Monday, September 7, 2015

Oct 9th Rose Bowl Yanks v Aztecs

This is the clash of the titans in CONCACAF. Usually there is more hype that interest in this match. This game however - results will propel the winner to represent CONCACAF. The winner will represent the best of our region to the rest of the football world.

The winner will be playing the other winners of the other confederations. The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup  is a dress rehearsal for the FIFA 2018 World Cup. The USA badly wants to participate in this event to provide badly needed practice for the World Cup. The coach wants it so he can play more games and fine tune the national team. The president of USA soccer wants it since it provides more exposure to the national team and can be viewed as a measuring stick as to how far the USA has progressed in the sport.

The fans want it since it provides a tournament the USA badly needs. The European teams have Euro 2016 qualification and then the Euro 2016 tournament in between the World Cup. The USA doesnt have to qualify for the Gold Cup and even though they lost in the semi finials does provide the dept of quality teams game after game.

That being said this game will almost be as big as a GOLD CUP title match against Mexico. The game is on home soil however there will probably be more Mexican fans in LA than USA fans. Sam's Army and the other nationsl fans have really exploded in vocalization and membership. They were great in the last Gold Cup and it was great to see.

Klinsmann is still tinkering with his line up but you can bet he will put out a few veterans. Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley will be slotted in the middle. I see Dempsey and Altidore up front. 

The defense will have some youngsters but so it goes....

Sunday, September 6, 2015

CONCACAF 3rd round comments

Well the biggest story and surprise is 139th ranked Nicaragua over 52nd ranked Jamaica. As you remember Jamaica had a tremendous Gold Cup. Jamaica won their group in the Gold Cup for the first time. The group consisted of Costa Rica, El Salvador and Canada. Jamaica then went on and beat Haiti and the USA in the semi finals before losing to Mexico in the final. Jamaica has also won the last Caribbean Cup and is one of the dominant forces in the Caribbean. This was a huge stepping stone for Nicaragua and their rapid improvement over the last 6 years in the sport. It would be a shame not to see Jamaica onto the next round however this would do wonders to help Nicaragua assert itself in the sport.

Then what happened to Guatemala in Antigua and Barbuda. Guatemala lost 0-1 to this tiny Caribbean nation. This however can not be viewed as a shock. A&B have been playing extremely well and have a well discipline team. IT is very difficult to win in Guatemala just ask the Yanks. Guatemala will be going full force Sept 8th ---they key will be to hang on early and try to frustrate Guatemala. This will be the second most interesting result after Jamaica -Nicaragua.

 as a team. I am a big fan of Canada since I believe they have great potential. They easily beat Belize 3-0 however only 10,000 fans showed to support team Canada in this critical qualifier. I remember 50k showed to see  Montreal play in the Champions league in Montreal a few years back. Where is the support for team Canada. Lets see Canada win in Central America after their devastating 1-8 massacre in San Paulo in 2012. Woops---was I not suppose to bring up the daemons.

El Salvador won 1-0 ugly over Curacao. I was disappointed in El Salvador players flopping all over the field like fish out of water. But what I like about El Salvador is the skill they have with the ball. I guess its the bad with the good. Curacao looked big athletic and confident....

Haiti beat Grenada 1-0

Saint Vincents and the Grenadines beat Aruba 2-0. St Vinny use to be known as the giant killers. Well Aruba are not giants but St Vinny just might make the final 12 in CONCACAF. Their arch rivals are Antigua and Barbuda....would it be interesting if both St Vinny meat A&B in the final 6 group. This would really ratchet up the rivalry....