Commentary

USA faces tough road to Brazil but draw delivers good omen

How can you describe as tough a draw that only determines when and where you play, not whom do you play?

Well, FIFA conducted the Hexagonal draw Wednesday night in Miami, Beach, Fla., and the United States will open against Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico -- the three teams in the six-team qualifying group that have played in the World Cup in the last two finals -- as well as open and close on the road.

The USA, which is seeking to reach the World Cup finals for the seventh straight time, will open the final round of World Cup 2014 qualifying in the Concacaf zone Feb. 6 at Honduras, where it clinched its berth at the 2010 World Cup with a 3-2 win.

Jurgen Klinsmann's team will also play Costa Rica and Mexico in back-to-back games. It will host the Ticos on March 22 and then travel to Mexico, where it has never won a qualifier, four days later.

The only team that might have a tougher draw is Costa Rica, which opens at Panama and the USA and then finishes up against Mexico at home.

If the USA is looking for a good omen, its home matches against Mexico and Jamaica will take place in the same months that it beat them at home to clinch its berth in the 2006 World Cup and 2002 World Cup, respectively.

The U.S. draw:
Feb. 6: at Honduras
March 22: vs. Costa Rica
March 26: at Mexico
June 7: at Jamaica
June 11: vs. Panama
June 18: vs. Honduras
Sept. 6: at Costa Rica
Sept. 10: vs. Mexico
Oct. 11: vs. Jamaica
Oct. 15: at Panama


2 comments about "USA faces tough road to Brazil but draw delivers good omen".
  1. Chris Sapien , November 8, 2012 at 1:34 p.m.

    Well, not sure why Mr. Kennedy refers to the U.S. schedule as possbily the second most difficult? We are the only nation that plays four of the final six matches at home, the final two against nations who haven't been to the WC final the last two go arounds. Seems other than the preference that some have to play mexico at home during colder months, I find it hard to complain. You still have to play your best and improve throughout the qualifiers to make Brazil.

  2. Thomas Fouce, November 8, 2012 at 5:08 p.m.

    I don't understand the premise of the article either. It's a hexagonal - everybody plays everybody else, home & home. So? How is anyone's schedule any easier or harder than another. Every team plays each of the other five teams twice each. Am I missing something? The only thing difficult about the USA's "road to the World Cup" is our terrible defense.

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