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Poll: USA in Trouble?

With the top four teams within three points of one another at the six-game mark of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying calendar.....

By Steve Goff  |  August 13, 2009; 9:59 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Poll , U.S. men's national team  
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Better question is with Bradley are we condemned to another poor showing in group play.

Posted by: restonhoops | August 13, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Look, we got out of a tough Confederation's Cup group....that bodes well. Its NOT guaranteed, and a lot will come from the luck of the World Cup draw, but to say 3 and out before we even draw groups is foolish.

Also, somehow the rest of CONCACAF got good and qualifying is difficult now. This is nothing but good for USA and Mexico. Last time out it was a two pony show.

Posted by: arswift24 | August 13, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps I'm being complacent but I don't see any chance that we (USA) will NOT qualify for South Africa.

Another prediction: The Washington Nat's take the World Series in 6 games ; )

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 13, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

The other SI reports (Wahl) that Donovan had a strain of h1n1 flu virus during the game...

Posted by: cray | August 13, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Just so long as they take each game seriously -- as a "do-or-die" affair, because now it really is. They're not likely to win in Honduras, so, they probably need to win the other 3 matches. Otherwise, it's a crapshoot playoff against an even better side from CONMEBOL. The USA has the 'horses' to do it, but that doesn't mean it'll come easily. It won't.

Posted by: fischy | August 13, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

All signs are pointing toward a big time atmosphere at RFK for the last match. Maybe not. If it's anything as fun as USA/Cuba was for me last year it's going to be quite a treat just 48 ours off a Hawaiian vacation. Don't be surprised if you see a dude with a Hawaii state flag customized with some "Don't Tread on Ching" Karazeee-ness...
Vuvuzela in tow.
Cow bell too.
USA No ka oi!

Posted by: DadRyan | August 13, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, something tells me Costa Rica won't send their B team, as they probably would have if they had wrapped up one of the top two spots. That's the game we need to put away.

Honestly, if we can't beat El Salvador and T&T, we don't deserve to make it.

The result in Azteca doesn't mean that Mexico is better than us. It means that, given the results of qualifying, just worse than us. We aren't a shining program on a hill, and we won't be until the afore stated flaws are corrected.

For now, let's see how we scrape through.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 13, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

BTW -- I've been trying to find this out on my own, and can't find the info on the FIFA site or anywhere else. Gooch picked up his 2nd yellow, and he's out of the next match. Ditto for Torrado. Well, 4 Hondurans got served with yellow cards, and it wasn't the first for most of them. Anyone know where they stand with respect to accumulations? Will any be out of the next match, or might they be in trouble if they pick up another when they play in the Azteca? It would be sweet if Costly and Chavez had to miss the game against the USA in October...

Posted by: fischy | August 13, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

If we can't beat El Salvador and Trinidad, we really don't deserve to qualify.

6 points out of the next 2 games and we're in . . . after that it's a matter of finishing 1st through 4th.

Posted by: delantero | August 14, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Landycakes with H1N1, aka "La Porcina!" . . yikes, can't believe he made it through the match . . . too bad that they didn't have a an H1N1 rapid flu swab in Miami (if one exists) . . 2 days to find out results helps no one.

Posted by: delantero | August 14, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding? We lose to Mexico IN MEXICO and Costa Rica IN COSTA RICA, and it's panic time? When was the last time we won in either of those places?

That's right: never.

Meanwhile, we beat the No.1 team in the world and were close to beating the current No.1 team in the world. We also manhandled a very underrated Egypt side.

Why in the world would it ever occur to anyone that we would be in trouble? Certainly, we are not the world power that everyone said we were after the Confed Cup, but we went into Azteca, played like sh*t, and almost pulled out a draw? How, exactly, are we in any sort of trouble then?!

Posted by: kdiff813 | August 14, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

lol this is eerily similar to the poll right before the confederations cup.

Losing in the Azteca is not a big deal, everyone loses there. We are going to qualify and we are going to be decent in the cup. Nothing more, nothing less.

Why does 26% think that its going to be a struggle?

Posted by: poparoni | August 14, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting quirky tidbit. DC United has games scheduled on both of the days the USMNT is playing WCQs in September. With the team's roster problems and the fixture congestion, in some ways it's a blessing that no one on DCU is going to be called up to play (except possibly the very dispensable Avery John). Funny thing, though -- Houston and Columbus have much the same fixture congestion, with CCL play, and they will both lose players to the USMNT, but they don't have any league games in September until they meet each other on the 13th (four days after the second WCQs).

In fact, if you look at the schedule -- which teams are playing and which ones aren't -- it's almost as they league anticipated which teams would need to be off in early September because of national team commitments. Colorado is the only team that might lose a player for one of its games. The Dynamo catch a similar break in October, but the Crew might be scrambling to fill a lineup for a game on the 10th against NE. Even the Galaxy probably won't have to play a game without Donovan or Beckham.

Is this just chance, or did the schedule-makers actually try to anticipate who would be playing in WCQs and avoided scheduling games for the affected club teams?

Posted by: fischy | August 14, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe anyone would take El Salvador lightly given they tied the US and beat Mexico at home and lost by just one goal in very close games on the road against Honduras and Costa Rica.

El Salavador will come out at 100% and anything less by the US could easily result in 0 points.

Posted by: Southeasterner | August 14, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't ever remember United being decimated by National Team callups. We have always been blessed with great players who don't regularly play for their national teams. Sure Morino from time to time but not regularly. Diaz-Arce, Etcheverry, Gomez, Emillio etc. Even Agoos was at the end of his Nat career by the time he wore Black & Red. Ben Olsen and so on...

