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CONCACAF  Updates   By Aldwyn McGill

USA meets Honduras in CONCACAF Menís Olympic final

 USA and Honduras advance to the final of the CONCACAF 2008 Men's Olympic qualifying after defeating Canada 3-0 and Guatemala 5-6 on penalties respectively in their semi final games at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament.

 

In the first semi final Honduras and Guatemala played in a tight contest where the teams were deadlock after 30 minutes of overtime while USA lead by Freddy Adu's two goals was more dominant in their win against Canada in the second semi final. 

 

USA has now qualified in their 13th Menís Olympic soccer tournament, while Honduras will be making their second appearance at the Summer Games.

The CONCACAF Tournament concludes on Sunday (23 March) at LP Field with Guatemala taking on Canada in the third place match, while Honduras meet USA in the final for the Confederationís Under-23 title.

 

"Soccer Day light time" for CONCACAF tournament teams

 

We can take solace to the fact that the end to winter is near in spite of the unpredictable February winter weather with its record snow fall and extremely cold temperatures .  ďMarch BreakĒ will start the ďSoccer Daylight timeĒ which signals the start of the CONCACAF Menís Olympics finals and also the start of CONCACAF Championsí Cup which also equates to brighter days heading into the second round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying towards the end of the month.  

 

 

The CONCACAF Olympics finals will be hosted in three US cities from March 11-23 with eight teams playing double headers within their two groups while the Championsí Cup on the other hand will be playing on a home and away basis from March 11 to May 01 with the same compliment of teams on a head to head aggregate format.

 

CONCACAF

        Final Round  Group A

Group A

GP/PJ

W/G

L/D

T/E

+/-

PTS

USA

3

2

0

1

3:1

7

Honduras

3

2

1

0

3:1

6

Panama

3

1

2

0

4:3

3

Cuba

3

0

2

1

2:7

1

11.3.2008

Panama - Honduras

0:1 (0:0)

Tampa, Florida USA

11.3.2008

USA - Cuba

1:1 (1:1)

Tampa, Florida USA

13.3.2008

Honduras - Cuba

2-0 (0-0)

Tampa, Florida USA

13.3.2008

USA - Panama

1-0 (1-0)

Tampa, Florida USA

15.3.2008

Cuba - Panama

1-4 (0-3)

Tampa, Florida USA

15.3.2008

USA - Honduras

1:0 (0:0)

Tampa, Florida USA

 Final Round   Group B

Group B

GP/PJ

W/G

L/D

T/E

+/-

PTS

Guatemala

3

2

1

0

3-6

6

Canada

3

1

1

1

7:3

4

Mexico

3

1

1

1

7:4

4

 Haiti

3

1

2

0

3:7

3

12.3.2008

Haiti - Guatemala

0:1 (0:1)

Carson, California USA

12.3.2008

Canada - Mexico

1:1 (1:1)

Carson, California USA

14.3.2008

Canada - Haiti

1-2 (1-0)

Carson, California USA

14.3.2008

Mexico - Guatemala

1-2 (1-1)

Carson, California USA

16.3.2008

Guatemala - Canada

0:5 (0:1)

Carson, California USA

16.3.2008

Mexico - Haiti

5:1 (1:0)

Carson, California USA

Semifinals

20.3.2008

Guatemala - Honduras

5:6 penalty kicks

Nashville, Tennessee USA

20.3.2008

USA - Canada

3:0 (1:0)

Nashville, Tennesse USA

Third Place

23.3.2008

Guatemala - Canada

0:0, 3:5 on penalties

Nashville, Tennessee USA

Final

23.3.2008

USA - Honduras

0:1 (0:0) aet

Nashville, Tennessee USA

 

 

 

 CONCACAF  Champions Cup Schedule &Results

CONCACAF  Champions Cup Schedule &Results Click here

 Series 1

11.3.2008

CD Motagua 0     vs  Pachuca  FC   0      

 

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

19.3.2008

Pachuca   1          vs   CD Motagua   0    

21:00

Pachuca, Hidalgo Mexico

 Series 2

12.3.2008

Harbourview  1   vs     DC United      1

 

Kingston, Jamaica

18.3.2008

DC United       vs     Harbourview   0

19:30

Washington, D.C. USA

Series 3

13.3.2008

Atlante FC   vs   Deportivo Saprissa 1

21:00

Cancun, Quintana  Mexico

20.3.2008

Deportivo Saprissa   3   vs  Atlante FC  0

20:00

San Jose, Costa Rica

 Series 4

12.3.2008

CSD Municipal 0  vs   Houston Dynamo 0

20:00

Ciudad de Guatemala,

19.3.2008

Houston Dynamo 3  vs  CSD Municipal  1

19:30

Houston, Texas USA

 

Semifinals

20.3.2008

Pachuca CF (MEX)- D.C. United (USA)

20:00

Pachuca, Hidalgo MEX

09.4.2008

D.C. United (USA) - Pachuca CF (MEX)

19:30

Washington, D.C. USA

 

 

2.4.2008 Houston Dynamo (USA) - Deportivo Saprissa (CRC) 13:00 Houston, Texas USA

9.4.2008

Deportivo Saprissa (CRC) - Houston Dynamo (USA)

21:00

San Jose, CRC 

 

Final

23.3.2008

USA - Honduras

16:00

Nashville, Tennessee USA

 

 

Group A of the CONCACAF Menís Olympics finals will be playing in Tampa, Florida and comprise of Cuba, Honduras, Panama, and USA while Group B is made up of Canada, Mexico, Haiti and Guatemala playing in Carson, California.

