Thursday, June 11, 2009

Costa Rica on Top

Costa Rica sits proudly atop the Final Hexagon standings. This is a little vindication for all the Tico fans who beleive this is their rightful spot. Many complain that the regional Championship is played in the States giving the Yanks a huge advantage. When Mexico co-hosted the Championship was in Mexico City....huge advantage for Mexico.

There is no such advantage in the HEX and Costa Rica is standing tall. Costa Rica dismantled the Yanks at Saprissa and beat Honduras the next closest team at home. Their only loss was in Mexico City. They were the first and only team to get 3 points on the road in the final stages. They seem to be getting stronger as they go. They are confident and rightly so. Costa Rica can start looking at hotels in South Africa now.

The yanks are sitting comfortably in second place with 10 points but all is not well. They open with a confident win over archrival Mexico in Columbus. Then they found themselves down 2-0 late in San Salvador. They did rally back to get a point on the road but their confidence was tested. Jose Altidore had his coming out party scoring all 3 goals against an overwhelmed Trinidad team in Tennessee to restore some pride. This is when the wheels fell off. Bradley opened with a 4-3-3 attack in Costa Rica. This left the middle to be exploited. Costa Rica dominated with crisp passing and aggressive attack. The Yanks had no cohesion in the middle and the defensive backs looked mighty vulnerable. Every part of their game looked bad. The Yanks did score a 2-1 come from behind victory over guest Honduras but the game is not flowing at all for the Yanks. No one has replaced Cladio Reyna as a middle man to connect the defense to the attack. Bradley relies on defense first but there is no one to slow the game down. They should place in the top 3 even with games left in Mexico and Honduras. They have El Sal at home and Costa Rica last game at home. Costa Rica should be in already.

Honduras is happy to be in third place but feel they should have more points. They played a great game against the Yanks in Chicago. The Honduras fans outnumbered the Yanks fans 4 to 1 at Soldiers Field. The crowd erupted when Carlos Costly fired a shot past Howard in the first half. Honduras did squander the lead but looked better than the yanks in the run of play. Honduras then beat upstart El Salvador the last game in Tegucigalpa. Honduras looks big and powerful up front with Carlo Costly and Carlos Pavon. Their midfield is active, accurate and tactically sound w/ veteran Guevara (Toronto FC) controlling the middle. Their chances look good w/ Home games against 2 top 2 teams at home. I think the CONCACAF game of the year will be Honduras at Mexico Sept 9th. This game should decide the 3 rd guaranteed spot.

Mexico is reeling right now. They use to be the unquestioned power in CONCACAF. They presently sit in 4th place in the Final Hex stages that are already ½ way over. Their confidence is shaken and now everyone in CONCACAF wants a chance to beat the once mighty giant. I believe Mexico needs this break and the upcoming Gold Cup to regain its confidence. They will open against the Yanks at the Aztec. Horns will be blowing the entire game. I see a solid Mexico victory here. They Yanks will not be as desperate and Mexico will control the middle. Mexico will then have the big battle in Costa Rica. This will be a very physical game and I pity the ref. Costa Rica might be on cruise control if they beat Honduras the game before or they could go all out and get stupid penalties and cry like they usually do when a call go against them. This is Mexico’s pivot game. Mexico will then play Honduras at home and seek victories against Trinidad and Tobago and El Sal on the road. So the back 9 looks good for El Tri. It would be a shame not to have them represent CONCACAF in the World Cup.

El Salvador believes in their team and I am starting to believe in them. They got a good call (hand ball in box) against Mexico to secure the victory to keep in striking distance of the first 4 spots in CONCACAF. El Salvador seemed to come out of no where. They beat Panama in the early rounds and I thought Panama just choked and the very wet pitch the games were played on. Then they got through the semi with (Costa Rica, Haiti and Suriname). What surprised me was they were unlucky to get a tie against the Yanks. They should have won. They did not fall apart after this game. They went toe to toe with Costa Rica only to concede a goal in the 69 minute. They almost got a point here at the formidable Saprissa. They pulled themselves back together and beat Might Mexico. They remaining schedule is difficult. They have to travel to USA, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago. They have Costa Rica and Honduras at home. They know they can play with the big boys. If they can get a difficult 3 points at Trinidad and a point against the Yanks in the second half we could see celebration throughout El Salvador.

Trinidad and Tobago = toast.


Anonymous said...

You...are an idiot. Eat shit and die.

Anonymous said...

Hay LaGrange............... please keep the simpletons off the board!