Saturday, December 24, 2011

USA U-23 coach Porter will try to mold the youngsters for the senior team

Celeb Porter (Akron coach) will guide the U-23 USA team for the March Tournament

U-23 CONCACAF Championship

This Championship will take place in the States again. Group A (USA, Canada, El Salvador and Cuba) will play in Tennessee. Group B will play at the Home Depot Center (Mexico, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago). Only the top 2 teams will quality for the Olympics. The final will be in the beautiful Livestrong Stadium in Kansas City.

The USA is taking the U-23 Championship very serious. There is a new coach who was just hires in October. Akron head coach Caleb Porter is the new U-23 USA head coach. He was picked because of the program he created at Akron University. Porter has proven he can work with and mold this age group. Porter will also work closely with USA head coach  Jurgen Klinsmann to get players ready for the senior team. Klinsmann has already announced that he has a list of players at each position. This list is always changing the debt of each position. Klinsmann has stated that he expects 6 to 7 players from the U-23 team to make the USA World Cup roster in 2014. There are 2 U-23 players in Breck Shea and Agudelo who have played regularly for the senior team. I believe Klinsmann will want these experienced players participating in the qualifying and Olympics. This age group will soon be taking over for the senior players at one time or another. These experienced players will help the younger players and they will be building continuity with each other once they graduate to the senior team.

The tournament is in March and the January camp is already finished. Porter will have another camp in February. Then Porter will play a few friendlies against Central American clubs in March to get his team in top form before the qualifying games in March. “While time isn’t on their side, Porter said he’s explained the next steps to the group and is planning on holding a few more camps prior to the March qualification tournament.

“The next camp, we’ll start to hone in on a little bit more on the pool, but it doesn’t mean if we don’t invite a guy to the next camp that he’s out of the mix,” Porter said. “That’s certainly one of the things we’ll tell the guys. Everybody needs to be ready, everybody needs to continue to work hard, we’re going to continue to watch and monitor all the players with their clubs.”

That next camp is tentatively scheduled to start the second week of January in Los Angeles and will last 10 days. At the end of that stretch, a trip to Central America is in the works to play a pair of friendlies as the preparations for March continue.”

It is rumored to have the U-23 team play the top clubs in Costa Rica, being Saprissa and Alajuelense and a third club unknown at this time. These games will really get the lads good playing time in a real competitive match. This U-23 team will be well prepared for this qualifying tournament that they are hosting.

Remember Honduras beat the yanks in the States 4 years ago to win the U-23 Championship. I do not have to mention what a thorn in the side Mexico has been to the USA at all international levels. My yanks will be facing one of these formidable teams in the semi-finals.

Friday, December 23, 2011

CONCACAF v Asia Football Confederation AFC

          How about a new tournament! I love the Gold Cup but the competition with in CONCACAF is lacking. The USA and Mexico always seem to make the final. The USA plays on the home fields which gives them a huge boost. Mexico has almost 3 times the number of fans in the states than any other country. This support gives Mexico a really boost. I think the USA and Mexico need another tournament to compete in besides the Gold Cup. The World Cup action is great but it is only every 4 years. The Gold Cup needs a change. Looking back the USA hosted the 7 US Cups. These Cups had 4 very competitive teams. This tournament brought in famous European National teams like Italy, England, Germany and Brazil. I think it is time to bring these famous national back to the states. Since the FIFA is such a corrupt organization the USA will not be hosting in 2014, 2018 nor 2022. We can not let FIFA be in charge of the future of soccer in the states.

Here is my idea to create an exciting tournament in the states. I think the Gold Cup should be every 4 years. So the year after the Gold Cup or 2 years ofter the Gold Cup the states can host a tournament. I would like to see a 16 nation tournament. A tournament that will have 4 groups of 4 teams. This will put more emphasis on the group games. The top 2 teams can advance to the knockout round.

My first idea was to have a CONCACAF vs. Asian Football federation. The top 8 ranked nations from each group. The top seed and bottom seed from each group would play the

How about CONCACAF vs. Asia Football Confederation AFC? I was thinking of that the top seed of each CONFEDERATION would be paired with the lowest and they would play the 4th and 5th from the other Federation. Here is what the groups could look like.

Group A     Mexico, Iran, China, Canada

Group B    Australia, Honduras, Jamaica, Iraq

Group C    Japan, Panama, Costa Rica, Jordan

Group D    USA, Korean Republic, Uzbekistan, El Salvador

I think a tournament like this would create more interest than the other Gold Cup. You know the Gold Cup, that the yanks send their B team to. The Gold Cup that does not qualify the winner to the Confederations Cup. In four year stime CONCACAF could schedule the top 8 African nations. OR even a combination of European of Confederations. Since there will not be a World Cup US soccer has to do something to create interest. I mean big interest. Something to look forward to......What do you think?

Friday, December 2, 2011

CONCACAF Second round review Group E

CONCACAF second Round Group E. Guatemala dominated and advanced to the semi-finals.

Guatemala's celebrates their return to the semi-finals
This was Guatemala’s group from the beginning. Guatemala was the big Central American country (population of close to 13 Million.) Guatemala has the well established Liga Nacional de Fútbol de Guatemala. Guatemala competes with the very competitive national teams in Central America. They played the top national team in the group (Grenada) in the Gold Cup and beat them convincible 4-0. Guatemala scored 19 goals for and only let in 3. Close to 24,000 fans came out in Guatemala every game. Guatemala has a very competitive team going into the semi-finals. They will be grouped with regional power USA, Caribbean Champion Jamaica and new comer Antigua and Barbuda. Since the top 2 team advance the Jamaica vs. Guatemala games should be the most interesting.  ..

               Belize is trying to get it Federation, its domestic league and its act together. FIFA’s goal project gave Belize a small but beautiful national stadium where they could host World Cup Qualifying matches. Belize not only earner more points that higher ranked Saint Vinny’s twice but also beat Grenada 3-0 in Grenada. Belize was the biggest surprise in this group. Belize’s play also reinforces the belief that Central American nations are much more competitive that the Caribbean national teams. Belize’s next national games will be the Central American Cup 2013. They are over due to host this regional tournament.

          Saint Vincent and the Grenadines only had 1 win. They wound up in 3rd place …ahead of Grenada.

         Grenada.....The Gold cup darlings flopped in this World Cup Qualifying tournament. They were the biggest disappointment since they were the top ranked nation in the group and failed miserable and wound up in last place.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CONCACAF Pre Olympic Tournament

Livestrong Sporting Field in KC is the newest SSS venue in the States.

March 22- April 2nd 2012

The Olympics are held every 4 years, so the CONCACAF Pre-Olympic tournament is held every 4 years. The USA has hosted 3 of the last 5 tournaments. Mexico has hosted twice. Before this the tournament was a home/away format. I am assuming the home/away got very expensive for each federation to fly their team to play. Also CONCACAF officials wanted to have a tournament to crown a champion to promote the sport. I think this was an excellent idea.

