TUES, 2:45PM ET
MILL0
SOU2
TUES, 2:45PM ET
CEL0
MAR1
TUES, 2:45PM ET
POR2
LIL0
TUES, 3PM ET
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MUFC0
WED, 2:45PM ET
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CONCACAF Match Previews

sven goran eriksso 1292888c 300x187 CONCACAF Match Previews

Mexico-Costa Rica 7pm ET, TELEMUNDO

Sven Goran Eriksson’s seat could not get any hotter. Published reports in the Mexican media indicate the FMF would have already sacked the Swede if not for the exorbitant salary buyout the Federation would be forced to pay for any early firing.

Gio Dos Santos, Carlos Vela, Rafa Marquez and Carlos Salcido are all out for Mexico whether by injury or suspension. The Ticos are the only tea this decade to win as an away side at Estadio Azteca, but this Costa Rican team is weaker than those that went through qualifying for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. Nonetheless, Sven’s baffling decisions continue: leaving out Zinha while recalling Edgar Castillio smacks of  blindly throwing a bunch of darts on the dart board and seeing which one hits the target.

Still, arguably the most talented side in the Confederation, El Tri has suffered from three years of mismanagement since Ricardo LaVolpe’s sacking as well as a increasingly dysfunctional and greedy Federation. Mexico may win this match but then has to travel to Honduras to face a side without David Suazo but high on confidence especially at home.

Costa Rica is far from the talent level of Mexico or the US or Honduras for that matter.  But Manager Rodrigo Kenton has done a credible job since replacing Ticos legend Hernan Medford last Summer and Costa Rica is very capable of getting a draw here.

Prediction: Mexico 2 Costa Rica 1

Trinidad and Tobago-Honduras NO US TV

Honduras received an injury blow of monumental proportions earlier this week when Benfica’s David Suazo was ruled out for several months.Amado Guevara and Carlos Costly will be forced to take on an increased attacking burden. For T&T with Dwight Yorke suspended,Francisco Maturana will not have his most experienced and internationally savvy player for this critical qualifier.

Both sides will be desperate after leaving points on the table in the first match of the Hexagonal. T&T blew a two goal lead late in El Salvador, while Honduras lost a match where they dominated large portions of evening versus Costa Rica. The physically and athletic nature of Cornell Glen and Stern John up front give the Soca Warriors a distinct advantage over Honduras in the final third especially at home.

But Honduras has too much quality in the midfield and is much more technical side than Trinidad and this match should be a draw.

Prediction: T&T  1  Honduras 1

El Salvador- United States  9pm ET, ESPN 2/ESPN 360/Telefutura

Brad Guzan will get the start between the pipes for the suspended Tim Howard. Other than that their isn’t much to be concerned about for the US against a side that has overachieved to get this far but is incredibly outclassed in the Hexagonal. A heroic comeback against Trinidad to get a draw will probably end up being the highlight of the round for El Salvador.

The US should win this match despite the hostile away crowd easily. Still El Salvador, the lowest ranked CONCACAF side in the March 2008 FIFA rankings from outside the Caribbean has had a remarkable run to get this far.

Prediction:  United States 2  El Salvador 0

SATURDAY NEWS: Dale Mitchell has been fired by the CSA as Canada’s National Team manager. Mitchell who flopped at the U-20 World Cup in 2007, I believe did a credible job with the full national team, implementing an attacking minded approach and fighting hard in CONCACAF’s group of death in semifinal qualifying. Still Canada has as much talent in its starting XI as any team in the Confederation outside of Mexico and possibly the US (yeah I know I’ve been roasted for saying this before, but their are a few Canadian players I’d take over their US counterparts, and Canada has consistently shown going back to the early part of this decade that they can play with the US) but the lack of quality depth has continued to cost Canada. After Canada’s starting XI, the team drops of totally to a point where they are not even competitive with the likes of Jamaica or Trinidad&Tobago. Until the CSA makes a commitment to deepen Canada’s player pool, coaching turnover will continue. At some point the CSA must either be disbanded or step up and improve Canadian football. They are the ones to blame, not Mitchell.

PODCAST: DC UNITED NEWS, EL SALVADOR-US PREVIEW WITH SPECIAL GUEST, CHRIS WEBB UNITED MANIA.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

11 Responses to CONCACAF Match Previews

  1. eplnfl says:

    Kartik:

    I thought Howard was out due to two yellow cards. Anyway love to see Guzan from Homer Glen, Illinois just outside of Chicago get a start. Anyone doing a chat for this match?

    What a night, Fire v. DC followed by USA! Wow. No need to leave you TV, bring in the pizza. Which we were doing anyway for my daughters teenager party so it works really well. Dad gets pizza and told to go to his den to watch the games. The question after tonight is will Sven be told to go to his den. Finally, should Blanco really be in a Fire uniform tonight. Yes, in my book but I am a Chicago and USA fan.

  2. LDZ says:

    Today is going to be exciting. The problems for Mexico go beyond coaching and the federation. I think the biggest problem is like England, most of the key players in their league are foreigners. The go-to strikers, the influential mid fielders are mostly foreigners.

    For all your criticisms of MLS, Kartik, and mine too since I am disgusted with Garber also, we have avoided falling into the EPL/FMF trap of instant gratification in club competitions by sacrificing our national team.

    Sven should be used to it: it is more or less the same situation as he had in England.

  3. Lars says:

    Kartik, you’re absolutely correct about the development of the Canadian national team, although Mitchell certainly had some serious failings. First of all, CSA is underfunded, second of all, it’s managed by a pack of idiots.

    On top of that, the relaxed international rules for Toronto FC are not very heartening to the Canadian fan. Garber has a duty to make TFC play by the same rules as the rest of the league, I say this as a hardcore TFC fan.

    The Whitecaps have taken the lead on domestic player development, and I hope Garber accepts and encourages the rest of the teams in MLS to adopt the Residency Model which will allow for a steady flow of domestic players into the league. I also hope the Whitecaps follow through and acquire a USL team in Edmonton, and put developing players there too.

    The team needs depth, and totally lacks it, despite having a strong team up front.

  4. Lance MSK says:

    Bradley the younger has been the most impressive american at both the national team and club level lately. I expect him to continue his emergence as the heart and soul of the team tonight.

    I think Costa Rica smells blood in the water and will defeat Mexico 2-1.

  5. Lance MSK says:

    Mitchell did a decent job but how about Frank Yallop getting a raw deal from the CSA? Canada will never amount to anything with a bunch of volunteers running their federation.

  6. EPLNFL says:

    Lets be thankful that the National Team in America is not in a position that it must obey MLS or fear it’s reactions.

  7. It was a very nice idea! Just wanna say thank you for the information you have shared. Just continue writing this kind of post. I will be your loyal reader. Thanks again.

  8. Looking forward to the big match, can’t wait!

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  9. 640-802 says:

    Mitchell did a decent job but how about Frank Yallop getting a raw deal from the CSA? Canada will never amount to anything with a bunch of volunteers running their federation. we all know,tk U

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