 

The Olympics teams will begin their schedule next Wednesday March 11, with Panama up against Honduras at 17:30 and USA faces Cuba in the last game at 20:00.  On the following day Haiti will play against Guatemala while Canada will be in tough against Mexico in last game of the double header. The two teams in the CONCACAF Olympic final will automatically qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. 

 

The CONCACAF Championsí Cup first round quarter finals opens with Pachuca CF of Mexico against CD Motagua of Honduras in Series one on March 11 while Habour View of the Jamaica Pro league will be playing DC United of the MLS in Series two of one of the four series match ups of the CONCACAF Championsí Cup.  Harbour View first game is scheduled for March 12 at 19:00 in Kingston Jamaica, with their return game on March 18 at 19:30 in Washington, D.C.

 

In series three Atlante FC of Mexico will play Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica on March 13 while the Dwayne De Rosario lead Houston Dynamo of the MLS will play CSD Municipal of Guatemala in series four. The first game of this series will be played at the Ciudad de Guatemala on March 12, with the return game on March 19 in Houston, Texas.

 

When you add the qualifying teams of the Womenís Olympic of Mexico, Canada, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and the CONCACAF Womenís Under-17 Championship qualifying teams of USA, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago, to the Menís Olympic teams mentioned above, and the country of origin of the CONCACAF champion Cup teams, it should be a clue to the legitimate contenders at the third round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.

 

However since upsets is also a part of sports I am lead to believe at this point that that El Salvador is the most dangerous team heading into the second round of the World Cup qualifiers but Panama their opponent is also a dangerous team to go all the way

 

A Reggae Boyz team comprising of home based players opened their seven game Brazil tour with a 1-0 win over 2nd Division Tigers of Brazil and a 2-2 tie in their second game against another second division team. The results of the game on the tour seemed to be exactly what Jamaica's Technical director Brazilian Rene Simoes was seeking out of their three-week camp in Brazil as he intends to play tougher opponents towards the end of the tour. As he insist the objective of the exercise is to develop confidence and mental toughness in his players and he was reported as saying that the group of players has shown maturity and is more professional than the players he had when he arrived in Jamaica in 1994. Based on the performances of the Reggae Boyz of late there is no reason to doubt that Rene Simoes and the Reggae Boyz program may have turned the corner. Only time will tell

 

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Update

  The already winding road to the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 got a bit bumpy for some teams at the first stage of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers after the half time scores of most of the games turned out to be final result. This means that some coachís tactical adjustments are working to perfection to gain their desired result.

 

The first final result of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers was between the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The visiting Cayman Islands pulled off a 1-1 tie with Bermuda at the Hamiltonís National Sports Centre on February 2, after tying the game towards the end of regulation time. Tyrell Burgess opened the scoring at the 18th minute to give Bermuda the lead, but Cayman Islands Allean Grant scored the equalizer with only three minutes left to give Cayman Islands the much needed tie heading into the teams second leg game on March 26.

 

The action turned to the Centro Deportivo Guillermo Trinidad in Oranjestad where Antigua & Barbuda defeated host Aruba 3-0 with goals from George Dublin and Grayson Gregory at the 22nd and 27th minute respectively. Aruba close the door on themselves when they score an own goal at the 40th minute to seal the 3-0 win for Antigua and Barbuda. The teamís second-leg game is scheduled for the Antigua Recreation Ground in St. Johnís on March 26.

Barbados and Dominica played to a 1-1 tie in yet another game where all the scoring was done in the first half. Barbados Jeffrey Williams tied the game at the 42nd minute mark after Dominica Richard Pacquette opened the scoring at the 20th minute. The teams will meet again at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados on 26 March in the second-leg.

El Salvador demolished Anguilla 12-0 at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador,

In one of the less than competitive contest in the first leg of the CONCACAF W/C qualifiers. Rudis Corrales scored five times for his team goals while his teammate Ronald Cerritos added another to give El Salvador the lopsided win.

 

The record books opened as Turks & Caicos Islands outlasted St Lucia 2-1 at the Providencialesí National Stadium after hosting their first ever CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying game. Gavin Clinton and David Lowery scored for Turks & Caicos Islands, while Gilbert Nyhime scored the lone goal for St. Lucia. The teams will meet again at George Odlum National Stadium in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia on 26 March in the second-leg match.