It is my belief that the tournament was granted to the USA for 2 reasons. Money and attendance. First and foremost is about money. Just like the Gold Cup has proven there is no other country in CONCACAF or the World for that matter that could get the crowds that the states does. Why you ask, because there are many CONCACAF immigrants who are scattered throughout the states. These immigrants would like non other to go out and support their home country. Last tournament was in 2008 played in the states. There was about 5,000 in the Florida Venue but there was about 15,000 at the Home Depot Center. The semi-final and final was a paltry 13,201 and final 12,663. The group venues were the Home Depot Center, in California and Raymond James Stadium in Fla. The finals were in LP Field in Nashville Tennessee.

The venues for the 2012 tournament are again the Home Depot Center and LP Field in Nashville Tennessee. The Home Depot Center has the location and is the biggest SSS in the states. The Home Depot center also is located close enough to LA to always turn out good crowds. LP Field in Tennessee was again pick and I do not know why. It is a giant American football stadium with capacity of 69,000. The crowd will only be about 13 to 17k. This is not a good venue to play.

The final will be at MLS newest Venue in Kansas City, Livestrong Sporting Park. Livestron Spoting Park is an excellent venue for this tournament semi and finals. It is a state of the art facility and all the teams will be happy with the amenities here. Kansas City also wants to promote the sport for their MLS team. The capacity of 19,000 is perfect for this final.

Livestrong Sporting Park capaciy is 18,467 which will be perfect for the
U-23 Championship. The bvenue is intimate and should be lively
The USA, Canada and Mexico got automatic bids to the final which is a bit unfair to the rest of CONCACAF. 3 nations from Central America will participate. The surprise here is Panama knocked out Costa Rica for the final Central American spot. The Caribbean will place Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago to round out the 8 finalists. Jamaica had a surprise exit when they tied Suriname on points with 7 in the group stage. Suriname tied Jamaica in the 90 minute on a penalty. This allowed Suriname to advance over Jamaica. Haiti and Antigua and Barbuda were both knocked out by host Saint Kitts and Nevis. Those were the Caribbean surprises.

Group A -Nashville, Tennesse, at LP Field

                USA, Canada, Cuba and El Salvador

Group B- Home Depot Center, Carson Ca.
         Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago

Sunday, November 27, 2011

MLS soccer is growing

Portland Timbers fans had an average of 18,827 in their first year of MLS play. This stadium is not new but refurbished in the middle of downtown Portland. It is a great location with great fans.
This is a well written article about the growth of MLS attendance. The article states that MLS has over taken the hockey NHL and basketball NBA in the states. Well stats do not lie but these stats are a little skewed. Looking at wikipedia attendance we can see that Seattle and LA have averages of 38,496 and 23,335 raise the average of the league. There are 11 out of 18 clubs below the average. My lowely New England Revolution are a pathetic 13,222....well below the MLS, NBA and NHL average.
    That being said I have to say the MLS is still growing. The soccer specific stadiums are important but it is also important where the stadium is built. Chicago, Columbus, RSL have new sss but do not sell out. Seattle play in a American football stadium and have the best attendance. It seems to be more important where the stadium is built as opposed to a new soccer specific stadium.

Ok enought will being a pessamist. MLS has 184 international players. Many from out CONCACAF countries. MLS is a nice goals for many players in our region.

Friday, November 25, 2011

        Panama was the top team going in and the Canaleros did not disappoint their fans. Panama has been on an upswing since 2005 when they made the Gold Cup final. Panama’s only close game was away in Nicaragua. Panama scored 15 goals for and only let in 2. One of the goals was on own goal. Panama is poised to make a good run in the Semi-finals. They will be grouped with regional rival Honduras, Cuba and group D Champion Canada. This semi-final group should be the tightest contested with all 4 teams.

Nicaragua was the last place team in Pot 3 however they beat Dominica (Pot 2) twice in this World Cup qualifying cycle. I believe they would have beaten Bahamas twice also to treat their growing fans base in Managua. Nicaragua play Panama to a 1-2 loss in Managua. 10,500 fans showed for this game which was a great crowd. Only 2,000 showed for the Dominica game after Nicaragua was already out of the competition. Nicaragua is growing slowly. Their next chance to prove themselves will be the Central American Cup in 2012. They quite possibly could host this event.

Dominica was a big disappointment. They were ranked much higher than Nicaragua but were exposed in this qualifying cycle. Dominica lost all 4 games and did not score a goal.

Bahamas was an embarrassment not only to themselves but to CONCACAF also.

     Canada was the team to beat and they proved that by averaging 3 goals a game and only letting in 1. They played with poise and they also got points when they were not on their game. The Canucks have been complaining for years about the lack of commitment the federation showed the team over the years. The team could not get together and play because of the lack of funds. Canada would always have good players but would lost in World Cup Qualifying and Gold Cup since they did not prepare like the USA and Mexico could. Well now Canada has 6 games in 2011 and they will have 6 games in 2012 to get a cohesive team together. They have MLS MVP in DeRosario. They are also in a semi-final group that does not have USA or Mexico. Canada will face Honduras, Panama and Cuba. F their was a year for Canada to make the Hex this is the year.

       I have been waiting since 2007 for Puerto Rico to emerge in the Caribbean. This World Cup cycle was good for this island. They placed 2nd ahead of both Saint Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia. The Blue Hurricanes only lost 1 game to Canada but is was a home game. Puerto Rico started to put things together as the tournament went along. Their top scorer was 6’1” Hector Ramos with 4 goals. He now plays for the Puerto Rico Islanders. He is only 21 but he developed his skills in the Puerto Rico soccer league. Puerto Rico is coached by Costa Rican Jeaustin Campos and he was hired for the long term gain for the sport. Campos has a young team and they should make some noise in the Caribbean Cup 2013.

Saint Kitts an Nevis only has about 52,000 in it’s population but they seem to produce a quality team for their size. They too only lost 1 game. They are presently looking to host the Caribbean Cup 2013.

Saint Lucia did not win but kept pace in this group.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Where is the Central American Cup 2013 be played?

        Central America has been quite good about hosting the Central American Cup. 5 out of the 7 countries have hosted multiple times. Honduras has hosted 3 times which is the most. Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama and El Salvador have each hosted twice. Belize and Nicaragua have never hosted. Belize and Nicaragua never hosted sine there was not much interest, their national teams stunk and they did not have adequate facilities. Presently Belize and Nicaragua field a competitive team. I do not believe they could make a serious run at the final even if they hosted.

           The question is where will this tournament be hosted. I believe it will be between Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Belize. The last Central American Cup was played in the same year as the Gold Cup 2011. I believe the tournament will agains be played in January of 2013 this time. This is a good time for this region to play. It will get their prospective teams together right before the important Gold Cup.

Costa Rica has the newest and nicest stadium in Central America.
Costa has not hosted in over 13 years. they are due to host!

