Sunday, June 22, 2008

Even dozen

Despite Trinidad's best efforts to collapse, form pretty much held during this most recent round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The U.S. and Mexico each went through rather easily as expected while Honduras, Guatemala and Canada surged to blowout victories as well.

The only "surprises" possibly were Panama losing to El Salvador and Guyana losing to Suriname, but that's like being surprised that the rotten eggs smelled worse than the spoiled milk.

Here's the semifinal qualifying groups as they stand:

Group A
United States
Trinidad & Tobago

Group B

Group C
Costa Rica
El Salvador

It looks like the team everyone will take turns beating up in next year's Hex will come from Group C. Costa Rica should get through, and so will either El Salvador, Haiti or Suriname. Probably either El Salvador or Haiti will go through.

Group B is the toughest. Conventional wisdom says Mexico will get through but some suggest that Mexico could struggle. It's hard to imagine Mexico not reaching the Hex, no matter how tough the group seems to be. Mexico is virtually unbeatable at home in qualifying, so short of Mexico dropping a home game El Tri will probably get through.

Yes, the U.S. has some tough opponents. Well, not really actually. Guatemala did not score in two games against the US last time around. Trinidad nearly pulled off a surprise against the US in the opener last time around but the Americans still won. The only intrigue will be when the US goes to Cuba, but that's mostly for political purposes. That story may actually get picked up by the mainstream press, not the mainstream sports press but the mainstream press in general.

Early, early predictions for the Hex...

United States, Guatemala, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Haiti.


CACuzcatlan said...

El Salvador is still alive!!!!!!!!!!!!

I checked the score earlier when they were down 1-0 and I was convinced they were done. It wasn't until I saw this post that I found out they won!

L.B. said...

Congrats! You've got a shot to see them in the Hex. Only gotta best Haiti and Suriname. You like your chances?

CACuzcatlan said...

Yeah, I think we can get to the Hex, but I don't see South Africa in our future.

Anonymous said...

Hell yea!!!! El Salvador baby!! What a game and what a way to win it with only a few minutes left to play! I'm sure El Salvador will qualify the way they are playing right now. El Salvador & USA all the way!

Anonymous said...

Suriname is actually an interesting case because a lot of great players that have played for the Netherlands are from Suriname like Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. And there are a lot of young Surinamese players playing in the Eredivisie, but aim to represent the Netherlands and not Suriname. Now if Suriname can actually get these players to play for them, they might actually be a force in CONCACAF.

The Hammer said...

US, T&T, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Haiti

Almost the same prediction, but I like T&T's improvements over the years.

Anonymous said...

Hey Luis, could you write a story and/or question US Soccer about whether US fans will be allowed to follow the team down to Cuba. There are a bunch of people interested in going.

Anonymous said...

i've said before, i'll say it again -- mexico will have a tough time getting through. the hugo sanchez hangover will start to pay off right about this point.

saludos, d

Anonymous said...

Who are the incompetent leaders of CONCACAF?

I feel sorry for the nations of Group B. Clearly they got the short end. All 4 national teams are further along than say Suriname, and Haiti. All 4 have made the World Cup before and have a realistic chance to qualify again.

No disrespect to Haiti and Suriname. Yet, 2 pretty good Group B squads won't make the hex.

Our region is enormous and weighted down with adverse travel, distances. So, why isn't Suriname in CONMEBOL?

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