Sunday, August 21, 2005

US Moves a Little Closer to Germany

Not geographically, of course, but in terms of qualifying for next summer's World Cup in Germany. Last Wednesday, the US topped the Soca Warriors of Trinidad & Tobago 1-0. However, the scoreline doesn't reflect how well the US dominated play as they outshot T&T 18-1.

You can see the goal here. Follow the link and then click on "Post-Game all_access video" about a quarter of the way down the page.

This win gives the US 15 points after six games (5-1-0). There are four more games to go but it's almost impossible for the US to not qualify at this point.

The next match is Sept. 3 against Mexico in Columbus. Normally, this would be a crucial match on the qualifying schedule but since both teams are doing so well and virtually guaranteed to qualify for Germany, the match loses a little juice. It's still a great rivalry and the bragging rights are vital but losing won't hurt either team's chance of qualifying.

The blog, 'i will have the penne all'arrabbiata', tipped me off to a nice article discussing how well the US is doing during this qualifying cycle and how far the program has come. I agree with the article. It's not just that we are winning our matches, it's how we are winning. In 2001, the US started with four wins in their first five games but some of the wins were squeekers with the US getting some lucky breaks. This time the US is clearly outplaying the other teams in the hexagonal. I don't know if this success will translate into a good performance in the World Cup since so much depends on the the teams you draw in the first round but it'll be fun to watch.

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