      Costa Rica would love to host this regional event. The have not won this event since 1999. They have great fans, they have one of the top teams in the CONCACAF region and they presently have a new national stadium that is the gem of Central American stadiums. This stadium is the show peice in Central America for football and it would be the show piece for this tournamnet. Costa Rica is ready and capable to host the best CA tournament to date. Costa Rica has been in the Championship game 10 of the 11 tournaments. this just shows how consistently good this national team has been.

Could Nicaragua host the Central American Cup for the First time.
Will they have seats for the fans?

        Nicaragua also has a new national stadium in Managua. They did have a good turn out for one of their World Cup qualifiers. Over 10,000 turned out for Panama's game. Only 2,000 turned out for Dominica game. Nicaragua  is not as good as the other nations. If Nicaragua loses it's first few games and des not even make the knockout rounds, there may be no one in the stadium. This is the big problem hosting in Nicaragua. The nationsl stadium is new however it is not that nice of a stadium. All other CA countried have nicver stadiums than Nicaragua.

Belize has never hosted the tournament and are due to host. Belize is the same boat as Nicaragua with less of a chance. There is less of a population, there is less interest in Belize, the infra structure is not as good and  Belize has a smaller stadium. couple all that with Belize is probably the worst team in Central America.
You guess is as good as mind but these are my 3 leaders..

2013     -----------
2011       Panama
2009       Honduras
2007       El Salvador
2005       Guatemala
2003       Panama
2001       Honduras
1999       Costa Rica
1997       Guatemala
1995       El Salvador
1993       Honduras
1991       Costa Rica

 *corection on year 2013 not 20112 update 11-25-2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Group B review

    This group was the tightest contested group with 3 nations vying for the top spot. Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Bermuda all fielded competitive clubs. Guyana, the tiny nation from South America was the team that came out on top. They beat Trinidad & Tobago when they had to. 18,000 spectators turned out for this match against T&T Nov 11th in Providence Stadium in Guyana. This also was the highest attended game in the group. This win propelled Guyana into the semi-finals. Guyana will now face tougher competition in Mexico, Costa Rica and Group A Champion El Salvador. The road does not get easier but all the Guyana fans are thrilled to be moving on.

Trinidad & Tobago has been the Caribbean pace setter for over a decade. This tiny country of about 1 Million was a great disappointment to their fans but not to me. I thought they played well and only missed out on advancing. This was a very difficult group and T&T only missed out by 1 point. I think once Jack Warner issues settle T&T will be back to it old self playing for the Caribbean championship and displaying quality football we have been accustom from the red and black.

Bermuda played well in the last World Cup Qualifying so there was no reason to think they would not be worse this time around. This qualifying campaign we got to see how they performed over 6 games. I have to say they performed well to keep pace with Guyana and T&T.

Barbados did not win any games. They only scored 2 goals. They need a lot of work to compete in the Caribbean.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CONCACAF Round 2 review

I referred to this group as El Salvador’s group because they were the team to beat. They won every game and dominated in the stats category. They scored the most goals with 20 and let in the least (5). There was never a question as to who the best team in this group was. El Salvador will advance to Round 3 in a formidable group which will have regional rival Costa Rica, CONCACAF power Mexico and newcomer Guyana.

The other nations we will not see until the next Caribbean Cup in 2012. The second place finisher was a surprise here. The Dominican Republic had quite a successful World Cup Qualifying campaign. They had to play in round 1 against Anguilla. The won is easy fashion 2-0 and 4-0. The Dominican Republic was then the last seed in this group. They were supposed to finish last, however this nation took a giant leap forward. They only lost 2 games and they were to El Salvador. Both games were 1 goal games. The Dominican Republic also scored 12 goals and let in 8, leaving them with a +4 goal differential. They also shot up the FIFA ranking are are presently the 18th ranked CONCACAF nation, outpacing Bermuda, Belize, Nicaragua and rival Puerto Rico.
Suriname had a chance to advance in their last 2 games. The problem was they had to beat El Salvador. Suriname play as I expected and wound up in 3rd.

The Cayman Islands did not embarrass themselves. They played competitive the whole tournament. This tiny island has been encouraged and now they are interested in hosting the next Caribbean Cup 2012.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Round 2 November games

Round 2 We can look at the 6 groups this way. 2 groups are already settled.2 groups are almost wrapped up and 2 groups are up for grabs.

Alreadey settled
Well we know Group C was also win by Panama, Group E is also settles with Guatemala going through. There 2 groups that just have to be played outr are Group A and Group D.

Almost Wrapped up
Group A
 has El Salvador just needing a tie against a home/away series with Suriname to win the group and advance. Suriname needs 2 wins to advance which is just to much for them. I see El Salvador winning and moving on. Group D
Canada Canada plays in a home/away against St Kitts. Canada only needs a tie to advance. St Kitts not only need to win each game but also have to score 12 goals and shut out Canada to advance. Canada’s womans national team could get this job done. Canada advances.

Groups up for grabs
Group B
Trinidad and Tobago is in a dog fight with Guyana with Guyana holding the advantage. Guyana has 10 points and T&T 9. There is a home/away series between these 2 national teams. The first game will be played in Guyana then back to Port of Spain, T&T Nov 15th. Guyana could wrap this up with a victory at home.
Group F
A&B lead this group with 12 points to 10 points for Haiti. Haiti ties Curacao. The first game is in A&B then they travel back to Haiti Nov 15th. A&B will advance with a win in either Home/away games. A&B could even tie and lose to Haiti and still advance with superior Goal differential. A&B have 6 more goals than Haiti. So Haiti can advance with 2 wins or a tie and a win by more than 6 goals….which is asking way to much. All eyes will be looking at group B & F

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Round 2 Update

Group A  El Salvador’s Group

Let me start with Group A or El Salvador’s group. El Salvador has won all their games and has a comfortable lead with 12 points. Not only has El Salvador dominated on the field but they have also dominated with fan participation. El Salvador has turned out 25,272 and 17,570. The problem is the last 2 games are against the second place team, Suriname. Suriname has 7 points and could win the group with 2 victories against El Salvador. This is great news since there is still a question as to who will advance from this group.
               Dominican Republic will not advance. They had an opportunity to win at home against El Salvador but lost in the 67 minute from a strike by Blanco (El Salvador). The Dominican Republic has been getting better as this qualifying tournament has progressed. The Dominican Republic won their first game against Suriname and that game was in South America. This was a big accomplishment for this growing Caribbean nation. The last 2 games are against lowly Cayman Islands. It is too bad the Dominican Republic did not open with the Cayman Islands to get some momentum. The best the Dominican can do is win their last 2 games and could quite possibly pass Suriname in the standings.

