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USA Rewind

This CONCACAF thing is going down to the wire. See you at RFK on Oct. 14 for the USA finale.

With three matchdays remaining.....

Honduras 4-2-1, 13 points (+7 goal differential)
United States 4-2-1, 13 points (+4)
Mexico 4-3-0, 12 points (+2)
----------
Costa Rica 4-3-0, 12 points (-3)
----------
El Salvador 1-4-2, 5 points (-3)
Trinidad & Tobago 1-4-2, 5 points (-7)

Wednesday's Matches:
USA at Trinidad & Tobago
Honduras at Mexico
Costa Rica at El Salvador

The Americans can make things a whole lot easier for themselves by winning in Port of Spain. Based on their road results in this qualifying cycle, however, that's easier said than done -- even with the Soca Warriors out of contention. In this round, the USA boys had to scramble to steal a tie in San Salvador, were thumped at Saprissa and let a golden opportunity slip away at Azteca. In the semifinal round, they survived a scare at Guatemala City for victory, won in Havana by just a goal and lost at T&T in a meaningless exercise.

And while it's nice to accumulate points at home, the results at T&T and then Honduras on Oct. 10 are going to go a long way toward determining whether the Americans emerge from this congested, top-heavy group and earn one of the three automatic berths. (Imagine if they finish fourth and have to play a two-game playoff with Argentina!)

Notes: With no yellow cards tonight, the Americans avoided any suspensions for Wednesday. However, Altidore, Bocanegra, Dempsey, Donovan and Feilhaber are among nine players carrying cards and in jeopardy of missing the Honduras trip if they receive a yellow at T&T. ... Davies has a calf contusion and should be available. ... The USSF was notified by FIFA that Edgar Castillo has been cleared to switch national allegiances, meaning the 22-year-old left back for Tigres will be eligible for selection for next month's qualifiers. The New Mexico native represented Mexico before deciding to switch.

PLAYER RATINGS
Howard 6.5; Spector 5, Marshall 6, Bocanegra 6, Bornstein 4; Dempsey 6.5, Bradley 5, Feilhaber 6, Donovan 8; Davies 6.5, Altidore 7. Subs: Holden 6, Torres 6, Beckerman 5.

By Steve Goff  |  September 6, 2009; 1:09 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Video: Mexico at Saprissa

Comments

bring on castillo! bornstein is terrible. pretty lousy game all in all (though i was splitting time with bama/tech).

Posted by: ewww | September 6, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Are rosters for this week officially locked by FIFA or CONCACAF? If Castillo is eligible, I'd boot Bornstein from the T&T trip and put Castillo in his place.

Posted by: mjr24 | September 6, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

I wish it wasn't too late to get rid of Stinespring.

Posted by: sitruc | September 6, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Still haven't gotten over the loss to Mexico at Azteca.

Sooner or later it's gonna have to happen right? When it does then you'll know USA soccer has arrived. The fact that is hasn't happened is proof we still underachieve and lack a pair.

Any American Football fans here? Think of it like Dan Marino never winning a Superbowl. I guarantee you the bitter taste still lingers in his mouth.

I'll be back when we stink it up in the World Cup and Bradley finally gets fired. And to you U.S. soccer apologists: your optimism is tired and has grown weak. If you respond negatively to my post, then come see me when we don't do crap in the World Cup! I mean we can't even beat a BUM MEXICO SIDE and use the stadium as an excuse!

Posted by: Vicc | September 6, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

@Vicc Yes, you're right. Our archrival is a real "BUM MEXICO SIDE." They get seeded in World Cup draws more often than not, and they also make it to the knock out stages more often than not, something our program aspires to.

They beat Costa Rica 3-0 at the Estadio Saprissa for Costa Rica's first home loss in 2010 World Cup qualifiers. USA has never won in Costa Rica. A real bunch of bums, I tell ya.

