Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The rest of the WCQ results

Okay, I'm a couple days behind here but things do like to come up.

Anyway, here are the results from South America.

Saturday, October 8
Colombia 1 - 1 Chile
Ecuador 0 - 0 Uruguay
Venezuela 0 - 1 Paraguay

Sunday, October 9
Bolivia 1 - 1 Brazil
Argentina 2 - 0 Peru

No real surprises here. Both Paraguay and Ecuador earned the right to go directly to Germany. Uruguay, Colombia and Chile all have a chance of moving on to the playoff with Australia. Uruguay is a point up on the other two, but they face Argentina in their final match. Colombia will see action against Paraguay while Chile will host Ecuador. None of these matches will be easy, so who knows how this will end up.

Costa Rica 3 - 0 United States
Mexico 5 - 2 Guatemala
Panama 0 - 1 Trinidad & Tobago

Costa Rica has clinched the third direct spot to the finals. As far as the playoff spot with Asia, Trinidad & Tobago are two points up on Guatemala, but they have Mexico coming to town tomorrow night. Guatemala has it a little easier with Costa Rica paying them a visit, but they still must win to have any hope of getting into the next stage.

Enough with the nice pros, what happen to the US on Saturday night? All teams have bad games and that was the case for the US. However, let's not pretend that it was just a bunch of benchwarmers out for a knock around. We did have Eddie Pope, Oguchi Onyewu, DaMarcus Beasley and Bobby Convey playing, so there was talent available. All and all, I think the best thing that came from this game was seeing what sort of lineup does not work as well as seeing Taylor Twellman start making noise on the international stage. If Twellman continues to improve his game (and I think Saturday was a big step up over the Guatemala outing), he will be a very important part of the US attack next summer.

One lingering question for me is how did to view Tim Howard (pictured below with Costa Rica's Paulo Wanchope). He did not have a lot of help from the backline, but does that excuse his so-so performance. I know the conditions were against him, but should he have a lock on the number 2 keeper position? I've seen him play much better in the past so maybe I am being a bit harsh, but I still find myself wondering.


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