Group B      The Caribbean group

Like we stated at the beginning this group would be determined in the last 2 games against Guyana and T&T and we were right. The surprise is that Guyana leads the group with 10 points at this time. The South American nation has not lost a game yet. Their only blemish was a 1-1 tie to Bermuda in Bermuda. The big clash will be Nov 11th and 15th when Guyana meets Trinidad and Tobago to see who goes through the round 3.Another surprise was the steady and consistent play from Bermuda. Bermuda has tied Guyana 1-1 and beat T&T in it last 2 games. However even if Bermuda sweeps Barbados in the last 2 game it will not be enough to see them through. Barbados has not scored yet.

Group C           Panama’s through!

This was Panama group until The Bahamas dropped out. We all assumed Panama was the strongest nation in the Second round. However the story was Bahamas dropping out of the tournament. The Chinese government built a beautiful new national stadium to could host these games. However the lack of responsibility, professionalism and commonsense was lacking in the Bahamas. The government could not finish the project which were minor details compared to the entire project. Panama has already won this group. Panama is the first nations to advance from Round 2. They will be place with Honduras, Cuba and the winner of Canada’s group. This will be a great group to watch. Nicaragua is in second place with 2 points. Nicaragua first home game had 10,846 spectators. This was a record for Nicaragua. We will see how many show against Dominica Nov 15th with no chance to advance. The Dominica was overrated going in and were exposed in this qualifying process.

Group D          Canada’s Group

Well Canada has a comfortable lead with 10 points to 6 points for St Kitts. Canada should wrap this group up in the next game against St Kitts. Canada will then be placed in the Semi-final group w/ Honduras, Cuba, Panama and Canada. Canada is benefiting greatly with this Round 2 qualification. This qualification allowed team Canada to play together to form a bond and cohesive play. Canada always had good players but the “team” game was lacking. Never before did Canada have this benefit and the Canucks will be formidable in the next round.
Puerto Rico has had the surprise result so far, they tied Canada in Canada 0-0. I still believe that Puerto Rico will be the 2nd place team in this group. Hopefully this will have a positive light on soccer in this small country of close to 4 Million people. Puerto Rico will play cellar dweller St Lucia in the last 2 games.

Group E          Guatemala Dominates

This group started as Guatemala’s group and Guatemala has dominated so far. Guatemala has a perfect record 4-0. Guatemala has also had 21 thousand at it second home game. They are by far at the top in attendance in Round 2. While the Caribbean have a few thousand fans Guatemala and El Salvador bring in over 20k per game. Belize has 2 games left against lowly St Vincent’s. The Central American nations can now justify why they are allotted 5 spots in the Gold Cup and the Caribbean only 4. Grenada was the highest ranked team in this group and so far has been a disappointment. Grenada finishes with 2 games against Guatemala. This is their last chance to justify their high rank or we could see them tumble in the FIFA ranking.

Group F         The November clash (A&B or T&T)

This group was made up entirely of Caribbean nations. I picked Antigua and Barbuda as the upset of the groups. (not a far stretch) Presently they lead the group w/ 12 points. Haiti is a close second with 10 points. These 2 team will meet Nov 11th and Nov 15th. This group should go down to the last game in Port-au-Prince. Haiti attendance had 12,000 and 7,800 for their 2 home games. They have the highest attendance of any Caribbean nation.
This clash in November will feature leading scores in the region. Peter Byers (A&B)has a whopping 8 goals. His teammates Tamarley Thomas has 5 goals and Randolph Burton has 4 goals. Haiti will counter with Jean-Eudes Maurice who has tallied 5 goals. I am hoping Haiti can overcome the 2 point defecit and advance to the semi-finals.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rond 2

This is a nice article about CONCACAF second round.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Round 2 attendance

CONCACAF Round 2 attendance

The first games of round 2 are in the books. What mostly interests me is the “interest” of other fans. I was thinking before these games started that El Salvador and Guatemala would have good fan participation and they both came through will flying colors. Canada, Belize, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic were all disappointments to me. Haiti and Nicaragua both had great turn outs.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Group D Canada, Puerto Rico, St Kitts, St Lucia

   Canada looked like the superior team and they won at home

It sounded like Puerto Rico also dominated but only can away with 1 point for the tie. 

The big game is when Canada plays in Puerto Rico and that game is Tuesday

Group A El Salvador v Dominican Republic

El Salvador beat the Dominican Republic in Cuscatalab if front of 25,272 spectators. This was by far the biggest WCQ game in CONCACAF so far. El Salvador fans turn out to see their national team play. The score was closer than the game itself.

El Salvador had the far superior team. They were technically sound and had better players at the majority of positions. This could have been a route.

The Dominican Republic had many bad fouls that could injure players. The Dominican Republic also got away with a few fouls in the box that could have been penaltiey shots.

What I did not like was the constant flopping, and grabbing knees by the El Salvador team when they went down. I hate that!

  Suriname was the other winner in the group. Suriname only won 1-0 v the CAyman ISland. Suriname was at home.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

La Volpe quits as Costa Rica coach

Coata Rica is now searching for a new coach. This has been Costa Rica problem letely, lack of stabality. The Tico's hopegully will have some time to organize before the Semi-finals start. The CONCACAF semi-finals start in 2012...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bahamas drops out of Group C

Chine built a new national stadium for Bahamas. It was for track and field and soccer. This beautiful stadium will now sit idle. Aparrently China completed all it's tasks and handed off the to the Bahamas. However the Bahamas dropped the ball. They did not meet dates to complete certain things like the infrastructure, parking ect that goeas along with a big project. Hexagonal blog does a good job with links about how and who is to blame.

Now Group C is left with only Panama, Nicaragua and Dominica.

This was a great opportunity for the Bahamas to promote the sport in a new stadium put this is a huge opportunity missed. This is a shame.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

New National Coach for Puerto Rico, Jeaustin Campos!

Jeaustin Campos, national team player for Coata Rica, Successful coach for Saprissa, and he helped the local club reach the final 4 in the CArribbean Cup Club competition 2010.
The USA is not the only national team getting a new coach. Puerto Rico is indicating that they now want a full time national coach/technical director. Puerto Rico has been in contact with Costa Rican, Jeaustin Campos. Campos was an accomplished player for the Costa Rican national team. He is only 40 years old. He already has coaching experience. Campos coached the most famous club in Costa Rica, Saprissa. At Saprissa he won 4 Championships for Saprissa and 2 CONCACAF Championships. Then Campos moved to Puerto Rico Soccer League, club team Bayamon FC. His also had great success with this new club in the Puerto Rico league. He helped this club qualify for the Final 4 in the Caribbean Cup Championship.

