Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

The USA's Dilemma

With Mexico's 2-1 loss to Guatemala in Olympic qualifying last night, the Americans face a strategic quandry in their group finale tonight (7 p.m. ET Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN Deportes) against Honduras. Mexico cannot finish better than second in its group and, if it advances, would face the first-place team from the other side. At the moment, Honduras leads with six points and the USA is second with four. An American victory tonight would give them first place and put them on a collision course with the Mexicans in the semifinals, which will determine the Olympic berths. A tie would give them second place and a likely meeting with Guatemala. After watching Mexico struggle in the first two matches, would it be so bad to play their southern rivals?

So if you are Peter Nowak, is your strategy tonight to go all out, attack Honduras, attempt to establish a rhythm heading into the semis and play for the win? Or should he take a conservative approach, rest players and possibly risk a loss that has only a remote chance of completely eliminating his team (short-handed Cuba would have to thump last-place Panama)?

What would you do?

My hunch is that Nowak plays to win and lets the Mexican situation play itself out tomorrow.

As usual, this is the place for pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts.

By Steve Goff  |  March 15, 2008; 7:56 AM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Another Facundo in MLS?
Next: Selection Monday

Comments

Once you cross the white stripes, you play to win. Everytime...

Posted by: Chico | March 15, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, this is not a quandary at all really. You ALWAYS play to win.

Posted by: DJC | March 15, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

You always have to play to win.

Posted by: sitruc | March 15, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

If Nowak does anything besides go all out and play for the win I will personally call US Soccer and ask for his firing immediately following the game.

Posted by: Voyager | March 15, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

We should look at this situation as an opportunity to pay them back for knocking us out of the Olympics 4 years ago, and not shake in our boots trying to figure out how to avoid (gasp!) Mexico!

Posted by: Alex | March 15, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

3 days to the first home match!

Posted by: Curous | March 15, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Go for the win.

Posted by: Curious | March 15, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Everyone has hit the nail on the head. Nothing else to say.

Posted by: tcompton | March 15, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

saw the post, had an immediate impulse to state my opinion, but see that everyone else feels the same way. of course, if a player is a bit dinged go ahead and let him heal. if someone gets a yellow, immediately pull them to avoid a second yellow and subsequent suspension. there are things to think about, but whether to win isn't one of them.

Posted by: troy | March 15, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"KICK HIS ASS SEABASS"

I say lets go en beat everyone!!!! GO FOR THE WIN!!!

Posted by: ............ | March 15, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The whole situation is hard to predict. The important question is do you rest players at this point or not? Do you take an aggressive attacking stance or play a more conservative counterattacking style?

My question would be how does Honduras compare to the possible semifinal opponents, and do you approach the Honduras game as a way to prepare for the semifinal prior to that match?

It's pretty easy to say "go for the win" but this is a lot of play in a short span of time - 3 games in 5 days so far. That's not a lot of recovery time. If you've got a Freddy Adu (other players as well but Adu's clearly the star here), you might be asking yourself how much you want to expose him before the semis. The good thing is we're not playing an already disqualified team that would not be affected by sanctions for overly aggressive play. If Honduras gets chippy they could pay with disqualifications in the semis.

Posted by: Modibo | March 15, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Nowak knows any other than to play b*lls to the wall/all-out/play to win. It's his personality and I would suspect his life's mantra.

Posted by: Beaker | March 15, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Always play for the win...there's too much out of your control otherwise

Posted by: Matt | March 15, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I think Beaker has the most salient point here. Anyone who's seen Nowak the player or Nowak the manager knows that he absolutely lives for victories. Asking him to play for a draw would be like asking me to levitate.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | March 15, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I say sit anyone with a real injury & limit Adu to about 60 to avoid late game ankle-breakers, but play to win. They need to get better as a team. Who know who you really want to face anyway?

However, this situation reinforces my opinion that all tournaments should avoid elimination games when possible. The two bids for Beijing should go to the top two teams in championship group.

If you carry forward two teams from each group and keep their result against each other you would not add match days and have a fairer result.

There would also be no question about today. The US and Honduras would know that this game meant a lot and both would play to win. But they would also know that they had two more games to make their case for going to Beijing.

Posted by: Mark M | March 15, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

play to win. the instant you start playing for strategy in the results, is the time you end up choking away a game and losing it all.
Beside, Mexico's U-23 have been positively horrible and Guatemala has been pretty good.

Posted by: papa bear | March 15, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

We need a strong performance to give the boys confidence. Give that we haven't yet one, I think Novak should push the boys but, as stated above, sub Freddy out at some point and be wary of the yellow cards.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 15, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

There's no real option because playing for a tie could easily result in a loss, and elimination. e.g., with the score tied, the U.S. will always be one slip up from elimination. playing for a loss is one thing -- easily done, with no risk. playing for a tie isn't really a viable option.

Posted by: mjk | March 15, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

There'd be NOTHING sweeter than knocking mexico out of the tourney! Maybe mexico loses their last game and knocks themselves out? Play to win, but play your players smartly.

p.s. My nickname was "Beaker" on my college team. They said i ran funny, like Beaker.

Posted by: boda united | March 15, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Last night's Mexico goal was scored by Edgar Castillo, one of those Yanks who got away.

All four sides in the Carson group, including Canada, are still in the hunt. In fact, Canada is even with Mexico in terms of both points and goal differential (and head-to-head results, if that is relevant). Mexico may have the edge in that they next play Haiti, while Canada goes up against Guatemala.

What do people think about the fact that these last matches are not being played concurrently, so that the sides in Carson have a full day to digest the results in Tampa?

Posted by: tri-village | March 15, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

You have to go for the win. Never take the chance that you can get knocked out. I'd rather go for the win every time even if it means that we miss out on the Olympics. It's not like it's the World Cup.

I also think that having the mentality that we need to avoid the Mexicans is a bad one to instill in our younger players. They aren't the dominant team in the region anymore so we shouldn't be afraid of them no matter what level it is.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

There's no real option because playing for a tie could easily result in a loss, and elimination. e.g., with the score tied, the U.S. will always be one slip up from elimination. playing for a loss is one thing -- easily done, with no risk. playing for a tie isn't really a viable option.