Posted by: billindmd | September 6, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm tired. I meant Bradley. It's never too late to get rid of or demote Stinespring. On the other hand, it's hard to even joke about another team that may not even be top 10 in the Commonwealth keeping Al Groh at this point.

Posted by: sitruc | September 6, 2009 3:10 AM | Report abuse

Okay Vicc, I'll play your silly little reindeer game. Yes, Bob Bradley is in over his head as an International coach. Yes, at times the Nats have struggled to find a consistant form. But to refer to El Tri as a "Bum Mexican side" shows you are either ignorant or brain damaged. Not only did they just destroy Costa Rica, they did it at Saprissa. A lot of their players have fragile egos, and they need the right coach to prod and coddle them in the right manner. Now that they have that coach (again) in Aguirre, you can see what they are capable of. Don't sell them short. Even as a Nats supporter, I recognize the talent that team has. You should strongly consider quit being a D-bag and recognize it too. That negative enough for ya?

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | September 6, 2009 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Spector only a 5 ?!

He was excellent and served several dangerous balls into the area.

Posted by: chemweapon | September 6, 2009 4:58 AM | Report abuse

Howard was beat on a weak header after drifting off his line and he had one save that was high quality with your comparative scale 6.5 seems a bit high.

My biggest concern is our continued inability to control the midfield. I am kind of over watching Michael Bradley give away possession and carelessly dive in on every tackle. I don't understand why he didn't get subbed out last night. He must have some pictures of the coach or something...

Posted by: csd1 | September 6, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

In other random WQC news. In UEFA Luxembourg has managed 5 points in qualifying after another scrappy draw against Moldova. They have got as many points in qualifying as Iceland.

Posted by: csd1 | September 6, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

i cant believe you didnt say anything about the refereeing last night goff. WTF is all i have to say. Altidore was CLEARLY onside. The score should have been 3-1. The referee should have over-ruled the linesman at least 4 times last night. Not to mention, the referees looked of central/south american decent. Not sure if thats a good idea. FIFA/concacaf needs to do a better job.

Posted by: g3impreza | September 6, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

The disallowed goal was huge and made the game far closer than it should have been (Dempsey's weak shot on a breakaway notwithstanding.)

What amazed me was the officiating crew was from Honduras. I know the concept of the appearance of impropriety is unknown to Jack Warner, but WTF? Let's see, Honduras is in the final qualifying group and is ahead of the U.S. on goal differential -- gee let's wave off a U.S. goal. One would think (a process unknown to CONCACAF officialdom) that referees should be chosen from previously eliminated countries so they would at least appear to have no stake in the outcome of a match.

Posted by: griffin1108 | September 6, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Laughing at the fact that Blanco, Franco, and Torrado will miss the next game due to yellow card suspension. And they will play Honduras who has made 8 goals in the last two qualifiers. A good game awaits.

Kinda funny that Franco is in the starting 11 for mexico and he has no club and hasnt played a game since the Azteca game. Pathetic!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 6, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Hey Vicc -- no one cares what you think, jackarse.

Posted by: fischy | September 6, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Steve,

I agree with the previous post. That was one of the worst offsides calls I have personally ever seen. He was not only onside, he was goal side of the ES defender. This issue needs follow up.

Posted by: croftonpost | September 6, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

i cant believe you didnt say anything about the refereeing last night goff. WTF is all i have to say. Altidore was CLEARLY onside. The score should have been 3-1. The referee should have over-ruled the linesman at least 4 times last night.

Posted by: g3impreza | September 6, 2009 8:13 AM
--------------------------------------------------

If you had paid attention, or watched with the sound on, you would know that Jozy was not ruled offside. The play was whistled dead before. The ref did not need to overrule the linesman. The ref got it wrong all by himself.

Dempsey sprang Altidore with a two-footed slide into the ball, knocking the ball forward to Jozy. When the Salvadorean player then fell over the prone body of Dempsey, the ref whistled a foul against Dempsey.

Posted by: fischy | September 6, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Fischy,

I just discovered that myself. I am speechless. Just terrible.......

