Columbus Crew stadium has a capacity of 22,500 however only 7,059 showed up for the double header of this group. In contrast in 2005 22,529 showed up for game 2 in Miami, Fla. and all 3 games were played there. This figure in Columbus is about 1/3 of the last Gold Cup .El Salvador fans again outnumbered all the fans of the 4 teams. The last game will be played in Miami so we will see if it location or just the fact that this Gold Cup is not as important or interesting as the 2007 version.
Again Canada surprised me. They are now 2-0. Ali Gerba the future Toronto FC player now has winning goals in both games he has played. Much credit should go to the coach from Trinidad and Tobago - Stephen Hart. Hart was the coach who coached them to the very successful 2007 Gold Cup semi-final. His style is to keep the ball away from the opponent as much as possible to limit their chances. His team is physically bigger and stronger than most Central and Caribbean teams. His team is not as tactically gifted with creativity however they are tactically organized and hard to break down. The again won 1:0 against El Salvador and now sit atop group A.
Central American power Costa Rica only scraped by with a 1:0 victory against Caribbean Champion Jamaica to stay alive. I say scrapped by since Jamaica went down a man in the first half with a red card. Remember A3 (possibly Costa Rica) could play B1 winner (USA) in the opening quarterfinal. That would be a great quarterfinal to see. Costa Rica will have to score against the stingy Canuck defense to overtake El Salvador for the coveted 2nd place.
Jamaica, loaded with quality players, looks like they will bow out of this tournament with a whimper. I had high hopes for this star studded team that looked to be the first team not from North America region to win the Gold Cup. The Reggae Boyz will hear it from their fans who have called them Raggae Toyz in the past for sub par performances. Jamaica will be playing for respect and respect is what this team needs now.
El Salvador will want to avoid 3rd place or even elimination if they lost their last game. They will want a good performance heading into the final Hex qualifying later this year. If the Cuscatlecos lose to Jamaica they could be endanger of not even advancing after their historic win over Costa Rica. So it seems all the games in group once again have been the most interesting to me
The 2nd round games were played at RFK Stadium in the nations Capitol. The capitol was picked as one of the venues because 2 main factors. There is a good MLS fans base for D.C United and many are of Latin American decent. The playing surface is a nice grass field which makes for a good game. Players prefer the grass field much more than artificial turf. Attendance was 26,079 and that is very comparable to 2007 Gold Cup Group B 2nd game (25,000) in Carson Cal. Most fans again were wearing Honduras White and Blue stripes. However the ratio was better for the Yanks at about 60-40 in Honduras favor. This is a good sign for the USA support.
The game to determine the group winner was very even game until the Yanks scored late in the second 1/2. The Yanks will take to top spot and play the least ranked opponent from Group A3 or Group C3. The Yanks did well once they inserted 2 Confederations Cup participants in Davies and Feilharber. These 2 change the dynamic of the game into the Yanks favor. The Yanks won 2:0 and have not yet been scored on. The yanks are the clear favorite now. Yes the yanks are playing their B team but other teams like Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico are resting many of their top players too.
Honduras should take 2nd place after they play lowly Grenada in the last game at Gillette Stadium. Presently Honduras would face Guadeloupe in the quarterfinal. That would be a great game after Honduras lost to Guadeloupe in the 2007 Cup 2:1.
Haitian fans now have hope. They were the Reigning Caribbean Champions from 2007 Cup. They were place in the Final round in the 2009 Caribbean Cup with Cuba, Guadeloupe and Antigua and Barbuda. They only got to play 3 games and were bounced out in Kingston. Other Caribbean teams had been playing for some time in the opening rounds and were much more fluid. With the Yanks already assured a quarterfinal birth they may send in everyone who has not played. This is good news for les Grenadiers who hope to get stronger and more cohesive as the tournament progresses. I win here could boost their confidence and we could have the Cinderella story.
Group C review will be added after tonights games...