Posted by: mjk | March 15, 2008 09:54 AM
=========================================

It would take more than a simple loss to be eliminated. It would take a loss by a large margin, or even less plausibly, a Cuba win by a large margin.

Posted by: tri-village | March 15, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

You ALWAYS play to win - especially with this group. This team needs to find its form. It does not have the margin for error to "turn it off and then turn it on again". This team has no choice but to take care of itself. This team is not very good yet. It needs to focus on getting better. It can get better. It has raw talent to do so, but it is definitaly not there yet.

Posted by: All out! | March 15, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

As much as you hate to have to play Mexico in the semi's, you have to play to win. Every time. Not doing so is inviting some sort of karma disaster.

Posted by: Duke | March 15, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

USA should not be thinking of who there opponent will be if they win or lose. They shoudl always be with a mentality to win no matter who they play.

Posted by: JAV | March 15, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Of course, Team USA will go for the win.

Sorry for this off-topic post, but did anyone see the Canada-Mexico match last night? It was exciting and hats off to the Haitians for playing some attacking soccer in the second half.

Canada was very unfortunate -- the ref missed a shirt-tugging penalty against Haiti after the first Haitian goal.

Haiti also scored its goal after violating the rules of fair play: Canada had kicked the ball out on the sideline near their goal because one of their teammates had been hit in the face by a Haitian player. When Haiti threw the ball in, they didn't give it back to Canada. A few passes later, Haiti scored. If I were Haitian, I'd be proud of the team's fighting spirit but embarassed for stooping to such a level to get a goal.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | March 15, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

i agree with everone saying that you play for the win, but the Cuba-Panama game will have already happened, they're not played simultaneously. If Panama wins, then the US is in for sure, and I'd rest Freddy. I'm concerned about someone picking up an injury.

Posted by: pat | March 15, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I think CANADA has it easier to qualify than Mexico. Canada with face a Guatemalan team that will rest his best people, with nothing to win or lose. Mexico will face a Haiti team that will try to advance to the semis no matter what, so if they go down, they will go down fighting. Then you look at goal differential and Canada should have the advantage.

Posted by: JAV | March 15, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else just see that Reading-Liverpool goal?

Posted by: sitruc | March 15, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I agree with everyone else - you have to play for the win. This decision is made a little easier by the fact that Mexico don't look particularly tough right now.

Posted by: Jeff M | March 15, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Another great goal in the Liverpool-Reading match...

Posted by: sitruc | March 15, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Like Herm Edwards said, you play to win the game. That's why we play. None of that lose a game to get a favorable matchup. What kind of message would that send to the boys if Peter did that? That he doesn't think they are good enough to play Mexico?

Posted by: Bart | March 15, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Always play to win. Besides, NO United States team should fear a Mexico team.

Posted by: PJohnson | March 15, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the standings and time starts, I see that the US could in fact go for a tie (or, if Cuba loses), a loss -- and in order to avoid Mexico. Definitely a very tempting option. As poorly as Mexico has shown, they are the only team in the tournament that can beat the US if both teams play at their best -- and Mexico is likely to do that in a semifinal against the U.S. Nobody would ever admit that the U.S. didn't go for a win, and for example even a fan suggesting that the U.S. do so on this blog would be skewered. It's an interesting issue really.

Posted by: mjk | March 15, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

There's no dilemma. You play to win.

Given that Haiti beat Canada and Guatemala beat Mexico, anything can happen this weekend.

Posted by: delantero | March 15, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Even if most of the starters in the first two games are rested for various reasons (e.g., to avoid picking up additional cards), the second-stringers will surely be playing to win. After all, nobody's passage to China is assured. Nowak will be reassessing the situation, taking into account his options with regard to Alvarez, Bradley, Feilhaber, Rogers, Szetela, and three older players. If that isn't enough of a motivation, I don't know what is.

Posted by: tri-village | March 15, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I think the team should play to tie. Going at things conservatively is the way to go. Just ask George W. Bush.

Posted by: Roger | March 15, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Goff -- If you're reading this, your commentary seems to overlook the fact that US-Honduras is being played after Cuba-Panama, so we'll know the result we need in advance.

Scenario A: Cuba doesn't beat Panama, so the US has qualified before kickoff

Nowak should rest Freddy, Jozy, and anyone carrying a yellow. The players who *do* take the field should seek to win, of course.

Scenario B: Cuba does beat Panama, so the US needs to protect the scoreline.

Nowak should field his most solid, conservative line-up to give ourselves the best chance of advancing.

Posted by: franz goffka | March 15, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Scenario B: Cuba does beat Panama, so the US needs to protect the scoreline.
=========================================

The aftermath: A bunch of extremely embarrassed Panamanians disappear into the night, just like the Cubans several days ago, because they don't want to face whatever reception awaits them back home.

Posted by: tri-village | March 15, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Given the result of Cuba-Panama isn't a big Cuba win, play to win with the following reservations, "-Adu, Charlie Davies, Kamani Hill, Sturgis and Marvell Wynne each carry a yellow card into Saturday's match. Should they pick up another card, they will have to serve a one-game suspension if the U.S. advances to the semifinal."

The semi is the important game not Saturday's. Whoever starts should be going all out.

Resting Freddy and maybe Sturgis isn't a bad idea.

Rest anyone dinged up.

Posted by: JSF | March 15, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Piotr doesn't care about the positioning against the next group, but has all his weapons for the SF.

Posted by: JSF | March 15, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

They were who we thought they were!

Posted by: London Dan | March 15, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Everyone has hit the nail on the head. Nothing else to say.

Posted by: tcompton | March 15, 2008 09:01 AM
***********************************

We need to remember the Olympic spirit of sportsmanship and fair play as laid down by Baron Pierre de Coubertin and other late 19th-century aristocrats.

So I say, "Play for the tie!"

Play all the subs and rest anyone with a yellow or chapped lips or any other similarly devastating injury.