Collin Clarke is the present coach who has done extremely will with the PR Islanders. Clarke has coached both the Isnanders and the national team since 2008.  The federation wanted a full time national team director/coach and a fresh start to the 2014 World Cup Qualifying. Campos is a quality coach, who will want to mold the Puero Rico national the way he wants. He will not have much time to do this. Puerto Rico starts Septemper 2nd against St Kitts. The next game may well determine their faith. This game is Sept 6th against Canada in Puerto Rico.
Puero Rico's group. First game Sept 2nd 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jurgen Klinmsmann takes over

         The US national team has been lifeless since the end of the World Cup in South Africa. They have been one of the power nations with in CONCACAF however this status has been shaken. In 2011 the played 3 South American teams all on home soil and did not record a victory. US 1-1 Chile, US 1-1 Argentina, US 0-1 Paraguay. Then they were undressed by Spain 0-4 right before the Gold Cup. Sam’s Army had nothing to build on. Confidence was not built up. They then lost their first group game to Panama on home soil. This was with a veteran team. They did manage to make the final against their arch rival Mexico. This started out great. The US had a 2-0 lead and the US would soon tie Mexico with 5 Gold Cup titles and confidence would be restored. However the US gave up 4 unanswered goals. This was the final straw that something had to be done.

Sunil Gulati pulled the trigger and fired Bob Bradley last week. No, Bradley is not a bad coach but it was time for a change. The stagnancy had to be removed from US soccer. Sunil Gulati hired a Europena to take over the American camp. The European is ex-player and ex-German coach J. Klisman. I think this is a great move by Gulati. Stefan Brody has a nice article explaining how Germany was once a methodical defensive unit. Klinsman turned this unit into a smooth attacking one. The big question about this hire will be how much influence Klinsman will have over the US soccer program. There are millions of dollars invested in the youth development. The youth development is enormous that stretches through the country. How much influence will Klinsman have to change the development process.

Well, personally I just wish the US would play with the ball at their feet more. I love how Barcelona, Spain, Brazil and Mexico for that matter play the game. The players play a tight passing, tic- tack-toe, pass and run game. They control the ball and control the game. This builds confidence and demoralized your opponent. The US is almost the opposite. Their best offense is the long ball to a talented, athletic forward and can make one more and over power a defender. This is nice to get a goal but the rest of the game is not as much fun to watch.

This is a significant step in the US camp and I say it was good timing.
“No longer will the success and failures of U.S. Soccer get pinned on the rigid American style of play. By announcing the hiring of Jürgen Klinsmann yesterday, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati not only nabbed the team’s first foreign coach since 1995, he has given the keys to an offensive-minded showman unafraid to reinvent the system”

Saturday, July 30, 2011


A quick look at Round 2

Group A  El Salvador's Group
( El Salvador, Suriname, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic.)

          This is the group of 3's. El Salvador, Suriname and Dominican Republic were all #3 ranked teams in their Pots. Cayman Isl were 5th. El Salvador plays great at Cuscatalan Stadium. They will difficult to beat there. Mexico and Costa Rica both lost in Cuscatalan Stadium. They are my clear favorites in this group. Suriname is the South American nation that could surprise us with the South American flair and attitude. They will be new to World Cup qualifying since they do not have much history here. I do not know much about Cayman Islands. Dominican Republic has been a favorite of mine to follow. They did play in the preliminary round and have not been scored on yet. Their hopes rely on Jonathan Fana (PR Islanders). I am hopeing they can keep things interesting for their fans and the group.
Prediction El Salvador easily win the group. followed by Suriname is a close fight with the Dominican Republic.

Group B     The Rivals Group 
(Trinidan & Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, Bermuda)

        T&T is not the Caribbean power that dominated for a decade. T&T does not have the influence of Jack Warner overlooking the team and the games. The favorable calls for T&T will not be there this qualifying cycle. With that said I still like T&T as the favorite of this group. They have better players overall and experience. This island nation keeps going deep in the Caribbean Cups, playing many times in the Gold Cup and playing in the World Cup. They have the best domestic league in the Caribbean.
     There is a good rivaly brewing between Guyana and T&T. Many players on the Guyana’s national team play in the T&T league. This will be interesting how they play and interact when they play each other. Guyana recently lost to T&T in the Caribbean Cup 2010 but the game was in T&T. The score was 2-1. Guyana will be quite excited to play T&T in Guyana finally. Barbados did not advance in the Caribbean Cup 2010 but they did tie St Kitts and St Vincent all with 5 points. They could not advance because of GD. Barbados will keep thing tight. Bermuda is the mystery team. Not only did they not play in the preliminary round of this World Cup qualifying, they did not enter in the Caribbean Cup 2010. They are a great unknown and they may be biding their time for this WC Cycle. There will not be a huge gap in points when this group is done.
Prediction...T&T first followed closely bu Guyana

Group C      Panama and the rest
 (Panama, Nicaragua, Bahamas, Dominica)

      Panama is the strongest nation in Pot 1 and they got the easiest draw. They got the last seed in Pot 2 Dominica. They then got the last seed in Pot 3 (Nicaragua). They followed this up with Bahamas a #5 seed. Panama should dominate from start to finish. Their fans are already looking at their seed in the next round. (Panama if they win would be placed with Honduras, Cuba and the winner of Group Group D..Canada possibly). Dominica is a weak Caribbean nation and I do no see them advancing here. Nicaragua fans are very glum with drawing Panama. I think they would have liked anyone but Panama in this draw.           Nicaragua has slowely been building Nicaragua soccer, from the national team, the new national stadium, their youth programs and the Nicaragua national league. This building process is being undertaken by Enrique Quique Llena Leon, who is from Spain. If he can implement anything like the Spanish U-19 youth teams then Nicaragua will be great fun to watch progress. This qualifying cycle was suppose to jump start the country away from baseball and into soccer. I think they end up the #2 team after all games are played. Bahamas have not been scored on yet however they drew 2 Central American teams. The party is over here. Prediction Panama then my upset for #2 ..Nicaragua

Group D            Canada vs the Caribbean
 (Canada, Puerto Rico, St Kitts and St Lucia)

It will be fun to listen to the Canadian media critique their team as this group progresses. The Canucks expect to win and I expect them to win also. St Kitts was a # 4 seed on Pot 2 but Puerto Rico was a #1 seed from Pot 3. Canada can practice their ball control philosophy against the weaker Caribbean opponents in this round. The Canuck fans are estatice with their semi-final grouping also. The winner of this group will not have to face Us nor Mexico in the semi finals. Puerto Rico could challenge for the 2nd spot. Puerto Rico could even challenge for the top spot but not win it. They have a few players who play for the Puerto Rico Islanders so they will be use to the travel, international games and the professionalism. St Lucia will not make this group easy. They may make it miserable for the group with their tough play.
Prediction Canada followed by another upset...Puerto Rico

Group E           Central America vs Caribbean
(Guatemala, Belize, Grenada, St Vincent).