I had the sound off just as you suspected. I was watching DCU on the telly with sound while watching the USA on the internet with the sound off.

Posted by: croftonpost | September 6, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

In other news, Goff's alma mater upsets nationally ranked GMU:

http://gomason.cstv.com/sports/m-soccer/recaps/090509aaa.html

I don't know whether anyone has posted a link to this USL story:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/01/AR2009090103173.html

Posted by: universityandpark | September 6, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Either way, it's just horrible what happened on that play, and a few others, and that this game had a Honduran crew. How much more would it cost (we know Warner has the money) to bring in UEFA or Asian refs?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | September 6, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

without watching the game last night. we already knew bornstein was too weak too slow too unskilled to play at this level. it was glaring at the confed cups. he could only hold on to peoples shirts to keep up with them. ive never seen a player get burned so many times. bornstein needed to go before he even showed up. i have been pounding this drum for a year.

Posted by: castroviejo | September 6, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Bornstein gets a 2 in my book. Got burned on a regular basis by mediocre players, obviously the clearance/centering pass was a major brain freeze event and we might be on his case even more if LD hadn't tracked back so often and so well to help him.

Posted by: sportsparenttoo | September 6, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

bornstein showed this level was out of his league in the copa america 2 years ago. he's still awful, but he has a special place in bob's heart apparently.

Posted by: joe_hill | September 6, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree with Griffin's post. Regardless of whether the ref was actually cheating for Honduras it's ridiculous that refs are used from countries that are still in contention to qualify. There about a thousand countries in Concacaf who could easily supply referees that are incompetent but there wouldn't be questions about whether they are actually impartial.

Bornstein was an embarassment out there. On Wednesday, he shouldn't even dress if the US has enough defenders back. I would rather see Spector play on his weak side than Bornstein. His "clearance" into his own 18 was a U-10 play. Just boot the ball into touch and regroup.

Posted by: Jared7 | September 6, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Are Dempsey and Donovan feuding? Dempsey seemed to push Donovan away after his goal - especially puzzling considering Donovan's excellent service.

Posted by: hoyanick1 | September 6, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"Are Dempsey and Donovan feuding?"

Nothing a box of chocolates won't fix.

And, I think Dempsey was in the heat of the moment and wanted to celebrate. I doubt they are feuding.

Posted by: delantero | September 6, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

sitruc, I would fire him after that game, but his contract is huge. I don't understand why colleges think it is a good idea to continually extend (and overpay) football coaches, only to can them. Clemson did that last year.

Posted by: Reignking | September 6, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I may be wrong about this, but I believe the rules of qualification have changed in recent years. While most confederations take goal differential as the #1 criteria, I believe CONCACAF actually has that listed at the third tie-breaker.

1. Head to head results. (not good for the US if it comes down to US vs CR)
2. Total goals scored
3. Then goal differential.

I could be wrong on this but I could only go on the 2006 tie-breaking procedures. couldn't find the 2010 version

Posted by: ARickey | September 6, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Agree, no Donovan/Dempsey feud. I think one of the interesting things to watch is whether Bradley will remain in the starting XI if he continues to get benched by his club team. And when Jermaine Jones becomes eligible, and Edu comes back from injury, whether Bradley Sr. will bench his son in favor of either if they're clearly playing better.

Until now, Bradley has been one of the automatic starters for the U.S. along with Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, Gooch and Bocanegra. But given his lack of creativity, tendency toward turnovers and reckless red cards, he doesn't deserve to be in that group of automatic starters. But Bradley Sr. dropping him from the starting lineup months before the World Cup seems unlikely whatever the options available.

Posted by: hudson22 | September 6, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I know he's out with injury, but have FIFA approved the switch for Jermaine Jones?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | September 6, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

as horrible as the officiating was last night, i was AMAZED that they got the dempsey goal right. i didn't even celebrate the goal since i was thoroughly convinced that the linesman was going to have his flag up.

