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Selection Monday

No 65-team tournament field here. No mascots, cheerleaders or pep bands.

Just four sides playing for two tickets to China this summer:

Honduras-Guatemala
USA-Canada

One site (Nashville), not eight, and all on one day (Thursday) to determine the CONCACAF's two men's Olympic berths.

In case you missed it, Mexico is out because, after Canada routed already-secure Guatemala, 5-0, the Mexicans beat Haiti by only four goals in Sunday's nightcap at Home Depot Center. Everything worked in their favor (red cards, penalty kicks, etc.), except that elusive final goal.

Read about it here. Watch it down below.

Meanwhile.....

*Hoping to get word in the coming days on whether Argentine forward Facundo Sava will be coming to MLS. As we reported, three MLS teams, including Columbus, are apparently interested and Sava could be looking abroad as his club, Racing, continues to struggle on and off the field.

*D.C. United is making final preparations for tomorrow's second leg of the Champions' Cup quarterfinals at Estadio RFK against Harbour View, which is without four members of its delegation, including two players and a chef, because of visa issues. I'll provide an Insider report from the grounds today, including an update on Jaime Moreno's condition.

Mexico-Haiti highlights:


By Steve Goff  |  March 17, 2008; 8:42 AM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The USA's Dilemma
Next: Moreno Out, Roster Updates

Comments

poor, poor Mexico! I love it.

Posted by: sec 204 | March 17, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

So do we have any idea what the visa issue is for the Jamaican players? Is it possibly something that could be resolved by tomorrow night?

Posted by: Phil | March 17, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"The embassy outlined clear and valid reasons why they were turned down," said the HV rep.

That is an important point. If HV or the applicants themselves choose to explain why they were denied, it is their choice to do so. The Embassy cannot and should not do so for privacy reasons.

Also, the comment about footballers getting visas without visiting the embassy is impossible because part of the visa process includes digitized fingerprinting which is incorporated in the visa (to avoid counterfeiting and tampering).

Posted by: Anonymous | March 17, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Do we know whether the U.S. will play at 5 PM or 8 PM on Thursday night?

Posted by: J | March 17, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Safe to assume the USA-Canada game will be the later start, but still waiting for official word.

Posted by: Goff | March 17, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Where, oh WHERE is the OUTRAGE at the refusal to grant a visa to Harbour View's chef?

Steve, no youtube clips of the bikini-runner? :-)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 17, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

What's the over/under on when Hugo Sanchez gets fired? :)

Posted by: Mike | March 17, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

looks like the Haitian defense stopped playing there at the end. Two 3 on 0 breaks!?

How worried should the US be playing a team that just scored 5 goals? Since we can't seem to buy a goal this could be a tough game.

Posted by: Glenn | March 17, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I saw Jaime Saturday afternoon in Ashburn (I think he was apartment shopping with Gonzalo Martinez) and he was walking just fine--not that's any indication of his being able to run or play tomorrow.

Posted by: Soy United! | March 17, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Mexico missing out is great, but hopefully Nowak's boys still realize that Canada is no slouch. It's not like we tore apart the rest of our group.

Wolfe and Thomas were both starters for Harbour View. Wolfe didn't impress me that much (I thought they were sharper with Palmer, even ignoring his goal), but Thomas was their best forward. With or without Moreno, we need to pounce on what is now a weakened side and get in front early.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | March 17, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

i think the bikini runner is a great example of how soccer is developing in our country. in any other part of the world she would have been fully nude...

Posted by: PKTaker | March 17, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

what's up w/ the guatamalans givin' up 5 goals?! was that to spite the mexicans..hehehe

Posted by: mizage | March 17, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

OT--heard about this on the news this morning and I thought of the Insider.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Rustler-Ranch-CA-3-Million-Year-Old-Mastodon-

Posted by: WNT fan | March 17, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

[...] Two 3 on 0 breaks!?

How worried should the US be playing a team that just scored 5 goals?

Posted by: Glenn | March 17, 2008 09:51 AM
======================

Haiti had 2 players sent off and was playing a 4-4-0, but forgot that you count from the back to the front, not the other way around.

FWIW The Guatemalan coach said that he rested five starters. But, you're right, our lack of finishing and Canada's new confidence are a bad mix for us.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 17, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Soy United, from my experience with hammy pulls, that -is- a very good sign. Now, whether it is enough to play is another thing, but that's better than I expected. Sounds more like a strain, then...

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on a blog based on others' observations.