We will know what we need to get 2nd place before kickoff anyway. Mexico is good even though their forwards couldn't hit the broad side of a barn (Castillo is a left mid or left fullback). They should get Luis Landin (Bobby Boswell's favorite) back after a first game red card.

Playing Mexico in the semi's decreases our chances of going to Beijing by at least 50% compared to facing anyone else from that group.

Citius, Altius, Fortius!

Posted by: garbaggio | March 15, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Gringos maricones les vamos ganar asi que no se hagan ilusiones!!!

VAMOS HONDURAS!!!!!!!!! MARA CATRACHA ALL THE WAY!!!!!

Posted by: mara catracha | March 15, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if anyone is interested in more soccer after the US match tonight, FC Dallas plays the Gals (LA) this evening at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. Both the team blogs say that live video will be available tonight on either of the teams' official web sites.

It's a charity game that is really a make-up for when Beckham didn't show in Dallas last year. Good weather tonight at Pizza Hut Park, so it should be a decent match. Also, Ruiz will return to Dallas for the first time since being traded to LA.

Hopefully, the US will pull off a winner tonight, and then whoop Mexico if that's the way it lines up! Play to win in games that matter.

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | March 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I would have thrown it four years ago. Four years ago, the whole tourney was in Mexico, and they inexplicably dropped one result and looked like the class of the conference the rest of the time.

This time, nah. They have two games and two non-wins. It's in the US. They don't have dos Santos, where we do have Freddy and Jozy.

Now, I *would* think about resting some guys up for the semis. I wouldn't give Jozy and Freddy the full 90. But I'd play 'em.

Posted by: Stan | March 15, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Btw, anyone by chance going out to watch this one. I think I might be at 90 minute cafe.

Posted by: Stan | March 15, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Citius, Altius, Fortius!

Posted by: garbaggio | March 15, 2008 01:49 PM
==============

... and best artistic interpretation.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 15, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

OT
What's up with the riot trying to pop off in Buenos Aries?

Posted by: Madryan | March 15, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Like Alex said earlier go for the win and a shot at Mexico to put a dagger in their heart much in the same way the put our Olympic chance to death in '04. I want Mexico and nothing else beat them like a red headed step child!!

Posted by: glove | March 15, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Gringos maricones les vamos ganar asi que no se hagan ilusiones!!!

VAMOS HONDURAS!!!!!!!!! MARA CATRACHA ALL THE WAY!!!!!

Posted by: mara catracha | March 15, 2008 02:51 PM

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

OK, mariquita catracha changed my mind.

Let's win it by the biggest margin possible.

Posted by: garbaggio | March 15, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The obvious question this raises is whether this is the best format. Why not just have another group stage and the top two teams qualify?
Of course I'm biased, because if I wasn't a US fan I'd prefer the current format; better chances for some upsets, which does make it more exciting.

Posted by: wisc ave | March 15, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Were Americans and WE ALWAYS play to win.

Posted by: The Jim | March 15, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and to answer the question, though its been answered correctly 50 times already: you play to win. Always. Look at England's half-a** attitude towards Croatia. Now they're watching Euro '08 on their "tellies".

Posted by: wisc ave | March 15, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Panama has locked up our entrance in the 2nd round for us. Its 3-0 over Cuba at the half.

A little DCU news...
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sports/html/20080314T000000-0500_133506_OBS_VISA_SETBACK_FOR_HARBOUR_VIEW_AFTER_____DRAW.asp

Posted by: Jake H | March 15, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Goff-

Any word on repercussions for the Panamanian that sucker-punched Adu in the second half?

Posted by: Golazo | March 15, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

prediction - Cervi makes some good saves and then has a brain fart.

USA still wins. 2-1.

Posted by: JSF | March 15, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

prediction - Cervi makes some good saves and then has a brain fart.

USA still wins. 2-1.

Posted by: JSF | March 15, 2008 07:06 PM
==========================================

Hopefully my Cervi prediction has been fulfilled.

Posted by: JSF | March 15, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Did I just see Barrett send a cross that would be embarrassing in an under 12 game>?

Posted by: WTF | March 15, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

You have to play to win! I don't think there is anything to gain for a developing team playing for a tie.

Christian
Find a pickup game near you at SoccerH.com!

Posted by: Christian | March 15, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Any score update? Seems as it is 0-0?

Posted by: Uniter | March 15, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

any live feeds of the game?

Posted by: tvless | March 15, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Did I just see Barrett send a cross that would be embarrassing in an under 12 game>?

Posted by: WTF | March 15, 2008 07:27 PM
===============================================

You'll need to be more specific on which cross/touch/etc.

Barrett won't need to worry about missing time during the Olympics.

Hunter would be my 2nd guy that I'd leave at home (for the 3 overage players).

Gaven for the third?

3 overage (Dempsey, Donovan (?), Dolo, Boca, maybe Friedal or Hanneman)

Posted by: JSF | March 15, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Joe,

Didn't Friedel retire?

Posted by: apqjr | March 15, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

A little DCU news...
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sports/html/20080314T000000-0500_133506_OBS_VISA_SETBACK_FOR_HARBOUR_VIEW_AFTER_____DRAW.asp
Posted by: Jake H | March 15, 2008 05:55 PM
------------------------------------------------

That's interesting, because I seem to recall one of those two, Wolfe, being quite effective against DC.

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 15, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Barrett is an embarrassment. I don't think we have to worry about him making anymore national team appearances. Has Barrett done anything out there besides give the ball away? He can't even trap the ball.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Barrett won't need to worry about missing time during the Olympics.

Hunter would be my 2nd guy that I'd leave at home (for the 3 overage players).

Gaven for the third?

Posted by: JSF | March 15, 2008 08:03 PM
==========================================

Presumably a larger squad will be permitted for the games in China. Does anyone know what that limit will be? For instance, if a 22-man squad is permitted, only one person has to be dropped from this (20-man) team to make room for three senior players. As I pointed out in an earlier post, the more likely scenario is that people such as Barrett, Hunter, and Gaven will be bumped by other under-23 players (Alvarez, Rogers, Bradley, etc.).