    This will be interesting how the Central American nations stakc up against the Caribbean nations. Grenada is ranked above Guatemala and St Vincent is ranked above Belize. I think Guatemala will get more points than Grenada and Belize with win with more points than St Vincents.                                                     The top seed Grenada does not look like the favorite here. Guatemala, the Central American nation will be to hard to beat at home. Guatemala also just demolished Grenada 4-0 in the Gold Cup 2011. Guatemala in my mind is the clear favorite. I am very glad they were not grouped with Panama nor El Salvador. However they did draw fellow Central American foe Belize.  All of Guatemala is celebrating with this draw. Grenada has played well over the last few year, qualifying for the Gold Cup 2 times in a row. This is a great accomplishment. This group will not be as hard as the Gold Cup groups however they will have to prove themselves here. Belize, I feel sorry for. The governement is interfering to much and the federation FBB is not that good. They do however finally have a home pitch to play on. St Vincent has earned the nick name the "giant killer". This small group of islands can put togather a good team. They will not win the group but could come up with intersting results.
Prediction Guatemala then Grenada however Belize and St vinny will not be far behind Grenada

Group F               The Caribbean Group
(Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, Curacao, US Virgin Islands)

This group has all Caribbean nations playing. The favorites Haiti are in disarray after their earthquake. FIFA is restoring their playing pitch and stadium for the qualifying rounds but the team will be hard pressed to overcome the dismay that still exists in the country. I believe this group has the weakest teams overall. Antigua and Barbuda was the #1 seed in Pot 2 and Haiti was the #6 seed in Pot 1. So these two nations should battle for top spot.  I am going to go for the upset here and believe A&B can win this group. Curacao will take over the previous records of the Netherland Antilles and will keep pace with Haiti and A&B. They will keep pace because I see them getting 2 wins against the USVI. The USVI will be cannon foder in this group. They will be lucky to win even at home.
Prediction A&B is my upset of this round. followed by Haiti. Ouch

Semi Finals
      No one wanted Cost Rica in their group since they were the best nation in their pot. Mexico was saddled with this team, thus making it unpleasant for both nations. If my prediction are correct here are the semi finals, (I will add teams that could win).
Group A
Haiti / Antigua and Barbuda

Group B
Costa Rica
El Salvador

Group C

The Hexagonal "Hex"
    6 nations from the Semi-finals will advance to the Hex. The top 2 nations of each semi-final group will advance to the Hex. These nations will play a home/away series. The 3 top nations will qualify for the World Cup. The 4th place team will enter into a playoff with the Ocianic Confederation. More than likely New Zealand.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Second Round CONCACAF


Round 2

This will be the most anticipated and comprehensive for World Cup Qualifying for CONCACAF. Never before have there been so many teams eager to qualify. Most nations believe they can win their group. The last qualifying round had 24 nations in a home/away series to get to the Semi-finals (Final 12 teams). Some of these smaller teams were slaughtered in this round against the powers of CONCACAF. USA beat Barbados 9-0 aggregate, Mexico belted Belize 9-0 aggregate and Jamaica blasted Bahamas 13-0. These were not competitive games. Most nations waited 4 years for these 2 games and were bounced early. They had to wait another 4 years to qualify again. This format did not promote the sport at all.

This new revised qualification will have 24 nations play in 6 groups of 4 teams. In these groups each nation will play a home and away series against the other 3 nations. This will give each team a minimum of 6 games. Most of these nations will be hosting 3 World Cup Qualification games for the first time. This is great for the host country to promote the sport and get the country behind the national team.

Another aspect I like is that the power nations (top 6 nations like USA, Mexico, Costa Rica) are not involved in Round 2. This will make the Round much more competitive and interesting. The favorite nations (pot 4) are not “shoe ins” to qualify for the next round. This will make the groups so much more interesting to watch.

A few notes.

Pot 4

          I see Panama as the top team here. The only way they lose is they become over confident and choke. Canada will want to prove themselves after a disasterous Gold Cup. El Salvador should  not lose at Cuscatalan. Grenada is the newcomer so surprises are expected, Trinidad and Tobago wants to regain their past dominance over the Caribbean and Haiti is very happy to have their national stadium remodeled by FIFA after the earthquake.

Pot 5

Guatemala should be in Pot 4 so no one in Pot 4 will want them in their group. They are extremely good at home. I personally do not want them group with Panama or El Salvador. Hoping they get a Caribbean nation. The South American Nations of Suriname and Guyana will not play each other in this group. This will be great to see how they compete at home against most Caribbean teams. so we can see how they fair against other CONCACAF nations. Dominica is the weakest and I am not expection much from them.

Pot 6

We have been waiting for the Puerto Rico national team to compete as well as the Puerto Rico Islanders. I hope it is this fall in this qualifying round. I want their fans to pack their stadium. They could surprise will a favorable draw and get a Caribbean teams from Pot 4 and Pot 5. Barbados and Curacao will also make noise in a favorable draw but I do not expect either to win their group. Nicaragua is also hoping they avoid their Central American foes in this upcoming draw. They play competatively in the Central American Cup but could lack confidence against Panama, El Salvador and guatemala. They will make it difficult for any Caribbean nations to play at Estadio Cacique Diriangén. We may even see Nicaragua play in their new national stadium in Managua. Nicaragua has been slowely building thier youth program so we can see how they have progressed. They will be fun to monitor.

Pot 7

I do no see anyone from this group to advance to the next stage. We have not see Bermuda play yet but they could surprise. Dominican Republic and the Bahamas have not been scored on yet so we will have to keep an eye on them. USVI  hope they are not slaughtered and embarassed every game. Saint Lucia has played the most competative series against Aruba so far. Hopefully they can gain confidence from this win to the next round and stay focused. I have lost any faith that Belize can compete near the top in this next round. There is to much turmoil in their camp.The government and the BFF are quarrelling and this is not good for the sport in Belize. It was a shame they Belize could not host games in Belize because of this disagreement. I thought they could win a few games but this look bleak in this camp.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bahamas surprises in Round 1 of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

So far I am 4 for 4 in predicting the winners in Round 1 of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. I attest this to luck more than anything. I never viewed any of these teams play. I only guessed at their progress by looking at past performances, the domestic league and the commitment of their federation.

Bahamas v Turks and Caicos Islands

The only surprise I see is the lopsided victory the Bahamas enjoyed over the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Bahamas won the first game 4-0. Then the next game they won comfortably 6-0. Both of these games were played in the Bahamas. 22 year old St. Fleur scored 5 times in the second game, thus becoming CONCACAF’s leading scorer in World Cup qualifying. He is off to a great start and will have 10 more games to impress us all. I think the Bahamas look so good was because The Turks was so bad. Hopefully they can stay competitive and the nation of the Bahamas backs the national team. I am hopeful the Bahamas stay competitive.
**Correction. The first game was played in Turks and Caicos Island of Providenciales. FIFA does not have attendance listed. Credit to Lorric for my mis information. Sorry about that.

Belize v Monseratt

This has been a huge disappointment for me. I thought Belize would beat the worst team in CONCACAF (all of FIFA for that matter). Belize only won 5-2. The other aspect of this competition is happening off the field. The Belize government is interfering so much with the Belize Football Federation (BFF), that FIFA suspended the BFF for competition. This band was recently lifted but FIFA has warned the government and BFF to “get along" if they don’t , FIFA will suspend Belize from further participation. Monseratt will advance. This is the only competition still up for grabs and the final will be played in Estadio Olimpico, San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The game will not be played in Belize since the governemtns said it would not provide security for the games. FIFA moved the game........Since the first game was played in Trinidad and Tobago.. attendance was pitiful. Montsertatt will be an automatic win for everyone in round 2 if they advance. Belize just won the second game 3-1 today in Honduras.

