Great second half goals for Kenny Cooper and Freddy Adu pace the United States. Both players showed their quality tonight and surely left an impression on Bob Bradley.
But the real excitement was elsewhere in CONCACAF. Mexico’s lack of composure, and unsporting play took a turn for the worse tonight as Carlos Vela deliberetely tried to injure Amado Guevara and was rightfully sent off and probably faces a multiple game ban. In addition Gerardo Torrado was also sent off: All of this happened after Honduras scored the winning goal early in the second half. These sorts of unsporting fouls and showmanship have become typical of Mexico when they fall behind in games or feel that the officials are not calling the game the way they would like. This continues to be a troubling trend and needs to be addressed by CONCACAF. The officials in the region need to send a stronger signal to Mexican players that the constant diving, chippy fouls and attempts to injure the opposition cannot be tolerated. Sven Goran Eriksson as a manager understands the culture of football and after managing a side like England whose sporting play is as honorable as any on the planet, it is shocking to see footballers he is managing behave in such an unbecoming fashion every time they walk on the pitch.
Jamaica crushed Canada 3-0 (including a goal by Omar Cummings of the Rapids) but Liverpool and England hero John Barnes sees his men go out on goal difference despite a valiant fight. Jamaica won all three matches in qualifying after Rene Simoes was fired and replaced by Barnes. Mexico advances on goal difference, but Sven Goran Eriksson’s side is going to have to improve substantially to punch a ticket to South Africa. Excuse me while I shed a tear for Jamaica, who fully deserved to advance over Mexico not only because they were the better team but because they were better sportsmen.