 

Belize also entered the record books when they registered their first victory in the history of CONCACAF World Cup Qualification with a 3-1 win over St. Kitts & Nevis at the Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

 

Belize opened the scoring at the seventh minute on a Deon McCalauy goal, but St. Kitts & Nevis Gerard Williams equalized six minutes later.  Harrison Rochez scored what turned out to be the game winner at the 22nd minute while McCalauy provided the insurance goal four minutes before halftime. The teamís second leg game at Warner Park Stadium in Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis on 26 March.  

In yet another game that was decided by a fist half score the Netherlands Antilles defeated the host Nicaragua 1-0 on a goal scored by Anton Jongsma at the 15th minute mark. The game was played at the Estadio Cacique Diriangen in Diriamba and the win was the first for the Netherlands Antilles since 2004 which gives them a distinct advantage for the second-leg at the Ergillo Hato Stadium in Willemstad on 26 March.

British Virgin Islands will also visit the Bahamas at the BFA National Centre in Nassau on 26 March for their late first leg encounter. The first-leg encounters single elimination game of the 2010 CONCACAF World Cup Qualification for Puerto Rico match up with the Dominican Republic, Grenada with US Virgin Islands, and Montserrat with Surinam will take place during the second-leg encounters of the stage 1 on 26 March.

 

CONCACAF World Cup Spots Wide Open

 

The year 2008 is upon us and my how quickly time has passed when you are having fun. Although the FIFA World Cup is played every four years, for some reason it seems like it was just yesterday when packages were offered to travel to World Cup Germany and the Soca Warriors was the talk of the town.

 

However with the arrival of 2008 it is anticipated that discussion for World Cup 2010 in South Africa will continue with the fans of the Caribbean teams pondering their decision to attend. Some Caribbean fans are rationalizing the South Africa trip as an opportunity to visit the mother-land, for what it is worth, while the majority of fans are undecided and anxious to see if their team secures one of the four CONCACAF spots before making their plans. 

 

Whatever the fans decide there is no doubt that the 12 top seed in the second stage of the CONCACAF qualifying round is capable of securing one of the four CONCACAF spots into the final grouping for South Africa based on the  showing of the teams at the 2007 tournaments within the CONCACAF region. The two tournaments are the Digicel Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

 

At the Digicel Cup for Caribbean supremacy, Haiti defeated host Trinidad and Tobago and won their first became the 2007 Caribbean Champions their first title since 1973.  Jamaica Reggae Boyz the defending champion at the time was defeated by St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to signal the start of the end for the Reggae Boyz in 2007. Failure to make the final four at the Digicel Cup automatically eliminated the Boyz from the Gold Cup USA 2007.

 

Although the Gold Cup tournament results were somewhat predictable as host USA successfully defended their title, Mexico the #1 ranked in CONCACAF was defeated not once but twice at the Gold Cup. Their first loss was at the hands of Honduras in Group C action and was ruled as the biggest upset in Gold Cup history. Mexico their second loss was to USA 2-1 after Mexico had a halftime lead. Most importantly was the fact that Mexico struggled with Cuba, Panama, and Costa Rica during the tournament.

 

It should be noted that Panama was the best playing team at the Gold Cup USA and Canada performance lead by Gold Cup MVP Julian De Guzman signaled that they were not far away from a World Cup berth.  However the Canadian Soccer Association would have to remedy the lack of support shown at home at their last friendly game against Costa Rica at BMO Field in September. Canada was favored to replace Costa Rica for the third CONCACAF spot to South Africa but with the lack of support and their projected group of death with the likes of Mexico, Jamaica, and Honduras, it  seem like the wheel is still turning and anything can happen.

 

Jamaica football is now on the upside, since their poor showing in the 2007 tournaments. The Jamaica Football Federation has turned their program completely around with whole scale changes through out their system and with a string of International victories at home, the Reggae Boyz may be the dark horse with their feared 12th man advantage.

 

Trinidad and Tobago football on the other hand seemed to be under constant pressure since their World Cup Germany and needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In moving forward I think that it will become important for the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation to sign an agreement with the players involved in the outstanding dispute, in the event that the arbitrator decision is favorable to the players. The agreement document should allow the affected T&T players to continue their participation for the duration of the 2010 World Cup qualifying rounds. The inclusion of Dwight York and/or Russell Latapy or both into an assistant coaching position would also jump start the T&T program and provide the continuity that is required to instill and reinforce the confidence in the Soca Warriors team.

 

El Salvador is in a position to create upsets in the CONCACAF beyond the first round and the last I saw of Cuba, their team was only a couple of players away from being a legitimate contender. Panama with Perez up front will be dangerous and I suspect at the end of it all a South American for the fourth spot would present defensive challenges for the fourth place CONCACAF team in the playoffs to South Africa.  

 

 

 

 


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