Aruba v Saint Lucia

This was the most competitive competition of Round 1. Aruba won on their home field 4-2. Then they traveled to Saint Lucia only to lose by the same score. This competition had to be decided on penalty kicks and Saint Lucia prevailed 5-4. This was a thrill of a competition. Saint Lucia will move on to Round 2. Past performances indicate Saint Lucia will be quite a pest in Round 2.

Dominican Republic v Anguilla

Dominican Republic scoreing on Angilla
 I have been hoping the Dominican Republic would finally “take off” and be as good as their bordering neighbor Haiti. I was expecting a dominating performance here in round 1. The Dominican Republic only won the first game 2-0 against tiny Anguilla nad the game was a home game. The game was in San Cristobal, DR. The second game was at the same stadium. Dominican Republic enjoyed 2 home games in Round 1. The second game they won comfortably 4-0. That being said...they have not conseded a goal yet.
   I was also disappointed in the attendance of these games. I all I would say so far so good for Round 1. The biggest disappointment is lack of media attention for these games. Wiki has attendance of a few hundred however there is no reference for these figures. This is pathetic.

These 5 winners will advance to Round 2. These teams will be drawn into six groups of four teams at the main group draw in Brazil on 30 July 2011. The matches are foreseen to be played from 2 September to 15 November 2011.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Belize will play a World Cup qualifier

Belize national team in Trinidad & Tobago

   The good news is that Belize will be playing the second leg of their World Cup qualifier. The bad news for their fans is, they will not be playing at home. Since the Belize government will not guarantee security for the game. There is also a growing riff between the BFF and the government going back to the last World Cup Qualifier for years ago.
        FIFA wants the game to be played outside of Belize because of security measures. FIFA also has BFF and warning about it's governemtns interference with the BFF. This means that neither game between Belize and Monserrat will be played on home soil. So much for FIFA's  goal program to these nations......

   I am glad the Belize national team will be able to play. They will be much better competition in the next round than Monserrat.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Only post about Monserrat

Monserrat national team picture
    This poor team does not even know how to take a picture. Here they are getting ready to play Belize. The game was played in Trinidad and Tobago. The stadium was Ato Boldon Stadium. As you can tell there were no fans at this game. Belize did beat them 5-2...however it could be this pathetic group that advances if Belize remains suspended by Fifa.....this could get interesting.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

WCQ First round update

The Bahamas vs Turks
       The Bahamas beat the Turks and Cacaos Island 4-0. The game was an away game for the Bahamas. The Bahamas have a commanding lead and they are hoping for many supporeters at home for their next game. the game will be played July 9th 2011. They will play at the Roscow a. l. Davis Soccer field. The Bahamas should advance here, especially now playing at home.

The Battle of the virgins:
        US Virgin Island beat the British Virgin Islands 2-0. this was the first ever win in World Cup qualifying for this virgin. Neither of the virgins will go far in the next round so this is as good as it gets for them.....The next game will be played in the  British Virgin Islands, Tortola. Sunday July 10th.

Belize vs Monseratt
    This battle has take a bad turn. the Central American Country has been suspended by FIFA because the governement of Belize is interfering to much. Belize has already taken a commanding lead winning the first game 5-2. This game was an away game for Belize. The second round of World Cup Qualifiers start in if the Belize governemnt does not satisfy FIFA then Belize will not make the next round.
......latest update is that Belize will play their "home" game in Honduras July 17th. The reason is that "
in order to avoid the risk that the Belizean authorities do not provide security guarantees" but I did not realize local governments had to provide security for national team games. This is strange however hopefully the Belize governemnt can keep thie noses out of the BFF business.
Dominican Republic vs Anguilla
  The Dominican Republic is one of my favorite nations to watch progress. However after waiting for 6 years no real progress have been made. The Dominican Republic will play today July 8th at home against Anguilla. The second game will again be played in San Cristobal, Dominican republic. This give a huge advantage to the dominican. I think the Dominican Republic will easily win this home/home series and hopegully their fans will support them. The second game will be sunday the July 10th.

St Lucia vs Aruba
   St Lucia names squad for World Cup qualifier. They have a young team. The first game will be today July 8th on Oranjestad, Aruba. The return leg will be tuesday July 12th in Castries, St Lucia. My guess is St Lucia will prevail.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bahamas National Stadium

Bahamas new national Stadium
    The Bahamas is getting a new national Stadium. The government of China is again exerting it’s influence in the Western hemisphere by building the Bahamas a new national stadium in the capitol of Nassau. The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium is a $30 million facility that will be able to seat 15,000. This will be best facility in the Caribbean when it is complete.

      It is the centerpiece of the master plan for the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre. Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard said “jewel in the crown of what will be a thoroughly modern, world-class Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre with facilities extending over 450 acres.
        The complete transformation of the complex will take about a year so unfortunately it will not be available for World Cup qualifiers this cycle. The Bahamas is up against the Turks and Caicos Islands in the first round. The second round would begin September through November 15th 2011. I do not see the Bahamas advancing out of round 1.
            I do not see the Bahamas being a sensation overnight. I do not even see them being that competitive in the Caribbean Cup. I think national teams in the Caribbean become competitive is from their domestic league and the youth development program.

      The Bahamas was a crappy domestic league. There are only 5 clubs that participate. Soccer is far behind, basketball, baseball, athletics (track and field).
       However, the Bahamas has one of the most advanced development youth programs. There is a nice video on the Bahamas web page explaining all the youth programs kids can play in.
Tomorrow will we see just how far the Bahamas has advanced. ….

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gold Cup total Attendance 650,000 is the best in history by far...

93,000 plus fans attended the Gold Cup final 2011 in the Rose Bowl

What pisses me off is bad information and CONCACAF is passing out bad information. Ivan Orozco just posted an attendance article about the Gold Cup attendance that has contradictory numbers. He stated that attendance totaled “Pointing to crowds that have totaled 493,232 - the third-best in the history of the tournament without counting the final in the Rose Bowl”. These numbers are a contradiction in what CONCACAF is posting. This is the highest attended Gold Cup by far……..Orozco is not off my a little, he is off by about 80 thousands. I have no idea where Orozco has pulled these numbers from. Maybe Orozco can not add.

       Here are my attendance numbers that I added from the CONCACAF web site. Group stage games totaled 362,000.

