Thursday, August 18, 2005

CONCACAF WCQ results

No matter how you look at it, the US dominated Trinidad and Tobago. Well, unless you look at the score. The US out shot T&T 18-1. That is an amazing stat, but with only one goal to show for it, it tells a very disturbing story. Its like a cook who always gets the best ingredients but never makes a great meal. T&T is a decent team but they are far from the best the US will face next year (or next month). In a match against, I don't know how about Mexico, they will only get about a third as many chances as they had last night. If they cannot capitalize on those chances, they cannot win the match.

Another area that needs improving is defense against set pieces. Actually, the defense in general could use some tightening. They were not challenged much last night, but when they were, they were often beat. This was on obvious display during the middle portion of the second half. T&T were playing a man down, but they were finding ways to sneak by the backline. If they were just a little better club, they would have tied the game.

The final thing I noticed was how tired the team looked in the second half. This will improve as the players with European sides get back into full game mood, but it was sad watching players drag themselves across the field in just the 60th minute.

Okay, I've said a lot of negative things, but there is something I must point out. Even with all these bad things, the US won the game. That is a sign of a good team. If your side underperforms and still come out ahead (even against a much weaker side), you are doing something right. The US still has a way to go before they are World Cup ready, but overall, they are all right.

US 1 - Trinidad and Tobago 0
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At the half it looked like Costa Rica might walk away with a point. They came out looking sharp on the night, but Jared Borgetti crushed such thoughts at the hour mark. Jose Francisco added a second one late in the match. This win must have felt great for Mexico. Four years ago, Costa Rica left town with a win and sitting on top of the CONCACAF standings. Now it is Mexico who stands on top with only one side to fear. If they can leave the USA with a tie or better, they will coast to first in the conference.

Mexico 2 - Costa Rica 0
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Panama, surprise runner-ups in last month's Gold Cup, went into the locker room at the half ahead by one and looking like a team ready to get out of the bottom of the table. However, it was not meant to be. Carlos Ruiz, of FC Dallas fame, brought Guatemala back into the match in the 69th and Gonzalo Romero pulled out the win by scoring late in stoppage time. Guatemala's win moves them into third place, while Panama stay in the basement.

Guatemala 2 - Panama 1
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CONCACAF standings
Team - PTS-W-D-L +/-
MEX 16 - 5-1-0 +8
USA 15 - 5-0-1 +9
GUA 7 - 2-1-3 +0
CRC 7 - 2-1-3 -4
T&T 4 - 1-1-4 -6
PAN 2 - 0-2-4 -7

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CONCACAF (the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) is the continent-wide governing body for football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Three South American entities, the independent nations of Guyana and Suriname, and the French department of French Guiana, are also members. sportsbook, CONCACAF was founded in its current form in 1961, with the fusion of CCCF and NAFC, and is one of the six continental confederations affiliated with FIFA. Its primary administrative functions are to organize competitions for national teams and clubs, and to conduct World Cup qualifying tournaments. http://www.enterbet.com

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