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USA Qualifying Sked Taking Shape

We know the Americans will play their opening qualifying series for the 2010 World Cup in June against Barbados or Dominica. Let's go out on a limb and say they advance. A stretch, I know.

Next up is a four-team, semifinal-round group between August and November with the top two nations advancing to the CONCACAF final round. Here's what we know unofficially, thanks to a FIFA draw over the weekend in Tokyo:

Assuming all the favorites go through to the semifinal round, I am guessing the Americans would play.....

*At Guatemala on August 20
*At Cuba on Sept. 6
*Home vs. T&T on Sept. 10
*Home vs. Guatemala on Oct. 11
*Home vs. Cuba on Oct. 15
*At T&T on Nov. 19

All the dates are approximate (could be a day or two earlier or later). The first two opponents and sites are certain, which means the third game is also a lock. The other three games are based on the assumption that the order of opponents stays the same in the second half of the schedule. It's an assumption, and from I hear tonight, a weak one at that. So let's see what FIFA says in the next 24 hours.

By Steve Goff  |  December 17, 2007; 5:43 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: New York, New York

Comments

Goff, have you sent these dates yet to MLS HQ in NY, so they can set their 2008 schedule accordingly.

At times I do not think they are aware of the dates Fifa uses for international matches.

Posted by: How to avoid conflicts | December 17, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Will an east coast venue be used for the 9/10 match?

Posted by: RFK | December 17, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

So the US "can't" start with three road games in the semi-final round, but they "can" have three consecutive home games?

Or could the switch the order of opponents for matches 5 & 6?

Posted by: Order of play? | December 17, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Potential stumbling blocks right out of the gate but I think a worst case scenario out of the first two matches is 2 points. I just can't see them losing both matches, or any quite frankly.

The home matches are almost locks for 9 points. At that point they are most likely thru to the Hex

Posted by: A Rickey | December 17, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Goff, do you know what the date or week of the Barbados/Dominica game is?

Posted by: mb | December 17, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

The best part about Soccer Insider is that I can work the 3-11 shift, go out and get hammered on a Monday night, and stumble home at 1:30 in the morning and see that there has been Insider updates. Goff I love your updates. Your so much better than Ives.

Posted by: Eric | December 18, 2007 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Eric: Goff never stops working. He only takes short periods of time to "regenerate" before he gets back to working the phone (as evident by the Veron and Perkins news cycle during his vacation).

Posted by: burd | December 18, 2007 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

The Guate game conflicts with the Olympics, right? Does this mean we're going to send a half-assed U-23 team to Beijing?

P

Posted by: franz goffka | December 18, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

USA games against Barbados/Dominica will be June 14/15 and June 21/22, I believe. The first game will be at a U.S. site.

Indeed, there is overlap with the Olympics, but I'm sure the Olympics will be the priority for U-23 players (Bradley, Altidore, Adu, Feilhaber, etc) because this is their world championship tournament while the national team is playing one single game. Three overage players will get called in for the Olympics, as well. So certainly some player-selection issues for Bradley before that first semifinal-round match. Mexico (assuming they qualify for Beijing) will have the same dilemma.

Posted by: Goff | December 18, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Since I forgot to say this before, thanks! I'm really looking forward to this Olympic team (plus a couple of over-age defenders), so I hope you're right.

Posted by: franz goffka | December 18, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

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