Posted by: birdynumnum | September 6, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or did Beckerman totally shoot himself in the foot with that performance? Can't remember one good thing, three pretty atrocious things in a short time. He gets a 3 in my book.

Also... JOZY STARTS.

Lastly, I don't like Bob's decision to put all midfielders on the field at the end (and wish Torres had buried that chance).

Posted by: UnitedDemon | September 6, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

1. Spector seems to be in the right position a lot, but needs to try a final move (just a cut or something) to get fully open
2. That officiating crew should be banned. They need to have refs from countries out of contention. That goal called back could have proved HUGE with the way this qualifying is going.

Posted by: wordup1 | September 6, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@csd1: Everyone was giving the ball away in the midfield, not just Bradley. OK, maybe not Donovan, but everyone else. I fully prepared myself to be angry about giving up an equalizer.

On the late shot that could have equalized for ES, one fo the center Ds moved up to mark an ES player, the player who took the shout would have been offside if Borenstein has the presence of mind to move up as well. Another example of Borenstein's high error rate or lack of congruity with the other Ds.

The US-ES match report was in my edition, but the DC-Dallas was late. What gives? Didn't the MLS match finish a few minutes early?

Finally, somewhat off topic, my 7 year-old found this youtube clip that celebrates the official alcoholic beverage of Soccer Insider. If you haven't seen it, it's worth a look (especially for Bizet appreciators). Note to self: enable parental controls on the computer.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 6, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

""Note to self: enable parental controls on the computer.""

Nice. I'll never look at Lego's the same way again. And don't let him type in psychostick, beer song . .

Posted by: delantero | September 6, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

re order from tiebreaks, from this FIFA publication it seems like they might be the same in all regions.

In the league format, the ranking in each group is determined as follows:

a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;

b) goal difference in all group matches;

c) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.

If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria,
their rankings will be determined as follows:

d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between
the teams concerned;

e) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the
teams concerned;

f) greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the
teams concerned;

g) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.

Posted by: emanon13 | September 6, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

opps - looks like those might be rules for the preliminary rounds of the actual world cup and not for the qualifiers.

Posted by: emanon13 | September 6, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: universityandpark | September 6, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Beamer is a loyal guy. With that, he fights for all of the coaches and assistants to get paid. For years, I've thought the best way out is to simply give him a different role. Let him continue to recruit and work with teams, but bring in a new OC. If he doesn't go for it, so be it. Bring in a new OC and make way for Foster to take over the program.

Posted by: sitruc | September 6, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

That was a response to Reignking.

Posted by: sitruc | September 6, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The Honduran officiating crew was an odd choice for another reason, too. Honduras and El Salvador are fierce rivals. I'm surprised ES didn't protest about their selection. The officials were awful, but at least the ref didn't give a bunch of our guys yellow cards. I think your ratings are too high for Howard and Beckerman. Timmy gets burned for way too many goals because he is wandering off his line. Beckerman looked totally out of his depth. Also, Cherundolo has to be in the back four if the choice is him or Bornstein, who was awful. As a Torres fan I did enjoy seeing him get some minutes and Landon was outstanding.

Posted by: popoki08 | September 6, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

sitruc: I was referring to Groh/UVa...

Posted by: Reignking | September 6, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine why you would play bornstein over cherundelo. ever.

torres should have nailed the header, but looks pretty good out there in limited action.

Posted by: wordup1 | September 7, 2009 2:06 AM | Report abuse

Bornstein is awful and will go the way of the Beasley. What has been worse is th officiating in all of the US qualifiers. Last night was a joke. Mexico was a joke. I hope FIFA is watching. That said Bob Bradley is worse than the officiating. There's no accountability. At this rate we'll barely qualify and then lost all three group stage matches. I guess I'll have to cheer for Spain.

Posted by: Conservativemindsareinshackles | September 7, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Also Michael Bradley was INVISIBLE this game. If his dad isnt the coach we see Jermaine Jones.

Posted by: Conservativemindsareinshackles | September 7, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

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