      Group A Played at a sold out Dallas Stadium 80k, Then had a great turnout of 65k at Bank of America NC and finished with 77k in Chicago for a total of 222,000 in Group A. This was outstanding for group A.
      Group B opened at the Home Depot Center with 22k, traveled to Miami (18k) with the smallest attended match, than got a great NY crowd of 25k in Red Bull arena. This group totaled 65,000.
       Group C was the yanks group. They started in Ford Field and got 28k in Detroit. Then they traveled to sunny Tampa Bay and got another 28k at Roland James Stadium. They finished up at KC new Sporting Stadium which was a sellout at 20k. This group totaled 75,000.
       Total group attendance is simple. Add the groups. I got this total by simply adding Group A (222,000) Group B (65,000) and Group C (75,000). The total is 363,000.
       Knockout Rounds attendance:
   Now the knockout games. The quarter finals were played at RFK Stadium and Houston’s Reliant Stadium. It was reported that RFK had attendance of 45,423. Houston did outstanding once again with 78,807 in attendance. The Semifinals in New York Meadowlands had 70,627 and the Finals totaled 93,420. To get a total for the knockout rounds I just added 45k in D.C, 79k in Houston, 71k in Meadowlands and 93,000 from the Rose Bowl. The knockout rounds totaled 288k.
     Yes I attended High school and had algebra. I even went to college and took Calculus I, II and III. I have children that can add but CONCACAF officials can not add these numbers. Knockout rounds of 288k plus the groups of 362k equals 650k. Can you hear me, this simple math equation...the totals..... ..650k….

This attendance figure makes this the most attended Gold Cup in History! This is the attendance numbers CONCACAF should be boasting about.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gold Cup (states) and U-17 FIFA World Cup Mexico

Rose Bowl will be the location of the GOLD Cup final
There are 2 main soccer competitions going on presently in CONCACAF. The Gold Cup that is being played in the states and FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

The Gold Cup will have its conclusion tonight. The 2 huge rivals USA vs Mexico will be on display on Pasadena’s Rose Bowl. These 2 nations will highlight the CONCACAF region. They both have their own contrasting style of play. The Mexican team plays a very tight passing game similar to the Spanish/Barcelona style. The Mexican team plays an attractive game with the ball at their feet. My yanks play a more athletic, fast counter attacking style like the English/English Premier league. These 2 styles will be on display tonight. The winner will qualify for the 2013 Confederations Cup Brazil.

The Rose Bowl holds over 90,000 spectators and the game should be a sell out. This sell out will make this tournament the most successful tournament, in the states, attendance wise. I will give my attendance stats after tournament.

I am hoping for an entertaining game between the 2 giants of CONCACAF. I am also hoping for no bad calls from the ref. Last years penalty in the box against Jay Heaps (USA) was a joke. It was the Mexican who should have received the yellow card. This penalty led to a penalty goal which changed the dynamic of the game. This year’s the bad call was against Jamaican (Taylor). It was Jeremy Jones (USA) who should have been given a yellow for his flop. I was quite embarrassed for the flops in this game until I witness the El Salvador v Panama game after in Washington DC. El Salvador was flopping over the field like fish out of water. They continually looked for the ref with their hands in the air. It was a great effort by the team against Panama but the flops were ridiculous.

U-17 World Cup Mexico

CONCACAF has 5 nations participating but it look like only 2 will advance with some luck.

Mexico has won thief Group and will advance to the knockout round. They should be commended for advancing here.

The yanks are in the tightest group will all teams have 3 points. The winners from today’s games will advance. The USA is up against a very formidable New Zealand team today. I think the yanks will need some luck to advance here.

Jamaica was placed in a very formidable group of Argentina, Japan and France. The Reggae Boyz have been bounced from the tournament with 2 losses and one tie. The lone Caribbean rep played well against The European power of France and South American giant Argentina.

Canada is on the outside looking in. They have 1 loss and 1 tie. They will only advance if England Loses against Uruguay and they beat Rwanda then beat out England in the tie breaker. Unlikely but possible.

Panama is the lone Central American participant from CONCACAF. They are unlikely to advance here. They have to beat a very strong Germany nation (unlikely). They also need a strong Ecuador team lose to a very weak Burkina Faso nation (very unlikely).

This tournament will need the USA and Mexico to again carry the CONCACAF banner in these international competitions…..unless something unlikely happens.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Group phase attendance of Gold Cup

Soccer has intrigued me since the 1994 World Cup in the states. This was a new sport on the horizon. I envisioned packed stadiums and crazy fans like the ones who jammed into every bar in Brighton during the World Cup 1994. I have watched the slow growth of MLS from 1996 to 2011. There was the low of 10 teams to it present 19 franchises. The newer stadiums really added to the experience of going to a game. The region of CONCACAF has the Gold Cup bi-annually and I like to look at this event to see how the growth of this event is progressing. It is not exploding nor is it remaining level. It is growing at a nice pace. This is not just a game it is now an event. (I am basing my assessment on attendance and TV ratings.)

Year         Avg        Total

2005       26,164      340,131

2007        37,597     488,772

2009       36,053     468,688

2011       40,222

Well here are the numbers. Total attendance for 2005 was 340,131. This was the last year guest teams were invited. The 2007 tournament was filled with excitement. This was the first time 12 CONCACAF teams participated. Total attendance for 2007 was 488,772. 2009 did not drop off totaling 468,888(no Confederations Cup to play for) when teams did not send all top starts. This Gold Cup I am just going to compare groups since the total attendance is not finished. (wikipedia is incorrect in it attendance. Attendance figures can be obtained from CONCACAF we site. I only count 1 attendance figure for double headers since it is the same person in the seat for each game. I will not count the same person twice)

I see the 3 groups this way. There is the Mexican group, USA’s group and the other group. Mexcio’s group has outpaced the other 2 groups by far. This Gold Cup is no different. USA’s group had a total of 75,000 (rounding) total attendance. This figure is only up from 66,000 in the 2009 group phase. I think this is a very good attendance figure since the yanks did not have another good drawing team. The yanks were saddled with Canada, Panama and Guadeloupe. The other group total attendance this year is 65,000. This is a big jump from 51,000 in 2009. This group had Honduras and Guatemala anchoring the group with attendance. Honduras fans far outnumbered Jamaican fans in NY. There were many Honduras fans with their Honduras national team jersey and national flag hanging everywhere. The Guatemala fans were much vocal than the Honduras fans at the Home Depot Center.

This big mover is Mexico’s attendance. Mexico’s group in 2009 was the highest reaching 104,000. This year they soared to 222,000.this year topped out at 222,000. This group is carrying the Gold Cup in attendance. 88k turned out in Dallas. Then 65k attended the games in North Carolina. Chicago was another huge success with 77k in the windy city. El Salvador is one of the top 5 fan based nations in the states. They also contributed to the record breaking group attendance figures.

222,000 is huge since the Total attendance for the 2005 Gold Cup was only 340,000. The Mexico again has been the catalyst for fan support in these tournaments and will continue to be so. This Gold Cup is on course to break the attendance records of Gold Cup played entirely in the states. This is nice growth. Like I stated before the tournament, this should be a record breaking attendance tournament if Mexico makes it to the final. (I am excluding the 1993 & 2003 figures since the final was in Mexico).