Posted by: tri-village | March 15, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Why aren't we up by 3 goals?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 15, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

"Were Americans and WE ALWAYS play to win." x 50

Uh, either we're not playing to win, or we're putting our worst players out on the field and sitting back because we think that's the best strategy to get the three points?

Maybe we will come out of this game with a win, but in the future, the intelligent readers of this blog need to go easy on the cliche. The last hour of soccer has made the above comments look bonkers.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 15, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Davies bangs his PK wide right on our best chance of the night.

Honduran defender pulled down Davies in the box after Gaven squared the ball to him.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 15, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Uh, either we're not playing to win, or we're putting our worst players out on the field and sitting back because we think that's the best strategy to get the three points?
==========================================

None of the above. The worst players are out there, but not for the reasons you state. Rather, it is a matter of having all the best players available for the one game that counts, the semi against Guatemala or whomever. They may be playing to win, but they are still the worst players.

Posted by: tri-village | March 15, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Uh, what sense of "always" includes "sometimes, when we're not resting much better players who don't have yellow cards for a game five days from now"?

It was lazy writing and cliche.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 15, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Davies. Wow.

Posted by: Sean | March 15, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the tie is the thing. Charlie Davies just shanked a PK with a wideopen net

Posted by: Umm | March 15, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Doea anyone know if Honduras is starting their 2nd string for the same reasons we discussed for the US?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 15, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Ergh, the internets lost my comment.

Tri-village, "always" does not mean "sometimes, when we're not resting healthy players, who don't have yellow cards, for a game to be played in five days."

The above sentiment reflects the lazy cliches of so many DC fans. "Tradition" is another of my favorites, especially when applied to a team that rents players from South America, the opposite of their successful strategy a decade ago of developing American talent.

By the way, where's the outrage about Harbour View players getting turned down for visas? If the situation were reversed, and two DC starters were turned down, you know most of you would be howling to have the "away leg" played at RFK.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 15, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Okay, my post turned up, even though I got a page full of code the post didn't show up on a refresh.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 15, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

One of the few bright points is that the boys aren't wearing those gray kits.

Of course, that doesn't compensate for the complete lack of finishing.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 15, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to teach that woman the meaning of streak.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 15, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

well she was entertaining! :)

Posted by: JSF | March 15, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I'll post her bond. Some of tonights best action!

Posted by: Charley | March 15, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

and to sell her midriff sponsorship to something.com

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 15, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

If this was the No Fun League they wouldn't have even acknowledged her. That was great.

Posted by: Mike | March 15, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

"Were Americans and WE ALWAYS play to win." x 50
=========================================

The players on the pitch are Americans, and they are playing to win. Perhaps a different group of Americans would be playing to win far more effectively, but that is another story.

Posted by: tri-village | March 15, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Was Fox promoting another season of Paradise Hotel?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Some blond just ran on the field in her bikini and an American flag. We need a GOAL!!

Posted by: NICE | March 15, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Maybe that'll distract the pundits.

Posted by: Piotr Nowak | March 15, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

don't these guys know you're never supposed to let the guy who got fouled take the PK? You could tell from his two step "run up" that he was going to miss.

we need Freddy.

Posted by: Glenn | March 15, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

"Tradition" is another of my favorites, especially when applied to a team that rents players from South America, the opposite of their successful strategy a decade ago of developing American talent.
=========================

Hey! Get your facts straight. A decade ago we rented Etcheverry, Moreno, Gori, and Diaz-Arce (OK, so he's from Central America).

Of course, the rental of Donadoni, Branco, Matthaeus, Angel, and Djorkaeff, has also resulted in an equal but opposite "tradition."

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 15, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

DON'T LET DAVIES TAKE IT!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic spin by Davies earns another PK at the end of the game!

Posted by: RK | March 15, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

GAVEN wins it!!!

Posted by: RK | March 15, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Will the Honduran fans walk out of the stadium or roll?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 15, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Davies may not be able to hit the net from the spot but he definitely made a difference out there. He was willing to try and turn his defender when the ball was played to him as opposed to a guy like Eddie Johnson who would have just passed it backwards.

The players out wide took too much time before getting crosses into the box. All you need is one touch to control and then hit the cross. You don't need to beat 3 guys then hit the cross.

I was surprised to see them show the "streaker". I thought it was a rule in American sports that you never show the people who run onto the field. They don't show it in the NFL or MLB.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

By the way, where's the outrage about Harbour View players getting turned down for visas? If the situation were reversed, and two DC starters were turned down, you know most of you would be howling to have the "away leg" played at RFK.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 15, 2008 08:35 PM
---------------------------------------------

Um...the "outrage" is presumably on HV and Jamaican soccer blogs, where it belongs. This is a DC-based blog, so obviously we're plenty happy they're missing some starters for whatever reason. And, yep, if we were missing two starters over paperwork, we would be upset. Duh. Mastodon Juan usually doesn't bother me the way he seems to others, but this post is just plain silly.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 15, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I dunno about that PK call... The foul that was called came when the ball was all but in the keeper's hands already. I think if that was called against the US during an away game, there'd be plenty of people growling about the ref and "home cooking."

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 15, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The Harbour View visa denial is interesting but I hope they were turned down for a good reason and not some BS thing that could be fixed. Seems to me the MLS teams run a bigger risk of getting visas squelched or having travel problems with smaller Central american countries that try to stack the deck for their club teams (which, considering how the CONCACAF refs already stack against the MLS clubs makes it a 11 v 15 or 16 match)

Posted by: JJ | March 15, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

This is a DC-based blog, so obviously we're plenty happy they're missing some starters for whatever reason.
==========================================

Speak for yourself. I support freedom to travel for peaceful purposes for these Jamaican athletes, just as I do for Cuban athletes or anyone else. Third-party interference of this sort does nobody any good. (If there is any reason why these particular Jamaicans would pose a problem, it has not been reported.)

Posted by: tri-village | March 15, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I recorded a video of the streaker, if you missed it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VGotp7ZEM0

Posted by: Bryan | March 15, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Question: when organizers go with seating on one side of the stadium isnt it logical for the side to be opposite of the cameras? I believe the Revs do the same thing. What gives?

