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USA's Road to '10 Begins..... June against Barbados or Dominica.

It's a home-and-home, second-round series, with the winner advancing to a CONCACAF semifinal-round group starting in August.

You may recall the Americans faced Barbados, a cricketing nation, in the build-up to the 2002 World Cup, and after winning 7-0 in a semifinal-round match at Foxborough, they needed a result in the group finale at Waterford to ensure advancement. With the suspended Bruce Arena watching from the periphery of the hilltop stadium, the U.S. team rallied late to earn a 4-0 victory on goals by Mathis, Stewart, Jones and Razov.

Barbados, the Bajan Pride, should defeat Dominica to set up the series with the Americans. If you are going, I can highly recommend Ragamuffins in a chattel house on 1st Street in Holetown.

Assuming all the favorites advance, the semifinal-round groups should look like this (with the top two in each group advancing to the final round):

*USA, Guatemala, T&T, Cuba
*Mexico, Jamaica, Honduras, Canada
*Costa Rica, Guyana, Panama, Haiti

By Steve Goff  |  November 25, 2007; 11:12 AM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Europe's World Cup Qualifying Draw.....


England was drawn with Croatia for its WC Qualifying group, hahaha!

Posted by: G-Dub | November 25, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

So will US fans be allowed to travel to Cuba?

Posted by: JDO | November 25, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

It'll be played at Gitmo, duhhhh!

Posted by: Rummy | November 25, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

US-Cuba, South Korea-North Korea, Sudan-Chad ... lots of good, clean fun out there.

Wonder if Keith Olbermann starts up another new segment, "The Nexus of Politics and Sports."

Posted by: MHiggo | November 25, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Canada will be able to Qualify for the World Cup.

Posted by: BI | November 25, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I would think that England would LOVE to have a do-over ...

Posted by: Nozzle | November 25, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Group A should see the US and... the other three are real close. Will we see a god Cuba or the bad one? I hope T&T doesn't make it as I'm still pissed over the "blind draw" that Jack Warner's team got last time.

Group B looks to be the toughest if Jamaica bring it. With Canada and Honduras its really too close to call at the moment.

Groupc C looks the easiest. CR should easily qualify even theough they are at a low point. They'll probably be joined by Panama.

Posted by: ursula | November 25, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about '10, but here's something we don't want to see in '14:

Posted by: 22201 | November 25, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Honduras should be very tough, if they can get their Italian-based players available for all their qualifiers. David Suazo's probably the best striker in CONCACAF.

If Canada can talk Jonathan de Guzman from Feyenoord Rotterdam to join his brother Julian from Deportivo de la Coruna in the midfield and play for them, they should be tough as well.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | November 25, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

my God, Mexico has a tough group. Jamaica has been playing well. Hondouras is always tricky and Canada had a good Gold Cup. Possible upsets there. Happy the US isn't in that group.

The only roadblock I see for the US is cracking Guatemala's use of the Bruce Arena 11-0-0 formation. We didn't look too good against them last year in the friendly. Teams are starting to do that to us and we need to learn how to break them.

Posted by: papa bear | November 25, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

We have to wait until June! I'm ready for World Cup qualification now.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 25, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

The game in Cuba could be an issue. What's the US Soccer Federation sayig about playing there? What, if any, penalties has FIFA imposed previously for failing to show up for a scheduled match?

Posted by: Curious | November 25, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

The US will play. Fans doubtfully will be allowed to go. Just forget about it.

Somebody at US Soccer will put in a TON of overtime handling the logistics of the Cuba trip.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 25, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

papa bear - Jamaica has been playing well recently? Really? Seems they've been pretty awful of late.

Posted by: Art | November 26, 2007 5:09 AM | Report abuse

You can support the USA nats if you fly through Toronto to get to the Cuba game. Mojitos for all Sam's Army! :)

Posted by: Fidel | November 26, 2007 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Excuse me... Holetown?

Sounds like something off the Jersey Turnpike.

Posted by: Joe Doc | November 26, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

How did Costa Rica end up with such an easy draw in the semi-finals? Shouldn't the US and Mexico - clearly the two best teams in CONCACAF - be rewarded with easier semi-final groups? I declare shennanigans.

Posted by: Jeff M | November 26, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I can just see Fidel grasping his chest upon hearing that "Uncle Sam's Army will besige Cuba en force..."

No worries, though. Cuba's healthcare system is the world's best. That's why so many people take boats or swim their way to the Utopian island.

Posted by: Joe Doc | November 26, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

So should the Ticos just book their flights to Durban now? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | November 26, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Goff, isn't it "Bajan Rockets" as opposed to "Bajan Pride"? I like to keep track of national team nicknames -- costa rica ticos, guatemala chapines, mexico tricolor, jamaica reggae boyz, trinidad soca warriors, USA yanks, Canada canucks, panama canaleros, honduras catrachos, argentina albiceleste, england three lions, brazil seleccao, germany mannschaft, france les blues, italy azzuri, australia socceroos, colombia cafeteros, south africa bafana bafana, nigeria super eagles, cameroon indomitable lions, morroco lions of the atlas, egypt pharoahs, ivory coast elefantes, new zealand all whites, uruguay charruas, portugal seleccao das quinas, ghana black stars, chile la roja, algeria desert foxes, scotland tartan army, etc.

Posted by: furia yanqui | November 26, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

and who could forget the grenada spice boyz (most famous player: shalrie "raggedy ann" joseph)

Posted by: furia yanqui | November 26, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

They apparently changed their name this year.

Posted by: Goff | November 26, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Grenada also has Blackburn striker Jason Roberts. He gave Eddie Pope a pretty hard time 4 years ago.

It's worth noting that Goff listed only the 12 CONCACAF seeded teams but there are 22 other teams trying to play their way into the semifinal group stage.

It's possible that a few of these minnows could swim onto into the group stage. Maybe El Salvador (has to play Anguilla first) over Panama or Suriname (has to play Montserrat first) over Guyana or Belize (has to play St Kitt's first) over Mexico.

OK. Maybe not Belize but don't be surprised at an upset or two before the group stage semifinals.

Posted by: garbaggio | November 26, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

So should the Ticos just book their flights to Durban now? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | November 26, 2007 11:26 AM

I believe that, as in previous WC cycles, this will be followed by a six-team competition to pick three teams to send to South Africa. No matter how badly the Ticos trounce the competition at this stage, the slate will be wiped clean when it's over, and against the USA, Mexico, etc., they could finish first, sixth, or anywhere in between.

Posted by: 22201 | November 26, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

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