Thursday, September 08, 2005


Mexico 5 - Panama 0
Guatemala 0 - US 0
Costa Rica 2 - Trinidad & Tobago 0

Mexico now has the points to go to Germany; good for them. This match was as much of a blowout as the score indicates. It seemed like the entire game was played on Panama's half of the field. With the defeat, Panama's dreams of some sudden "come from nowhere" run will end up not being reality anytime soon.

Costa Rica all but clinched the final direct spot with their win over T&T. This means the big race is between Guatemala and T&T. Guatemala did not look so great last night against the US plus they have the harder schedule. Their two remaining matches have them going to Mexico and host Costa Rica. The one thing that they might have going for them is backup players. No, not their own, but their opponents. Both games could end up meaning nothing to their opposition, since they will have already qualified, so they might get lucky and sneak through.

For T&T, they have bottom of the pile Panama and end up at home against Mexico. If they can get a win and a tie, they might just earn the fourth place playoff spot against the fifth place Asian team.

So how did the USA look last night? Like you expect for a B-team. How did the players do? I think there was a big loser and a big winner. Big loser is Taylor Twellmann. His odds of making the team got longer last night because he could not score on any of his many (there were three or four) good chances on goal. He is strong in the MLS, but not so great on the international stage. Big winner is Marcus Hahnemann. He looked great. Sure, the Guatemalans don't really have the best offense in the world, but Hahnemann still looked good against them. He controlled the backline and made a huge save in the 31st minute that kept the game knotted at 0. Bruce Arena might have found his number 2 between the posts.



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