:55PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

[USA-HONDURAS] For all the talk about the U.S. road success in recent World Cup qualifying cycles, it only matters because the USA has been almost perfect at home over the last three cycles. It carries a 24-game unbeaten streak into Tuesday's match against Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The last loss was a 3-2 defeat to the Catrachos at Washington's RFK Stadium 10 days before 9/11.

What's remarkable about the home streak is that the USA has won every game that's mattered. The only two ties in the 24-game unbeaten streak came to Jamaica (1-1) in 2004 and Costa Rica (2-2) in 2009 after it had achieved its objective -- in the case of 2004 of reaching the final round of qualifying and in case of 2009 of qualifying for the World Cup.

A win over Honduras on Tuesday would leave the USA in the lead in the Hexagonal heading into the home stretch of double fixture dates in September and October -- and most important, a lead of at least five points and more likely six (barring a Panama win on Tuesday in Costa Rica) on the only team that matters, the fourth-place team.

Since the top three teams automatically go to Brazil 2014 from the Hexagonal, the USA's position in the top three after 10 games is irrelevant. (The fourth-place team advances to a playoff against New Zealand, but no one wants to depend on a playoff series even if it's against the unfancied All Whites)

All will change in case Honduras repeats its road win of 12 years ago and captures this veritable six-pointer. The USA would likely drop to either second place or third (depending on goal difference) with a loss to the Catrachos and Mexico chasing in fourth place.

At the midway point of the 2011 Hexagonal, the USA was cruising in qualifying with an eight-point lead on fourth-place Jamaica, but the Honduras loss, along with losses on the road to Mexico and Costa Rica, meant that the USA entered Day 9 in danger of potentially being eliminated in case of a loss to Jamaica in Boston.

As it turned out, a 2-1 U.S. win over Jamaica on a late Joe-Max Moore penalty kick combined with some unlikely results in the other two games the same day meant the USA clinched a berth in the 2002 World Cup on a Sunday afternoon when soccer and the NFL and all other sports were overshadowed by news of the launch of the NATO invasion of Afghanistan.

The 3-2 loss to Honduras -- the first home defeat in qualifying since the 1985 loss to Costa Rica knocked the USA out of contention for the 1986 World Cup -- was as shocking as the atmosphere at RFK Stadium, where Honduran fans dominated the sellout crowd of sellout crowd of 54,282 -- the largest home crowd ever for a qualifier.

"Only in America, I guess," said U.S. coach Bruce Arena of the crowd that prompted talk of U.S. Soccer dropping Washington as a home city for qualifiers.

Earnie Stewart had both goals for the USA but missed a chance to put the USA ahead late in the first half when his penalty kick was stopped by Noel Valladares.

Coincidentally, Valladares is the only player who played in the 2001 game and will be playing on Tuesday.

Hexagonal Schedule:
Tuesday, June 18
USA vs. Honduras
Costa Rica vs. Panama

Hexagonal Standings:
PTS TEAM W-T-L +/-
10 USA 3-1-1 6/3
8 Costa Rica 2-2-1 6/4
8 Mexico 1-5-0 3/2
7 Honduras 2-1-2 6/6
6 Panama 1-3-1 5/5
2 Jamaica 0-2-4 2/8

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (AZ), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

Honduras Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Noel Valladares (Olimpia), Donis Escober (Olimpia), Kevin Hernandez (Real Espana)
DEFENDERS (10): Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Victor Bernardez (San Jose), Osman Chavez (Wisla Krakow), Juan Carlos Garcia (Olimpia), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Jhony Leveron (Vancouver Whitecaps), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua), Arnold Peralta (Rangers), Orlin Peralta (Vida), Jose Velasquez (Victoria)
MIDFIELDERS(8): Marvin Chavez (San Jose), Jorge Claros (Hibernian), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Luis Garrido (Estrella Roja), Mario Martinez (Seattle Sounders), Andy Najar (Anderlecht), Wilson Palacios (Stoke City)
FORWARDS (5): Carlo Costly (Veria), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense), Diego Reyes (Real Sociedad), Roger Rojas (Olimpia)


7 comments
  1. Joy Hottington
    commented on: June 18, 2013 at 7:33 a.m.
    If they beat Honduras and Panama loses, then we can clinch top four with a win @ Panama even if nothing good happens in any of our other games and they win all their other games. 7 point difference with 4 games to play. The math gets better and better with a win today.
  1. Alexander Lozano
    commented on: June 18, 2013 at 11 a.m.
    Still have bad memories of that day in RFK, as it's the only WCQ I've attended which the USA lost...plus, it's the only game I've attended in which I was doused with beer after the game, and I've been to many USA-Mexico games! Of course, the events of 10 days later put all that in perspective but still would love to see us CRUSH a depleted Honduras! But must not overlook them & don't think we will...the WCQ home streak & top spot in Hex continues into September!!!
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 18, 2013 at 11:30 a.m.
    What matters most is whether the U.S. squad can perform the KISS methodology back to back; or revert to its past myriad of inconsistencies..
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: June 18, 2013 at 1:04 p.m.
    What we need to see is the continuation of attacking menace by our midfield and clinical finishing by our strikers!! The team chemistry is palpable now, and everyone who gets plugged-in has contributed. Here's to splitting the point gap wide open......Make us proud, Sandy Utah!!
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 18, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.
    CS, "attacking menace?" Never observed a team play in such a fashion, be it Barca, Real Madrid, Bayern M, Man-U, or any other top club.
  1. Power Dive
    commented on: June 18, 2013 at 3:31 p.m.
    Iw, you clearly haven't been to Iowa... http://www.menacesoccer.com/
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: June 18, 2013 at 7:18 p.m.
    I'm not gonna' explain that one......everyone gets it. Ok, just for you.....ie Bradley head-up, carrying at full speed, forcing defenders to commit and opening up lanes that should be exploited both on the flanks and in behind the CDs! Attacking Menace. Jones does similar, but usually on a counter & later in the game, slightly off center of the pitch.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Closeup: Galaxy gives 'Made in LA' new meaning    
The LA Galaxy was the first MLS team to sign a Homegrown player and first MLS ...
MLS: NYCFC makes Sands its first Homegrown player    
James Sands became the seventh member of the U.S. under-17 national team to turn pro when ...
Confederations Cup: Germany relishes Chile showdown    
Germany, the 2014 World Cup champion, and Chile, the 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa Centenario ...
U.S. Abroad: European season starts early    
The new European season starts early for three Americans who will be competing in the Europa ...
MLS Closeup: Vieira aims to change NYC Derby fortunes    
New York City FC is above the Red Bulls in the standings this season but decidedly ...
MLS Today: Orlando City earns point on last touch of game    
Scott Sutter's first MLS goal on the last touch of the game gave Orlando City a ...
What They're Saying: Tyler Adams    
"Having the opportunity to walk across that stage with all the friends that I started elementary ...
What They're Saying: Juan Carlos Osorio    
"Evidently I went too far, specifically with one of their assistants. We always understood and respected ...
Video Pick: Portugal's Bruma booms a brilliant volley    
Portugal struck only once in its 3-1 loss to Spain at the U-21 European Championship but ...
MLS Today: Hansen sidelined after hernia surgery    
Columbus rookie midfielder Niko Hansen underwent hernia surgery and is expected to be sidelined for Crew ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives