to win the
Hall Park in
final was a
away on a
goal at the
start of the
was a gallant effort by the Canadian
youngsters who earned the respect
and support of the Jamaican locals
by their performance at the
tournament. As a result Canada left
"Mobay" with silverware and its
highest finish at the CONCACAF U-17
Championship after finishing third
on three occasions.
was a final where Canada came
agonizingly close to taking home
the bacon after an impressive start. USA reached the final by beating host
Jamaica 2-0 two days earlier, while
Canada advanced to the final after
beating Panama 1-0 in the first
match that afternoon.
Championship final had all the ingredients of a
well played match with quick ball
movement and detailed defending
after loss of possession. In spite
of the defensive chess match, both
Canada and USA played well enough
offensively to create scoring
Canada had the better of the chances
in the first half and had USA back on their
heels several times in the first
half where USA goalkeeper had to be
quick off his line. It was in this
period that Canada’s ace striker
Aleman was exciting the crowd with
some dazzling footwork and ball
game was scoreless at the half in
half time intermission proved only
to be a stoppage for the fans to
catch a breather as the game resumed
with the same intensity and pace as
the first half. But by
then, USA was showing signs of
improvement and midway through the
second half it was evident that USA
began to take control of the match.
Canada offensive players were leaving their positions
up front to track down USA players
deep into their defense end, which left Canada with a shortage
of manpower up front. This was the telling sign
that penalty kicks was Canada’s only
hope of winning the match and the
title, while still
getting decent scoring chances at
the USA goal but those were few and
far in between.
big mystery was how to go about
getting the final break through to
score? Canada defense had not given
up a goal in the tournament and had
stopped almost every ball towards
goal while keeper Maxime Crepeau
proved he was up to the task for the
few balls that did.
found a way to score on the only
team which had not allowed a goal. It
was on a spectacular 35-meter strike
by #4 Nathan Smith with just over a
minute gone in the start of the
first over time period. It was by
best goal of the tournament from
what seemed like a harmless play.
With everyone waiting for the play
to develop, Smith unleashed a
thunderous right-footer giving
keeper Maxime Crepeau absolutely no
chance as the ball banged off the
upper inside of the right upright
post and settled in the opposite
side netting of the goal.
was the goal which broke Canada’s
U-17s back and opened the floodgates
for a USA onslaught in the following
plays. There was nothing anyone
could have done to avoid the goal
which took its immediate toll on the
emotions of Canada U-17 team.
Canada’s defense got caught shallow
on the second goal and allowed a
break away from a simple throw-in
just over the half. The ball sailed
over the defender’s heads and Andrew
Oliver rounded goalkeeper Crepeau to
score into an empty net.
Alfred Koroma added the third goal
in extra time as the United States
coast to a 3-0 victory. Canada’s
coach Sean Fleming took the loss in
stride as he met with the media
after the match
had some chances in the first half
that if they would have gone in
would have changed things," Fleming
said. "It was a great strike for the
first goal. The other two I'm not
going to worry about."
USA Coach Wilmer Cabrera, his team
may have been taken to the limit by Canada,
but his players never lost focus on the task at
hand. Like everyone who watched the
match, Coach Cabrera acknowledged that Nathan
Smith's goal was the key to the
got an unbelievable goal from Nate,"
U.S. coach Wilmer Cabrera said. "He
opened the window for us to start
taking control of the game. When we
scored I noted that the players from
Canada were devastated.
"We needed to keep the ball and then
the second goal came which gave us a
sense of what was coming. Then the
third goal came and Canada was
struggling a little bit physically
while we were strong."
After the problems with the
readiness of its venue, the CONCACAF
U-17 Championship in Jamaica turned out
to be a very good tournament which I
am sure also improved the country's
& Honduras clinch while Costa Rica lost in Playoffs
the results of the final CONCACAF qualifying matches
last Wednesday, USA
lead the CONCACAF Final round qualifiers with 20 points
while Mexico and Honduras finish second and third
respectively to complete the three automatic spots.
did what was necessary against Trinidad and Tobago in
what turned out to be a dull affair with almost the same
amount of Mexican supporters as the Soca Warriors. The
game ended 2-2 and it seemed like every time T&T scored
Mexico responded accordingly, with a score and their
level of play.
Mexico equalized in
minute with a neat by Carlos Salcido to set up an
exciting finish to a somewhat dull game. But to stay
true to form both teams missed late chances and both
teams hit the crossbar to finish the game with a 2-2
the tie Mexico finished with 19 points second place one
point behind USA while Trinidad and Tobago finished
their campaign in last place with points. Honduras
finished in third place after defeating El Salvador 1-0
while Costa Rica finished in fourth place after allowing
USA to come back from a two goal half time deficit to
tie 2-2 in the 4 minute of injury time.
Honduras defeat El Salvador 1-0 to clinch third and
final automatic spot to World Cup South Africa out After
Costa Rica tie with USA. As a result of its tie Costa Rica
had to play Uruguay, the fifth place South American
team in a home and away playoff series to get to 2010
turned out, on November 14 Costa Rica lost 1-0 to Uruguay
in its first game at home and only manage a tie in the
second game on November 18 in
Uruguay to lose on aggregate and as a result will have
to watch the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Mexico defeat USA
for a second time
Thursday 13 August 2009
It was another action-packed night in the North, Central
American and Caribbean zone, as the home sides
prevailed. Mexico fought hard to recover from an early
deficit and earn a 2-1 victory over USA at the Estadio
Azteca, as Trinidad and Tobago managed to hold on in
Port of Spain to disappoint struggling El Salvador 1-0.
Honduras capped the night with an energetic performance,
notching no less than four goals to surprise
top-of-the-table Costa Rica. Join FIFA.com for a
closer look at all the evening's action from CONCACAF.
Match of the day Mexico 2-1 USA
Charlie Davies (9), Israel Castro (19), Miguel Sabah
Mexico came from behind to defeat rivals USA 2-1 in
their crucial 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™
qualifier, propelled by punishing strikes from Israel
Castro and super-sub Miguel Sabah. USA took the lead in
the ninth minute as Charlie Davies finished a
counter-attack to slot home at the far post. However,
Mexico soon drew level as Castro's long-range shot
crashed in off the crossbar.
With nine minutes to play, Efraín Juárez made a great
penetrating run which drew two defenders, opening up
substitute Sabah who struck a hard volley into the top
of the net. With the win El Tri stayed fourth in
the region, but edged to within just one point of the
top half of the table. Javier Aguirre's side are now
back in the mix, but their work is not done, as an away
date with leaders Costa Rica awaits on 5 September.
In other action
Cornell Glen's early goal was enough to give Trinidad
and Tobago three points against El Salvador and
reinvigorate their South Africa 2010 dream. The Soca
Warriors notched their first victory in the
six-nation qualifying group before an overwhelmingly
partisan crowd at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. With the
result, they drew level with their opponents on five
points at the bottom of the standings, four below
Honduras put on an electric performance in San Pedro
Sula, looking dangerous right from the start as they
leapfrogged USA into second place by beating leaders
Costa Rica 4-0. Carlos Costly started and finished the
lesson, with Carlos Pavon and Melvin Valladares adding
to the tally for Honduras, who are now two points behind
the Ticos and above the USA on goal difference.
Costly caught the Costa Rica defence napping to head
home the opener in the first half and from then on there
was no way back for the visitors.
The top three teams in North, Central America and the
Caribbean earn automatic qualifying berths to the 2010
FIFA World Cup South Africa™, while the fourth-placed
team will face a two-leg play-off against the
fifth-placed finisher in South America for the final
Player of the day - Carlos Costly (HON)
Carlos Costly of Honduras was the leading scorer of the
day, finding the net twice [31, 90] as his side rolled
over Costa Rica. His active play nearly yielded several
more for his side, as he repeatedly danced with the ball
deep in the Ticos territory before sending searching
passes across the goalmouth for his team-mates.
What they said
"We found it very difficult to settle on the field in
the opening minutes and the United States took
advantage," said Mexico defender Carlos Salcido. "Then,
we became calmer, building our offensive play and our
goals finally came."
"We know we're a great team and I think we have what it
takes to win here, but today we were a little bit
unlucky," said USA forward Charlie Davies, on whether
his side's failure to capitalise on their early lead was
a missed opportunity. "They were able to control most of
the game with possession, and I think that's what hurt
1 - The number of goals that the three visiting teams
were able to muster in 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™
qualifying action in the North, Central American and
Mexico defeated USA
The CONCACAF 2010
World Cup qualifiers
will resume on
August 12 with a
Mexico and USA after
Americans 5-0 in the
Gold Cup final on
July 26. Presently,
USA is in second
place while Mexico
is in the hot 4th
spot heading into
the August showdown
defeat USA to win
its 5th Gold Cup
East Rutherford, New Jersey:
Mexico surprised USA here at Giants Stadium before a sold out crowd of
79,156 of mostly Mexico supporters. El Tricolor humiliated USA with
five unanswered goals in the second half to win its fifth CONCACAF Gold
Cup title 5-0.
With the win Mexico
end the United States 58 game unbeaten streak against CONCACAF opponents
and with it end their 10 year winless streak at 15 games against the
Americans outside of Mexico.
The result of the
Gold Cup final has made the final round of the CONCACAF 2010 qualifiers
all the more interesting with the emergence of their young and talented
marquee midfielder De Santos.
De Santos opened up
the game with his creativity and after drawing a penalty which gave
Mexico the lead. He scored the second goal to start the rout as
substitute Vela, Jose Antonio and Franco round off the scoring to put
the finishes touches to a disputed penalty, which captain Torrado
The penalty was
awarded in the 56 minute when De Santos became entangled with defender
Jay Heaps and referee Courtney Campbell pointed to the penalty spot much
to the delight of the partisan Mexican crowd.
"I do not think it
was a penalty," USA coach Bradley insisted at the press conference, but
from my vantage point Bradley conveniently forgot that their was a
second penalty overlooked by referee Campbell, where De Santos was
clearly brought down in the area after eluding his defender.
When asked to
comment on the penalty De Santos responded "I think there was a second
one that the referee didn't call, that was a lot cleaner than the first
one," said Dos Santos. "But that is the way soccer is. The refs do their
jobs just like we do ours. The end of the game was ours and everything
went our way."
In sport for the most part you get what you put in and
although USA has been playing inspired soccer throughout the tournament,
it is no secret that coach Bradley was juggling a 30 man roster which
took its tool on the continuity, chemistry and quality of the American
seems to be building their team around Gold Cup MVP
De Santos who at the age of 20 has a tremendous future after stints with
and now Tottenham Hotspur in
the English Premiership.
Coach Aguirre is
also coming into his own with timely changes after his 3-game
suspension. Aguirre pivotal move was the halftime substitution of Vela
for Medina. Vela combined with De Santos and contributed to the scoring
with a goal and two assists.
The first half of
play was fairly even but one could sense that USA was having trouble
offensively after breaking up a lot of Mexico ill advise crosses in the
air which favored the taller USA defenders.
had success when De Santos utilized his dribbling ability to penetrate
the USA defense which created space for his team mates. However, #7
Alberto Medina was muffing most of the plays in which Mexico could have
Medina did not help
his cause when he failed to get off a shot just before the half after
being wide open on a glorious scoring opportunity. Needless to say he
was replaced by Vela for the second half.
In the second half
Mexico attack had a definite punch with Vela combining with De Santos to
draw the penalty which gave Mexico the lead. Then six minutes later De
Santos scored on a rebound to double the Mexico.
Then came the back
breaker in the 67th minute when De Santos fed Vela for the
third goal to give Mexico and its fans a premature party celebration.
Vela was the spark plug in the second half and in the 79th minute he set
up Jose Castro to give Mexico a 4-0 lead.
provided Mexico with its the fifth and final score as Mexico walk away
with its fifth Gold Cup title. With the historic win over USA the Mexican supporters
are hopeful that their team can climb back as the #1 team in CONCACAF.
that can happen Mexico will have to take care of USA in their next World
Cup qualifier game on August 12th in Mexico.
"We were expecting
to win this game before it was even played, but not with such a wide
difference." Coach Aguirre explained "The 90 minutes that we played
against the U.S. ends today and on August 12, we have another game.
CONCACAF Gold Cup Final Four
Honduras defeat Canada 1-0 last Saturday to advance into the 2009
CONCACAF Gold Cup semi finals. The Catrachos secured their quarterfinal
win from a penalty converted by Walter Martinez in the first half of
With the win Honduras secured its third appearance in the semi finals of
the Gold Cup and has marked the occasion with its third victory over
Canada in their last three meetings which includes the two 2010 W-C
However, although Honduras record is impressive against Canada, the
games between the teams are close and this one was no different. The
Catrachos was awarded a penalty in the 36th minute when Canada defender
and team captain Paul Staltieri was cautioned for a questionable
infraction on striker Martinez.
Staltieri argued the call for what many thought was a handball
infraction, but it as it turned out it was revealed that Staltieri
yellow card caution was for tugging Martinez's jersey after disputing
the decision by Salvadoran referee.
When Hart was asked about the penalty against his team, he responded,
"From the end of the bench, it looked phantom to me". The recipient
Martinez, did not help the referee’s caused when he disclosed through a
translator “All referees make mistakes and are human”, and “I didn't
think it was a penalty, but I was able to score."
My version of the penalty situation is that although the foul that drew
could have been overlooked; a penalty could have been easily given
earlier in the game for what I consider a more serious infraction
against Staltieri on the same player (Martinez) in the area.
However, on this day Canada did not score or make use of their chances
in a game which a winner had to emerge and while Julian De Guzman
coordinated the midfield plays, Canada vertical game was too slow
developing against a fast Honduras team.
Canada cross balls on set plays especially corner kicks were low and
short and there was limited penetration on the flank. Honduras deserves
credit for neutralizing the Canadian midfield and has evolved into a
formidable force in the CONCACAF region.
"I'm very proud of the players," "I think we showed a lot of
character." Canada interim coach Stephen Hart maintained
Canada has made significant progress in the short time that Stephen Hart
has returned to the men senior team, and it is my belief that the
Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) should give Hart a long-term contract
as the head coach of the team.
In the second quarterfinal at Lincoln Financial Field, USA was in yet
another dramatic finish after defeating Panama 2-1 on a Kenny Cooper
penalty scored in the first half of overtime in front of a crowd of
The semi final stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup is set for Thursday at
Chicago's Soldier Field where USA and Honduras will tangle for a second
time in the tournament, and Mexico take on Costa Rica in the other semi
Revenge and tactical awareness would be a factor for Honduras after
coming up on the short end of a 2-0 decision in the group stage. The two
coach’s response to my question to them about their assessment of the
tempo of the game indicated that this second meeting would be a tactical
Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda was convinced that his team had the speed
to get the job done and reinforced that notion after his team latest win
over Canada, while USA coach Bradley was confident that as long as the
game is wide open, his team athleticism gives them the better chance to
However, the Mexico-Costa Rica semi final is a different type of game
base on the similar styles of the teams which makes the game too close
to call unless one of the teams has a big letdown which seems remote
after their last game.
Both Mexico and Costa Rica are coming off impressive offensively
displays after defeating Haiti 4-0 and Guadeloupe 5-1 respectively.
However, the game is a big test for Mexico to resurface as a force in
the region but would be tested severely without their suspended coach
Mexico win and Aguirre would return to the team for the final, but a
loss to Costa Rica and Aguirre life could be a bunch of nerves, since he
would have to get his team ready for an all important World Cup
qualifier game on August 12.
With USA and Costa Rica as their two next opponents in the World Cup
qualifiers, and the same two teams on his plate in reverse order if
successful at the 2009 Gold Cup, Aguirre and his Mexico team would have
to be ready or face the thought of playing a South American team to
qualify to South Africa.
Continue to lead CONCACAF 2010 qualifiers
After 3 games in the CONCACAF
2010 World Cup qualifiers, USA is atop of the
group standings and seemed to be the team to beat.
However, the Americans have a two tough games next
against Costa Rica
and Honduras and if USA is successful with
positive results they could all but cement a spot in the
this action is happening as
spring fights off the last effects of winter and the lower
seeded teams having to step up their play to secure a
position in their 2010 World Cup qualifiers. The heat is
getting intense and the pressure is on the bottom teams
since the big guns are beginning to surge forward.
T&T Soca Warriors showed little fight last week in a 3-0
drubbing by USA in Nashville Tennessee, as the
Americans jumped all over the Warriors from the opening
whistle with nineteen-year-old striker Jozy Altidore as
the Johnny on the spot after scoring a hat trick to give
USA an easy 3-0 victory.
make matters worst, Honduras jumped into third spot
after defeating Mexico 3-1 in San Pedro Sula. The
Mexicans are in fourth place, which left El Salvador and
Trinidad and Tobago, in 5th and 6th place respectively.
was the case last September when USA defeated T&T by the
same margin of victory, the call for coach Maturana’s
firing has resurfaced and since it seems like the
Warriors may have blown the easier part of their final
round schedule it may be a case of Dejavue all over
However, in keeping things in context, it should be
noted that T&T has never won on U.S. soil, and the
Warriors and El Salvador may find themselves out of
contention if they cannot defeat Mexico and Costa Rica
while enjoying home field advantage on June 6.
call for a coaching change because of a USA loss seems
to be over kill but with Mexico making a coach change,
it seems like the only window for a change is now, since
there are over seven weeks left for the next qualifiers
to be played.
Since coach Maturana has explored the T&T talent pool
and there is no other direction for the team to go but
up I am hopeful that if the TTFF makes a coaching change
it will if any thing, improve the selection of the T&T
Winning and losing is a coach’s area of responsibility
but the players should shoulder some of the blame for
the embarrassing loss against USA. At any level of
national soccer/football, a control of the ball on the
first touch is necessary and stringing passes together
is where the fun begins for a player.
most of these players a good international performances
could have meant a spot back in their respective team’s
line up compared to being on loan and/or riding the
bench, which seems to result in a loss of confidence in
support or lack of it for the Warriors at the games in
T&T is an area that has to improve for Trinidad and
Tobago to advance. When the attendance is good, there is
no cheering for the team and no booing or jeering of the
opposition. Instead, there is partying to the Rhythm
section and DJ music as the forefront. Hence, the heat
defeat Guatemala 2-0 to send a message for final
USA lived up to their #1 ranking in CONCACAF and
seem to be on track to qualify for
World Cup South Africa 2010 when the Americans
destroyed any hopes of Guatemala advancing to the final
soccer program seem to be clicking on all cylinders
after overpowering Guatemala 2-0 in the second
half of play without most of
their regular starters in
the roster. Guatemala had to win while Trinidad and
Tobago had to lose to Cuba for them to stand any chance
of moving into second place in Group A and into the
scoreless first half both USA and T&T raised their level
of play to defeat their opponents. USA goal was scored
by Kenny Cooper at the 54 minute while Freddy Adu put
the American further ahead with the insurance goal at
the 69 minute.
clinched a spot into the final round since their fourth
game when they defeated Cuba 6-1 to also win the Group A
Last Saturday the
match schedule for the six-team 'hexagonal' round was
finalized and the first games of the final round are
schedule for February 11, with Trinidad and Tobago
travelling to play El Salvador while Costa Rica stays at
home to play Honduras.
The Mexicans could be scratching their heads in lieu
of their big first leg test against CONCACAF #1
ranked USA since it could be the turning point for
Mexico’s coach Eriksson and his team. Mexico has
lost their last two game and will be under the gun
to win in the US or face another brush with
elimination from World Cup 2010.
Final round schedule for the North, Central
America, and Caribbean Zone Wednesday 11 February Costa Rica-Honduras El
Salvador-Trinidad and Tobago USA-Mexico Saturday 28 March Mexico-Costa Rica Trinidad
and Tobago-Honduras El Salvador-USA Wednesday 1 April Costa Rica-El Salvador
USA-Trinidad and Tobago Honduras-Mexico Wednesday 3 June Costa Rica-USA Saturday 6 June Trinidad and Tobago-Costa
Rica El Salvador-Mexico USA-Honduras Wednesday 10 June Mexico-Trinidad and Tobago
Honduras-El Salvador Wednesday 12 August Honduras-Costa Rica
Trinidad and Tobago-El Salvador Mexico-USA
The top three finishing teams automatically qualify
for South Africa 2010, while the fourth place team
will play a South American opponent for the last
Soca Warriors defeat
USA 2-1 to move into second place in Group1
Port of Spain:
Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors has defeated USA 2-1
before a fair crowd at the Hasley Crawford Stadium last
Saturday. The win has all but assured T&T a spot in the
CONCACAF World Cup qualifying final round of six as the
Warriors moved ahead of Guatemala and into sole
possession of second place in Group A.
Trinidad and Tobago has eight points to Guatemala’s five
and with the Warriors playing Cuba in Trinidad on
November 19 while Guatemala will be up against USA in
the United States in their final games, it is no secret
that Guatemala is not in a favorable situation.
However should Trinidad and Tobago lose their game
against Cuba and Guatemala defeat USA then the situation
will be reversed and Guatemala would advance ahead of
T&T based on their superior goal difference.
retrospect it is Dejavue all over again as T&T was in
the driver’s seat against USA in 1989 for World Cup 1990
and was eliminated after losing 1-0. However with the
experience in bedded into the Trinidad and Tobago team
presently and judging by their first ever victory over
USA last Saturday, most Warrior fans are adamant that
“that was then (89) and this is now” and the Warriors
has more options now since they can still advance if
Guatemala lose of tie with USA in their next game.
the USA game Warrior coach Maturana started Aklie
Edwards and Silvio Spann into the wing back positions in
place of Avery John and Cyd Gray (suspended) while
Dennis Lawrence and Keyeno Thomas remained in the
line-up as the starting central backs after their
outstanding performance in the Guatemala game.
The momentum of the warriors game in Guatemala seem to
carry over into the USA game for as the game started it
was apparent that USA was struggling with their team
chemistry due to Coach Bob Bradly inclusions of several
new and youthful players into the team after USA
clinched the group A title in their 6-1 win over Cuba in
their last game.
However in spite of the omission of several of their
starters in the game it was not youth that seemed to be
the problem for the USA team but the businesslike
approach to the game by captain Dwight Yorke and his
Soca Warriors teammates.
territorial advantage was evident from the onset and as
a result the USA defense was under pressure from the
opening whistle. T&T striker Jason Scotland sharp turns
and quick acceleration created several anxious moments
around the USA net but with no scoring to create any
momentum due to the lack of enthusiasm and inexperience
of the Soca Warriors supporters in regards to creating
any home advantage.
Needless to say USA had the chance to settle down and
stringed together some effective short crisp passes.
However that was to no avail since for the most part the
short passes only contributed to USA ball possession and
allowed the T&T defensive coverage to solidify and cut
off any scoring threat.
midfielder Chris Birchall as always was the work horse
in the middle of the field and while Dwight Yorke
systematically dropped back in his defense to relieve
his defenders of the ball in an effort to create
penetration, the USA defense was also up to the task.
thought that T&T midfielders on the flanks in Carlos
Edwards and Keon Daniel did not put enough pressure on
the USA defense in the first half and were a bit slow of
the mark which resulted in both of them having trouble
getting to the bye line on a regular to serve the cross
balls that was required.
However with more Makan Hislop replacing Keon Daniel
after a goalless first half, the game changed. Then came
the play of the game at the 61st minute when
Russell Latapy the “little magician” worked some of his
magic by scoring with a left footed half volley from a
Carlos Edwards right side cross that dramatically
rebounded off the upright and also off goal keeper
Bradley Guzman and into the USA net To give Trinidad and
Tobago a 1-0 lead.
equalized at the 74th minute on a goal scored
by Charlie Davis and as play intensified Dwight Yorke
converted from the penalty spot at the 79th
minute as USA goalkeeper Guzan guessed dove to the wrong
side as the ball entered the net to give Trinidad and
Tobago an all important 2-1 win. With the announcement
of Cuba 2-1 upset of Guatemala at the end of the game,
there was a (fete) festive atmosphere in downtown Port
the CONCACAF world Cup final scores were announced there
was a big cheer for the Jamaica Reggae Boyz 1-0 victory
over Honduras in Kingston. The win gave the Reggae Boyz
life in the “Group of Death” and should Mexico beat
Honduras in Honduras and the Boyz take care of business
on November 19 against Canada in Kingston the Caribbean
soccer fans down here feel that T&T or Jamaica would
have a good chance of qualifying to World Cup South
Africa 2010 out of the final round of six.
T&T 3-0 at Toyota Park
The long and winding road to World Cup South Africa have
straightened out after game three for the three group
favorites in the CONCACAF qualifiers while the
struggling teams look for direction as their cookies
begin to crumble.
remained on track to progress to the final round of six
with a comfortable 3-0 win domination of Trinidad and
Tobago at Toyota Park in Bridgeview Chicago, while
Mexico and Costa Rica defeated Canada and Haiti 2-1 and
3-1 respectively to approach the home stretch leading
their group races with straight road ahead to the final
In Canada there is a little rumbling in regards to the
capacity of the Canuck coach Dale Mitchell ability to
lead the Canada Mens’s team and while the Mexicans bid a
proper farewell to Cuauhtémoc Blanco after his
retirement in Chiapas Mexico after their victory, Horace
Burrell the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President
announced the firing of their Technical Director Rene
Simoes after the team suffered two successive losses to
Mexico and Honduras.
"I could have allowed things to go on as they are, but
honestly would not be performing my duties in the way
that it is expected and to push Jamaica's football
forward," Burrell stated
"We are not out, first of all, and we have three games
at home (remaining in the semi-finals)," he said. "We
are going to get re-energised and we are going to hope
for good results." Burrell is expected to name a
successor to Simoes within the coming week but has
the Simoes fever has hit Trinidad and Tobago and some
Soca Warriors fans have been calling for the firing of
coach Francisco Maturana after T&T has dropped into
third place in Group 1 behind USA and Guatemala since
Guatemala defeated Cuba 4-1 and moved into second on
virtue of their goal difference.
To add ammunition to the fans the Soca Warriors team was
on the defensive from the opening whistle as USA
shredded T&T on goals by Michael Bradley and Clint
Dempsey at the 10th and 18th
minute to take a 2-0 halftime lead as Brian Ching scored
at the 57th minute with a header to seal the
In the USA game the Trinidad and Tobago players were
making bad passes with no opposing player on them and to
add insult to injury they were not getting back into
their proper defensive positions after the miscues which
question their motivation or lack of it.
Granted Dwight Yorke the newly appointed T&T captain did
not make the trip but for what it is worth the captain
in the USA game would have had to lead by his play since
the performance of the T&T players was less than
inspiring to the dismay of the Soca Warriors fans.
Warriors flankers in Keon Daniel and Carlos Edward were
terrible in their defensive coverage with the latter
player having what I consider to be the worst game I
have seen him play. When you add the fact that a number
of the Soca Warriors fans are of the notion that the
Germany World Cup players may be the answer to the
Warriors woes is mindboggling.
Jason Scotland did not do it against Bermuda, Stern John
is not the answer and World Cup player Anthony Wolfe was
substituted for another W-C player Densil Theobald at
halftime in the USA game and there was no significant
difference in Wolfe’s play to Theobald’s.
Carlos Edwards a player of the W-C stock has not been
playing up to his capabilities and with his awful
performance from the start to the end of the USA game
one would have to wonder if he is bothered by an injury
or the fact that he was replaced at the half in the
Guatemala game could have hurt his ego and affected his
Cyd Gray at right back has been given the T&T captaincy
off and on since Aurtis Whitley has been sidelined with
an injury but when you look back at Gray tenure as
captaincy which includes the USA game (in Dwight Yorke’s
absence) it is obvious that he has no noticeable
leadership qualities in his play or otherwise since he
received a red card against Haiti in a friendly and was
out of position for most of the USA game with Edwards
both W-C players.
should be no secret that T&T will have to rely on their
young players in moving forward since at this point of
the qualifiers winning may not be a given and the young
players will need to gain experience.
Aklie Edwards at age 19 was one of the few bright
spots on the Soca Warriors team against USA and since he
is innovative, and more resilient than veteran Avery
John who was out due to injury coach Maturana should
have a no brainer for a decision in the selection of his
left full back for the Guatemala game.
In a thrilling finish to
CONCACAF Gold Cup 2007, USA defeated
Mexico 2-1 before a pro Mexican crowd at
Soldier Field in Chicago. The Americans
reached the final after defeating
Canada 2-1 in the semi final, in what
turned out to be a very controversial
offside call by the referee. The offside
call negated Canada’s second goal that
would have tied the game in injury time in regulation
With all things
considered, USA was the team in the
tournament that was more deserving to be
the champion. They played consistently
all the way through and finished the
tournament with an unblemished 6-0-0
USA faced their stiffest
challenge in the semis and final games
against Canada and Mexico respectively.
They were a bit lucky to be ahead of
Canada 2-0 at the half, based on Canada
having a good part of the run of play.
Canada held its own and scored the only
goal of the second half which had the
Americans defending vigorously to
protect their one goal lead.
In the final the
Americans proved that they go both ways
against a Mexico team that may have been
overrated. USA defended when they had
to, and maintained their dangerous
offense when needed in a come from
behind win over Mexico. USA was trailing
1-0 after one half of play as they held
on for the half to regroup.
Mexico was the # team in
the CONCACAF region heading into the
Gold Cup tournament but they could not
secure the lead against a well precision
USA attack. As a result they gave up two
goals in just over ten minutes to
scramble at the end in an effort to
score the equalizer which never came.
Cup 2007 proved that the CONCACAF teams
have improved their soccer programs to
the level that shows that any team from
the region can qualify for the future
Canada performed well at Gold Cup 2007
and if their personnel and level of play can be
maintained, Canada would have a very good chance of
qualifying for World Cup South Africa 2010
meets Honduras in CONCACAF Men’s Olympic final
Honduras advance to the final of the CONCACAF 2008 Men's Olympic
qualifyingafter 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 Men’s 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 Confederation’s Under-23 title.