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 14, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

so just like Tino popping up right before the friendly with a hurt hammy, WTF is up with Emilio? Please twitter a legit injury report ASAP Goffman! I'm counting on you! I need some serious fantasy points this weekend and I'll be on the road myself! Goooooshh!

Posted by: DadRyan | August 14, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if it will be a struggle...but it is nervous slip at home due to an unlucky bounce...crazy red card...hitting the woodwork five times without finding the net and it could be playoff time (I have no doubt about being in the top 4).

It's pretty simple...HON/USA/MEX/CRC have not lost or tied one home game yet...***if that holds throughout***, then the road matches in SLV/TRI are what separates the boys from men.

USA only needs to beat TRI to ensure we finish ahead of MEX...

@ SLV - USA tied, MEX lost (advantage USA)
@ TRI - if USA wins, MEX can do no better point wise

Of course, losing a home game would put any of the top 4 at a distinct disadvantage to stay in the top 3.

Posted by: LAfanofSI | August 14, 2009 2:50 AM | Report abuse

@fischy: I know its hard to fathom, but yes I believe that the MLS actually might of gotten their scheduling right on this one. A far cry from what was being said last year at this time, I guess Garber actually came through on something..

As for qualifying, anything but the top three places would spell doom for the US, as I don't like our chances against anyone from CONMEBOL that is likley to finish 5th. Shouldn't be a problem to finish in the top 3 though as long as the US takes care of busniess at home and at T&T. I really don't see the need to panic at this point, as most people predicted that the US would lose at Azteca anyways...

Posted by: rademaar | August 14, 2009 3:52 AM | Report abuse

@kdiff813 thank you for the sanity you've brought to this discussion.

People also forget how we scored two late goals to come back to tie El Salvador on the road. I've been scratching my head trying to figure out why Bob Bradley and his players don't get credit for taking 2 points away from El Salvador on the road. Mexico lost there.

I read one Inside poster's comment that the US Men's team's successess have to do with "good players" overcoming a "bad coach" (so Bob Bradley should get no credit for them) while our failures have to do with our "bad coach" pulling down these "good players." Gimme a break.

I feel like the Mexico loss made me angry, but after reading some of the blog postings, y'all are gettin' on the fightin' side of me, to paraphrase Merle Haggard!

Again, I point out that we have three players who are on European teams that have qualified for the Champions League or Europa League (Dempsey, Howard and Onyewu). We don't have a world class pool of players, although the group Bob has to select from is improving.

I give Bob credit for selecting Charlie Davies and for giving him a chance to shine. Bob's given 70 players or so caps, so he's taken a look at a lot of players, even Jay Heaps for crying out loud! Bob's stuck with Benny Feilheiber, even when Feilheiber wasn't getting playing time at his club.

He does get outcoached sometimes, and Aguirre probably outfoxed him at the Azteca, but I think Bob can lead us through qualifying and into the second round of the World Cup.

I wouldn't assume a loss on the road to the Catrachos. We have beaten Honduras three times in a row now (okay, two of the wins were in the Gold Cup), and we have won at Honduras in the 2002 WCQ qualifying cycle.

@DadRyan Amidst all these inane postings, I'd forgotten we have Costa Rica at home @RFK. Thanks for the reminder - might be a consequential game, after all! I'm envious about the Hawaii vacation!

Posted by: billindmd | August 14, 2009 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Apologies OT: I just tried to order tics for the Freedom playoff game but tickmaster says No Tickets Available. Do they only do walkup sales or is this game sold out? Anyone know?

Posted by: DCB23 | August 14, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't ever remember United being decimated by National Team callups.
Posted by: 9Nine9

Didn't we lose Pope, Agoos, and Llamosa for WC2002? Pope and Goose were gone for WC1998 (and Harkes absent for much of qualifying), but somehow we managed to reach the MLS Cup that year I don't remember what happened in the final. In fact, I'm certain that there was no MLS final in 1998.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 14, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

@DCB23: Click on the banner at the top of the Freedom's home page. I just tried and tickets were available.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 14, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

If anyone hasn't got their tickets for the Open Cup yet my company is selling $30 seats for $!5:

Posted by: KeeperPat | August 14, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

It might be a struggle because we often play like crap on the road in CONCACAF. Look at our history, including playing in T&T. Winning there will not be easy. Don't forget, they've upgraded their talent pool with Zamora and a few others.

Posted by: Hoost | August 14, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

It can be a struggle to get one of the three AUTOMATIC berths like the poll says. Two of the matches are away from home and its always hard to win away from home in concacaf.One of the teams is honduras which we know is a strong team. All it really takes is for the US to perform like mexico in the first half of qualifying.I wouldnt book my tickets until we finish El Salvador and Trinidad. We probably can get 6points but i dont think it will be easy.

Posted by: totalfootballer | August 14, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Ask me again after the T&T game. If we haven't picked up 6 points, or at least 4, then I'll start to worry. But, as dissappointed as I was in the loss to Mexico, we're still in the mix and have most of the hard games out of the way.

Why was Donovan not subbed in the second half at least if he was feeling ill? That's pretty irresponsible on his part if he didn't tell Bradley his situation. Who thinks they can run for 90 minutes in Azteca while feeling ill?

Posted by: hacksaw | August 14, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

USA will be first with 19 points. Honduras will be second and Costa Rica and Mexico will battle for the third spot.

Posted by: robertoayon | August 14, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Trick question, Goff - your readers almost ALWAYS think the US is in trouble, no matter what.

Posted by: very_clever_username | August 14, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

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