Posted by: Mountaineer Pride | March 15, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

It's just the networks and ESPN who are above showing streakers since "they don't want to promote that behavior." Most broadcasts would show her. However, considering she looked pretty good from what I saw ESPN may have shown her as well. There would probably be more complaints forwarded to a channel like ESPN for not showing her. Only Rob Stone could have gotten away with the comments the FSC commentators had though.

Posted by: sitruc | March 15, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Holden is going to be a force with Houston this year. McCarty impressed as always.

Posted by: Charley | March 15, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Question: when organizers go with seating on one side of the stadium isnt it logical for the side to be opposite of the cameras? I believe the Revs do the same thing. What gives?

Posted by: Mountaineer Pride | March 15, 2008 09:19 PM
==========================================

This circus is moving on to another pointyball stadium, in Nashville. Let's see whether they do the sensible thing there.

Posted by: tri-village | March 15, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

From my experience watching Sky Sports and Setanta feeds of Prem games, they seem to also refrain from showing streakers. That said, that was easily the most entertaining aspect of the match.

I'm still convinced that Honduras committed that penalty on purpose to potentially avoid Mexico.

And does anyone really naive enough to think that the MLS has enough juice to convince the US government to deny entry to a couple of Jamaicans to ensure that DCU advances in the CCC??? I want DCU to win the tournament, but for anyone to believe that, you are dislodged from reality...

Posted by: Chase | March 15, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I dunno about that PK call... The foul that was called came when the ball was all but in the keeper's hands already. I think if that was called against the US during an away game, there'd be plenty of people growling about the ref and "home cooking."
____

Who cares where the ball was when the whistle blew? The second defender clearly took Davies out.

Posted by: RK | March 15, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Davies was a revelation tonight, and I agree with Piotr's resting some of the key starters for the semifinals.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | March 15, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I was surprised to see them show the "streaker". I thought it was a rule in American sports that you never show the people who run onto the field. They don't show it in the NFL or MLB.
----------------------
Female streaker this time.

The rule in American sports is to always show naked or near-naked women...

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 15, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Not a bad streaker, but I expect some nudity. I feel cheated.

Posted by: RK | March 15, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

"This circus is moving on to another pointyball stadium, in Nashville. Let's see whether they do the sensible thing there."

Funny you bring that up, because I'm going to be in Memphis midweek for a business trip, and I decided to drive up and go to the game. I just bought a ticket on Ticketmaster. I got a ticket right at midfield, in the second row. They're selling tickets for the entire lower bowl, both sides.

Without Mexican fans going, I'm afraid it's going to look like Giants Stadium on rainy Wednesday night.

Posted by: Mastodon Jiuan | March 15, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Juan, you didn't spell your name correctly.

Posted by: JSF | March 15, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

"The Harbour View visa denial is interesting but I hope they were turned down for a good reason and not some BS thing that could be fixed."

I hope so too. I'm particularly concerned that it's watch list ambiguity. My company has had a holy nightmare with a couple IT consultants, one in Canada and other in the UK, whose names apparently resemble watch list names.

If the state department can't expedite short-notice visa requests for knock-out competitions, I expect FIFA would create some serious problems for the USSF and professional soccer teams from the USA, up to and including blacklisting MLS teams from international play. I'm not saying this because I want DC to lose. There's a long-term concern for US clubs in international play, and there also is an issue of artificially weakened teams undermining the legitimacy of important confederation competitions.

There isn't anything DC United can do about this, but if opponents aren't allowed to field their key players because of non-soccer reasons, the "CONCACAF Champions Cup" does not measure up to being the test of the best teams in the region. And critically, it is important to hold all teams to the same standard, because the situation could EASILY be reversed.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 15, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

JSF, thanks for pointing that out. I'm on a loaner laptop from work and the keys are way smaller on the computer I'm used to.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 15, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

way smaller THAN on the computer I'm used to

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 15, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

How could 18 players from Cuba have no problem getting visas but two from Jamaica don't? Ridiculous.

Posted by: David | March 16, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

The same way Rod couldn't go to TFC because he wasn't allowed in Canada.

Posted by: Visas | March 16, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

It's funny, my wife used to work as a consular official for the Dominion of Canada. Work permits were denied for unsecured Canadian job offers on a regular basis, and also when US student visas expired prior to obtaining a green card without proper protocol (like leaving the US for a defined period of time), Canadian work permit seekers were routinely denied.

That was permanent residency in Canada. The case of the Jamaicans is very different-- they're seeking a short-term entry for professional reasons, and for entertainers/sportspeople, that is very rarely denied. Criminal record is one reason, another is being flagged on a terrorist related no-entry list.

So "Visas," your comparison of the situation of the two Harbour View players to Dyachenko's is misguided. Not only two different countries, also very different categories, with very different standards.

I don't know if you were trying to imply that DC has in some been victimized by red tape, thereby trivializing the serious issue with Harbour View not being allowed to field its best team, but you should note that Dyachenko was allowed to enter Canada to play for DC United last year. That indicates that the problem was with the Canadian residency permit, not with the "Visas."

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 16, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if you were trying to imply that DC has in some been victimized by red tape, thereby trivializing the serious issue with Harbour View not being allowed to field its best team, but you should note that Dyachenko was allowed to enter Canada to play for DC United last year. That indicates that the problem was with the Canadian residency permit, not with the "Visas."

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 16, 2008 01:53 AM
__________________________________________

Dude, get a life and stop belly-aching like some old bitter soccer guy.

Posted by: Lance A. or is it L. Armstrong | March 16, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

As long as there DC fans to claim that as long as DC gets another tin can to put in their trophy case, it doesn't matter what kind of rules are upheld, that Up Is Down and that DC was perversely victimized by the very same rules that assist it now and still won everything under the sun....

...I will be here to call bullsh/t. You can waste your time fooling each other, but I shall bear witness to this stupidity and call it like it is. Otherwise, it'll be yet another self-justifying lie that becomes fact by sheer repetition.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 16, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

I can't remember how many times I cringed at wayward passes to the opposition or crosses that went over everybody, even a throw-in right to the feet of the opposition. If this is our second string then we have no depth. Sacha klejstan(?), Barrett UGH.

Davies was very good though after he came in (though it was stupid to give him the PK) as was the new central defender I had never seen before. All in all, we got lucky and a 0-0 would have been right. Honduras wasn't much better either.

Posted by: RRP | March 16, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

This is a DC-based blog, so obviously we're plenty happy they're missing some starters for whatever reason.
==========================================

Speak for yourself. I support freedom to travel for peaceful purposes for these Jamaican athletes, just as I do for Cuban athletes or anyone else. Third-party interference of this sort does nobody any good. (If there is any reason why these particular Jamaicans would pose a problem, it has not been reported.)

=====================

Roger that. Let's play their best squad. If we just wanted an easy win we'd go up to Harrisburg . . . . or not.

Posted by: WNT fan | March 16, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Poitr Nowak has obviously improved as a coach. When he was coaching DC, platooning players so that all of his squad stayed both sharp and rested was something that he simply didn't do. Now he does. Nowak continues his gradual improvement as a coach. Well done!

Posted by: Interesting! | March 16, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Again the imperial American government of George Bush and Dick Cheney has flexed it's brutish muscles against it's poorer neighbors. First they deny work visas for the Harbour View players, then they coerce the referee into giving them a last-minute penalty against Honduras. This is just a prelude to the invasions of Jamaica and Honduras. I am sending troops and tanks to help them in their struggle against George Bush.

Posted by: Hugo Chavez | March 16, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

since we don't know the reason why their visas were denied it is hard to know whether or not we should get worked up about this.

Posted by: Glenn | March 16, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

How could 18 players from Cuba have no problem getting visas but two from Jamaica don't? Ridiculous.
=====================

One possibility is that the Cuban officials knew about the tournament well in advance and had more time to prepare. Also, an Olympic Committee is much more adroit at navigating travel requirements than a soccer club. Of course, for 60 years defections have been good PR for the US

Some of you are making a huge international incident over two Harbour View players. Who knows what the problems are; maybe they have criminal records or maybe their passports are expired. I doubt that the State Dept. cares enough about soccer to block the visas.

Or, we can ask Ban Ki-Moon for his immediate attention.

And finally, please stop calling that woman a "streaker." She was wearing a bikini and is merely a "person who runs on the field during a game."

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 16, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

If the University of Maryland emphasized their role in history, recruitment would boom.

From Wikipedia:

The term "streaking" was coined by a reporter for a local Washington DC news station as he watched a "mass nude run" take place at the University of Maryland in 1973. That nude run had over 500 participants. As the collected mass of nude students exited Bel Air dorm with the lead runner using a flaming broom to part the 2000 plus crowd of spectators like the Red Sea, the reporter, who voice was broadcast live over the station via a pay phone connection exclaimed... "they are streaking past me right now. It's an incredible sight!" The next day it was out on the Associated Press wire as "streaking" and had nationwide coverage.[citation needed]

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 16, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Without Mexican fans going, I'm afraid it's going to look like Giants Stadium on rainy Wednesday night.
=========================================

MJ: I'm glad to hear you will get to see this match. But aren't you getting ahead of yourself? We don't yet know whether it is likely to draw many Mexican fans. In any event, I believe that the few friendlies that have been staged in Nashville in recent years have drawn respectable crowds.

Posted by: tri-village | March 16, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

My name is Mastodon Juan, and the years of ineptitude I've faced with the Metro-Donkeys causes me to lash out at anything resembling success.

Posted by: AlecW81 | March 16, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Is it generally agreed that Guatemala and Haiti should have no hesitation about playing for first place, because they'd much rather face Honduras than the U.S.?

Does anyone have authoritative information on tiebreaking criteria? The CONCACAF site (http://www.concacaf.com/stats_regs.asp) deals with the rules for several other tournaments, but not this one. It is not difficult to come up with plausible scenarios; e.g., Haiti and Mexico playing to a draw while Canada defeats Guatemala by one goal, which would leave Canada and Haiti level on points (four) and goal differential (nil). If the head-to-head result comes next, Haiti would get the nod. Does total goals factor in there somewhere?

Posted by: tri-village | March 16, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Anybody know how to catch the Sunday games. Streaming perhaps?

Posted by: Charley | March 16, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Pre Olympico games on ESPN Deportes. Replaying yesterday's matches starting at 2pm. Canada at 6:30 Mexico @ 9pm. Let's go you Haitian Magicians, you won't shock the tri-color....

Posted by: TV 411 | March 16, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

My name is Mastodon Juan, and the years of ineptitude I've faced with the Metro-Donkeys causes me to lash out at anything resembling success.

---------------

Seriously. It's gotten to the point where there is a significant segment of Metro/RBNY fans who focus more energy on slamming DC at any possible turn rather than rooting for their own team.

Posted by: Phil | March 16, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know how to catch the Sunday games. Streaming perhaps?

Posted by: Charley | March 16, 2008 12:27 PM
=======================

Don't you mean "streaking?"

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 16, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

2 days to the first home match!

Posted by: Curious | March 16, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Canada is up by 3 in the second half over Guatemala. This all but spells the end for Mexico unless they are able to match Canada's goal differential and post 3 goals of their own, right???

Posted by: Nick | March 16, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Canada is up by 3 in the second half over Guatemala. This all but spells the end for Mexico unless they are able to match Canada's goal differential and post 3 goals of their own, right???

Posted by: Nick | March 16, 2008 08:08 PM

Whoa... that is correct.

Adios, Mexico!

Posted by: Joe S. | March 16, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

McBride scores the game winning goal for Fulham (1-0) over Everton. Way to go Brian!

EJ goes 90', Bocanegra 74', and Dempsey came in for McBride at 88'

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 16, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

McBride scores the game winning goal for Fulham (1-0) over Everton. Way to go Brian!

EJ goes 90', Bocanegra 74', and Dempsey came in for McBride at 88'

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 16, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Final Canada 5 Guatemala 0

Posted by: AJ | March 16, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Mexico now needs 4.