Posted by: RK | March 17, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

what's up w/ the guatamalans givin' up 5 goals?! was that to spite the mexicans..hehehe

Posted by: mizage | March 17, 2008 10:03 AM

*********************************

It stinks for the Mexicans but that's how things often shake out.

Guatemala had already clinched 1st place in it's group and was under no obligation to play hard. They were probably smart enough to rest their key players for the game that counts on Thursday.

Posted by: garbaggio | March 17, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully the U-23 team has an easier time with Canada than the Senior team in the Gold Cup.

Posted by: sitruc | March 17, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

""So do we have any idea what the visa issue is for the Jamaican players?""

Clearly, the Jamaican players and chef are a threat to national security. The very foundation upon which the nation rests would tremble with their arrival.

We're all at risk. I for one am thankful of our devoted consular offices. God Bless America.

Posted by: Tom Tancredo | March 17, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Where, oh WHERE is the OUTRAGE at the refusal to grant a visa to Harbour View's chef?
Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 17, 2008 09:47 AM
-------------------------------------------
Not to worry, I-270. Go back to the weekend thread (The USA's Dilemna) for the "Great Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth in Indignation" (patent pending) posts of the one and only Mastodon Juan. Highly impressive work, especially since he is able to emulate Roger Clemens and drag his wife into the whole mess... As always, enjoy his unique stylings and don't forget to tip your blogger!

Posted by: Throwin | March 17, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

What's the over/under on when Hugo Sanchez gets fired? :)

Posted by: Mike | March 17, 2008 09:50 AM
-------------------------------------------
About 11 hours ago. He's a dead man walking, and everyone knows it. He may be wise to pretend he's Cuban, stay in the US and seek asylum himself...

Posted by: Throwin | March 17, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on a blog based on others' observations.

Posted by: RK | March 17, 2008 10:14 AM
-------------------------------------------
So in addition to all his other earnings, Goffinho also gets residuals from "Scrubs?"

Posted by: Throwin | March 17, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"Great Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth in Indignation"

Jeepers, that's a mighty big line and hook you just threw out there. It's only a matter of time before they come out from under the bridge to feed. Wait for it . . . .

Posted by: delantero | March 17, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The Jamaicans denied visas probably lied on their visa applicaiton form or had some kind of previous police record. Many times someone who has previously applied for a visa but has been denied will apply again and say that they never applied! Wrong thing to do.

Posted by: sbg | March 17, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Sanchez doesn't get fired. He made the semifinals in the Copa America last summer, remember?

Having said that, I think he needs to revise his thinking about how all the Mexico wants to do is challenge Argentina and Brazil. First, they need to become dominant in CONCACAF.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | March 17, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Just Curious, how many days to the first home match? :)

Posted by: Glaucon | March 17, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

What's the deal with United having NO Advertisements about the games anywhere other than its own website? Do they not care about attracting viewers, ad money issue, or just pure lack of PR?

Posted by: DCU Ad? | March 17, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

What's the deal with United having NO Advertisements about the games anywhere other than its own website? Do they not care about attracting viewers, ad money issue, or just pure lack of PR?

Posted by: DCU Ad? | March 17, 2008 11:11 AM

=================
There was an ad in my morning print edition, Sports Page 2 or 4...

I have a bigger beef with the Weekend Source Page where they list upcoming events. Under Sports This week they listed The Wizards, The Caps, and the DC Rollergirls.

The Outrage! :)

Posted by: JkR | March 17, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Highly impressive work, especially since he is able to emulate Roger Clemens and drag his wife into the whole mess.
Posted by: Throwin | March 17, 2008 10:28 AM
=============================

Unlike Roger Clemens, Mastodon Juan's credibility increases when his wife speaks. I suggest that Mrs. Mastadon Juan seize control of the keyboard. But she should get a better screen name that what I wrote.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 17, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Guatemala had already clinched 1st place in it's group and was under no obligation to play hard. They were probably smart enough to rest their key players for the game that counts on Thursday.

Posted by: garbaggio | March 17, 2008 10:21 AM
==========================================

Are you sure about this? I thought Guatemala had six points and Haiti had three. The Guatemala coach had no idea how the Haiti-Mexico match would turn out (at least I hope he didn't). Thus, a loss to Canada by several goals opened up the possibility that Haiti might beat Mexico in the nightcap and grab first place on goal differential. (This, of course, assumes that goal differential is the first tiebreaker. If the Guatemala-Haiti result trumps goal differential, that is another matter.)

Posted by: tri-village | March 17, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Has the game been changed to tomorrow(Tuesday)??