Brian McBride scored the lone goal and match winner for Fulham.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 16, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the multiple posts. El Blog seemed unresponsive.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 16, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

how many goals does mexico need to advance????

Posted by: in mexico | March 16, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

??

Posted by: chris | March 16, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Mexico needs 6 to advance.

Posted by: Mifflin | March 16, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

This can't spell anything but an early out for Mexico. "There will be blood" only begins to cover it. Cheers to Canada! They have done well. We can only guess what might be with real support there. I know there is some fine ball being played at the club level. Look at DeRo at Houston.

Posted by: Charley | March 16, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

"Seriously. It's gotten to the point where there is a significant segment of Metro/RBNY fans who focus more energy on slamming DC at any possible turn rather than rooting for their own team."

Having made a rare foray onto the Large Association Football message board to follow what's going on in the other Olympic group, I was shocked to see how much antipathy there is to Goff among DC fans, and that ties into your comment.

Many of the people saying the worst things about Goff, accusing him of a lack of professionalism or respect for his "customers" seemed to be based on the fact that he doesn't take any active agency in, for example, criticizing Nakamura on his stadium coverage (even though it is NOT GOFF'S BEAT).

You want him to be a fan, and you hate it that he's not. When I try to counterbalance the assertions that DC United is cut out of a finer cloth than the rest of MLS, and that it's only true peers are South American teams, and point out the hypocrisy many DC fans trade in, I get reactions like the one I quoted.

United has significant and serious flaws that make it much more of a run of the mill MLS franchise than anything many of you aspire to. In the last nine years, LA and SJ/Houston (together and separately) have been consistently significantly more successful. The stadium thing was handled very badly from a business perspective, the team can't find a sponsor (a fact which is distorted bizarrely into speculation that United could somehow afford to pay a non-profit for the right to wear their logo, a la Barca), Gomez was treated shamefully by a team whose fans like to think they honor their heroes, etc.


Nothing is good enough for DC fans but an echo chamber, in which every opinion ratifies the perception of the team's superiority. And there's a significant number of DC fans who are absolutely infuriated by contradictory opinion (mine) or well-reported FACTS (Goff's).

If you want a completely distorted and arrogant misrepresentation of the team by its fans to its fans, stick to Big Soccer's DC message board. If you want to acknowledge the serious problems the organization faces, read Goff's blog.

As I said, you all want an echo chamber. Get over it, or stay on Big Soccer.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 16, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey bud, you know who you are, this is a soccer blog and this particular entry is supposed to be about the U-23's.

Where does your rant belong? Anywhere but here. Go back under your bridge now.

Posted by: RedBulls?Namedafteranenergydrink, nice | March 16, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

My concern is that in 270 minutes of soccer the US has only scored one goal in the run of play. I hope Nowak has a plan to address this lack of offense.

Posted by: wisc ave | March 16, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

...I will be here to call bullsh/t. You can waste your time fooling each other, but I shall bear witness to this stupidity and call it like it is. Otherwise, it'll be yet another self-justifying lie that becomes fact by sheer repetition.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 16, 2008 02:44 AM
---------------------------------------------

Mastodon Juan = American Hero

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 16, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Mastodon Juan was responding to an attack towards him. Are you upset that someone posted something about Fulham, too?

It's a good thing to have dissenting opinions here; better than listening to US and DC fans crying that the sky is falling because they didn't win every game 5-0.

Posted by: RK | March 16, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Man, the one thing I DO like about BigSoccer as opposed to Goff's blog is the "ignore list" option.

If I wanted the endless ranting that Juan seems incapable of NOT spewing, I'd go back to BS's politics forum.

Jeebus. STFU for a change, huh?

Posted by: viv | March 16, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

MEX 1 - O HAI at 36'. I just love upsets! Don't you?

Posted by: Charley | March 16, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, Juan gets pleasure out of ranting. He's truly gleeful and at peace with himself when he's arguing in cyberspace.

I am picturing grubby fingers on a cheetos stained keyboard.

Posted by: delantero | March 16, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

The fact that you feel the need to fictionalize someone with whom you disagree to belittle him reflects very badly on you, delantero.

I'm offering a reality check on the self-mythologizing that goes on among many of you. If any of you would gain the slightest critical perspective, rather than personalizing and vilifying anyone who disagrees (and that, I was disgusted to see on Big Soccer, is also what some of you have done to Goff), I would feel no need to say anything.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 16, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

No need to fictionalize, really, you're attitude is readily apparent every time you post. You have Issues.

Posted by: blowitoutyourposterior | March 16, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

DC's the only game in town until the league starts up, so yeah, my time spent on soccer on the internet is tending to be about DC United. But to whine in an internet soccer forum about what a loser I must be to spend time on the internet posting about soccer is, uh, very rich.

But I expect I will keep pointing out that United isn't the storied, brilliantly-run club you think it is, and instead is just another MLS single entity franchise, with its own very special warts, and I expect to read more caricatures of me as an internet loser by internet non-losers who like to pretend that DC United is more similar to, say, Roma or Tottenham or Boca Juniors than to the Kansas City Wiz.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 16, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Please don't feed the trolls.

Posted by: sitruc | March 16, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Sitruc. Sometimes I forget that I need not respond to those who would rather hurl personal insults than have discussion of sport. I'll make sure not to feed the trolls in the future.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | March 16, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Mexico 3 - Haiti 1. 73'

Haiti is also down to 10 men. This game is wide open right now, there's more goals to be had if Mexico actually starts finishing it's chances.

Posted by: Hobes | March 16, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Here's the matchtracker in Spanish from Mediotiempo for the Mexico-Haiti Oly qualifier:

http://www.mediotiempo.com/concacaf/preolimpico/beijing_2008/bitacora.php?id_partido=23706

Mexico needs 3 more goals (and none by Haiti) to survive.

Posted by: garbaggio | March 16, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

haha Mexico missed a PK...

Posted by: RK | March 16, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

4-1 Mexico in the 82'.

Posted by: garbaggio | March 16, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Haiti red card!

Posted by: RK | March 16, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Haiti has a 2nd player red carded in the 82' right after Mexico scores.