Posted by: Lloyd Heilbrunn | March 17, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

For all the schadenfreude over Mexico, I ask is there anyone who believes the U.S. team would have come up with 5 or 6 goals against Haiti?

Anyone who thinks the U.S. can match top talent arond the world, I point to the yesterday's highlights from Europe. Roy Keane's goal for Spurs -- just a stunning bit of nonchalance as he took the pass from the wing and one-timed a twisting strike to the far corner of the net. I don't think I've ever seen an American look that good -- smooth, skilled, confidnet, accurate, etc. -- scoring a goal. Emile Heskey had a nice goal this weekend, too. Christian Viera had a great header.

Want to see how the Yanks do it? Watch the Fulham highlights -- and I don't mean Brian McBride's nice header for goal past Howard. I mean Eddie Johnson, who missed at least 3 shots (one header and two kicks) that a top-flight striker should put away.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 17, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

That last bit of American angst was mine.

Anyway...It's go time for United. And Thursday for the U.S. It's not the best soccer, but it's ours.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | March 17, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I mean Eddie Johnson, who missed at least 3 shots (one header and two kicks) that a top-flight striker should put away.

Posted by: | March 17, 2008 11:41 AM
=======================
Hang on a minute. No one has missed more sitters in their career in the PL, IMHO, than C Ronoldo. Takes a ton of shots, misses a ton, including some he "should put away". And he might be the best player in Europe right now.

How does that play into this subjective standard of "should put away"?

Posted by: JkR | March 17, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

According to CONCACAF.com the US plays at 8pm.

Posted by: swag | March 17, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

According to CONCACAF.com the US plays at 8pm.

Posted by: swag | March 17, 2008 11:49 AM
==========================================

Would that be Nashville time (i.e., 2100 hours D.C. time)?

Posted by: tri-village | March 17, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

To answer my own dumb question about the HV game, I was confusing the DCU and US games, sorry. Still tired from the Tampa trip!!

Posted by: Lloyd Heilbrunn | March 17, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Robbie keene is a great player, but why are you trying to compare? in this game of soccer comparing players is close to impossible. What are you going to say that balboa was the best player in the world because of that bk against columbus?

Posted by: ?????? | March 17, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Sanchez doesn't get fired. He made the semifinals in the Copa America last summer, remember?
Having said that, I think he needs to revise his thinking about how all the Mexico wants to do is challenge Argentina and Brazil. First, they need to become dominant in CONCACAF.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | March 17, 2008 10:48 AM
-------------------------------------------
Bill, Sanchez was under pressure already for the poor form of the Mexican team since last fall (1-2-2), the draw with the US (for which he explicitly guaranteed a win in the press) and most egregiously for only getting 1 point in two matches against perceived minnows in the Qualifiers. After the Guatamala game, the FFM announced that Sanchez will be "reviewed" at a meeting at the end of March. Now that the Tri's have been bounced, the Mexican press is baying for Hugo's head on a stake, and the smart money is they will get it in 2 weeks.

Posted by: Throwin | March 17, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

That Haiti v Mexico game last night was one of the funniest sporting events I have ever watched. The keeper for Haiti getting man of the match was the perfect icing on the cake.

Hopefully Jamaica won't retaliate with Visa restrictions on US soccer players. The Revs have already paid their deposit for next years off season training at Hedonism.

Posted by: CD | March 17, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The Jamaicans denied visas probably lied on their visa applicaiton form or had some kind of previous police record. Many times someone who has previously applied for a visa but has been denied will apply again and say that they never applied! Wrong thing to do.

Posted by: sbg
-------------------------------------------Ding!Ding!Ding! SBG nailed it.

Most likely it is due to previous criminal record--whether or not it was declared or undeclared. A guy could have already served his jail time and resolved the issue in the eyes of the local government ("paying his debt to society"). Or outsanding charges could still be pending, waiting for some sort of resolution.

It is responsibility of the US Consular official, left to his/her discretion to approve or deny the visa request. Thus the reason for the interviews and the reason that the club and Jamaican fed didn't want to disclose the delicate details. When I was pursuing work as a US Consular official, I learned this sort of thing happens all of the time.

A few other examples:

Diego Maradona still can't visit and place in the US or affiliated commonwealth or territories (not even to visit when his brother Hugo Maradona was coaching the A-League/Puerto Rico Islanders a few years back).

The USL2 Bermuda Hogges actually made at least one of their key roster selections based the result of a player who had already served his time being denied a visa to play their 10 away games here in the States.

And of course for all of you pop music hipsters, there's always the case of Amy Whinehouse and this year's Grammy show...

Posted by: yankiboy | March 17, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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