Posted by: garbaggio | March 16, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

So Mexico needs to win by 5?

Mastodon Juan = American Hero
Posted by: edgeonyou | March 16, 2008 09:37 PM

Ha ha! He does fancy himself a savior of some kind.

Posted by: delantero | March 16, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

5-1!

Posted by: RK | March 16, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Landin scores in the 89' to make it 5-1.

Posted by: garbaggio | March 16, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Game over. Mexico 5 Haiti 1.

Posted by: Alexandria | March 16, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Haiti keeper gives up 5 goals -- and is named player of the match. What does that tell you???

Posted by: RK | March 16, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

So where does that leave things? Who advances in Group B?

Posted by: David | March 16, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

So where does that leave things? Who advances in Group B?

Posted by: David | March 16, 2008 11:06 PM

=============================

Guatemala and Canada

Posted by: AJ | March 16, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Haiti keeper gives up 5 goals -- and is named player of the match. What does that tell you???

Posted by: RK | March 16, 2008 11:05 PM

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

Didn't see the game but Telefutura just showed the highlights and also called the Haitian keeper the man of the match.

Mediotempo's matchtracker says Mexico missed 15 or 20 scoring chances (they did net five of them of course).

So Thursday's all important semifinals will be US - Canada and Guatemala - Honduras.

Posted by: garbaggio | March 16, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Mexico put on a clinic showing how not to finish clear scoring opportunities. They could have been in double digits.

USA v Canada. Honduras v Guatemala.

Posted by: Hobes | March 16, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I caught the last 20 mins of this game. It was hilarious. Mexico kept missing golden chances, and Haiti, for some reason, would not sit back and defend. The Haitian keeper was amazing. The chances Mexico missed were just incredible. This is one of the rare occasions when I am happy with a Mexico victory.

Posted by: Rob | March 16, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or does the MExico-haiti match seem Fixed? The 1st half seemed like an ordinary game in fact, but the 2nd half seemed like pickup soccer by the haitians. 5 mexico attackers while 2 or sometimes 1 haitian defender playing the offside trap???? You would think that at least once they get the ball HAITI would have 2-more player up front, but now they were all chillin in the midfield. I know Canada must be relieved, but seriously should ask Fifa to investigate foul play here on the haitians part. I have never seemed a pro-game like this in my life, in fact this looked more like an indoor over 30 soccer game. The only person who seemed like he cared enough was the keeper. AM I WRONG or did other people feel the same way watching the last 20 minutes?

Posted by: dc fan | March 16, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

the fix was in boys. can't wait to see this sorted out in the next few days.

headline: "Hugo goes out losing, even after paying the other team."

Posted by: mb | March 16, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye Sanchez?

Posted by: delantero | March 16, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Is the keeper the Shoeless Joe of the Haitian team... the only guy trying to play it straight while the others were bought off? I didn't see the game, but it sounds like he was the only one trying out there.

Posted by: Jake H | March 16, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the fix was in but Haiti continued to play an off-side trap 40 yards from goal. Their inexperience was there front and center, the only thing more obvious was Mexico's lack of skill and poise during the moment of truth. They missed several three and four-on-nones' during the game. The goalkeeper was amazing, easily deserved man-of-match. I'm sure that better job options are coming his way.
So Hugo so far has promised: beating the US in their first game. Wrong. Winning the Gold Cup, wrong. Making the semifinals of Copa America, right, winning a medal in Beijing. Well, unless he learns to swim real fast, or if bowling ever makes it as an olympic sport (he used to bowl with his wife in local leagues in Mexico City, I've seen him) he is wrong as well. March 31st the presidents of the 1st Div soccer clubs meet and he could be relieved of his job then. In the meantime Mexico's full National Team plays Ghana in London on the 26th. It might be his farewell.
Cheers!

Posted by: Roberto | March 16, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

It's for Hugo, boys, so sing it loud and proud!

{sings} {"Na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey hey, GOODBYE!"}

No way in he!! he survives that FFM meeting/"performance review" at the end of March...

Posted by: Throwin | March 17, 2008 6:50 AM | Report abuse

The US-Canada match-up should be a good one.

Cool that Concacaf is sending one N.American and one Central American rep to the men's soccer tourney in Beijing.

Posted by: Take off hoser | March 17, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Does Sanchez coach the U23 side as well as the senior MNT?

Ideally, all four of the final matches should have been played concurrently. Maybe it is too much trouble to find two additional venues for just one night. Alternatively, they could have played the final matches within each group concurrently, by playing all four on a single night, and by moving one of the Carson games to Tampa and vice versa. Perhaps even that would have been too much trouble, given the distance between the two sites.

Are there significant Canadian/Guatemalan/Honduran communities in Nashville?

Posted by: tri-village | March 17, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Wow, sounds like I missed a fantastic finish to the Mexico game. Don't we all just feel really bad for Hugo Sanchez? ;-)

DCU/HVFC on Tuesday night + USA/CAN on Thursday night = another great week for soccer

Posted by: DCUMD | March 17, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I didn't get to see either game. People who did see the action are talking as if Haiti's play suggests a fix. What about Guatemala's play?

Posted by: tri-village | March 17, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

But I expect I will keep pointing out that United isn't the storied, brilliantly-run club you think it is, and instead is just another MLS single entity franchise, with its own very special warts

----------------------

I think it is amazing that Mastadon Juan is willing, free of charge, to provide illuminating commentary on a subject he is undoubtedly the world's leading authority on ... that being the very special warts of a completely mediocre MLS franchise called DC United.

I also think it is remarkable that he considers the LA franchise to be consistently, significantly more successful than DC United. If DC United has 'special warts' than I would imagine that LA Galaxy have metastisizing tumors the likes of which the world has never seen.

I agree with him that you can make a strong case for Houston/San Jose being more successful. I would concede it for the sake of the argument, but I do think he undervalues the barometer that the Supporter's Shield represents. DC's regular season performance is an outstanding (and unique) accomplishment ... Forza DC United!

Posted by: Liverpool_SC | March 17, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

1,341st!

Today's poll: American or Winthrop.

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 17, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company