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CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers

CONCACAF Hexaganol Matchday Three


The empire strikes back could have been the headline for Saturday as Mexico beat nemesis Costa Rica to reclaim a little bit of lost mojo. But now Mexico must go to Honduras and slay another dragon, in the form of traditional Mexican killer Carlos Pavon.

Pavon’s international career has been on the rocks of late not featuring for Honduras in a year and a half before David Suazo’s injury with Benfica a little over a week ago. Now Pavon will be looking to derail Mexico again.

For years now when Honduras has needed a goal against Mexico, they’ve often gotten it thanks to Pavon. Now Pavon joins a Honduran squad that outplayed Mexico twice at the semifinal stage. Amado Guevara, Wilson Palacios and Carlos Costly have all played well recently against Mexico as well.

The Mexicans have a renewed confidence after Saturday’s impressive win at Azteca versus Costa Rica. Andreas Guardado, CONCACAF’s champion flopper actually stayed on his feet most of the night and was instrumental and influential in the Mexican attack. At the back Mexico looked solid which is especially telling because Rafa Marquez who has been accused by some in the Mexican media of not taking national team duty seriously was suspended.

Mexico has been struggling now for years in Central America. During qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, El Tri was smashed in both Honduras and Costa Rica. During the last qualifying cycle Mexico’s results were satisfactory but the performances but the performances were less than pleasing for the Mexican fans and media who used it as cause to give Manager Ricardo LaVolpe a difficult time. Since the 2006 World Cup, Mexico has not only lost a qualifying trip to Honduras but has struggled to beat Central American teams on American soil losing twice to Guatemala and once to Honduras in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Mexico also beat Costa Rica by a single late goal in the 2007 Gold Cup when Mexico was playing with 11 men against Costa Rica’s 8, since two had been sent off and one had been injured)

Looking at Costa Rica they face perhaps the easiest match of the Hexagonal, hosting El Salvador at Saprissa Stadium. This should be relatively uncomplicated game for the Ticos against an over matched and outclassed opponent. Andy Furtado looked to not have his head completely in the match on Saturday in Mexico City, but should bounce back strong at home.

The US has a similarly easy match against an aging Trinidad and Tobago side that has traditionally been woeful away from home in CONCACAF. Despite the embarrassing American performance for much of the match against El Salvador on Saturday, this is relatively uncomplicated fixture for the US. The real challenge for Bob Bradley’s side is to not repeat the performance against El Salvador in May versus Costa Rica. If the US performs for 70 minutes in San Jose the way they did in San Salvador, The Ticos could have a four goal cushion by the time the Americans decide to start playing football.


Honduras  2  Mexico 1

Costa Rica  4  El Salvador 0

USA 3 Trinidad and Tobago 1

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  1. Glenn

    April 1, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Thanks, I enjoyed reading your post. It’s nice to see someone writing something worth reading.

  2. dude

    March 31, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I’ll keep it short and simple. Trying out Adu And Altidore, and continuing to play Torres is no longer an option. The starters aren’t sharp/getting it done. Beasley needs to go somewhere else to get his act together, and Klejstan needs some training (as in, the ball is more imortant than style). Ridiculous about the name thing.

  3. Kartik

    March 31, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    I think I read somewhere, I think of the epl talk site, that you’re from Florida? I am too.
    Sorry if I come off as a stalker, I assure you I was not trying to do that.

  4. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    March 31, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Wow, nice to meet someone else with my name! 🙂

  5. eplnfl

    March 31, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I was confused there for a moment myself. One player who did disappear the other night was Michael Bradley. No not about it and it seems that most people have overlooked his poor performance. I am a`big supporter of the younger Bradley and believe he will be a fixture on the US team for years to come but Saturday night he was MIA.

    I personally attended the US v. T&T game in the semi-final round in Chicago last fall. The teams have not changed much in that time and simply if the US does not dominate them on home soil there is something badly wrong.

    I doubt that will happen and look forward to seeing the US in action in person in Chicago v. Honduras on June 6. The advance ticket sale is good for that game but there will be seats available in Soldiers Field, so I hope to see some of you from this board in the Windy City.

  6. Kartik

    March 31, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Very refreshing to find discussions and comments from people who understand the game and tactics. We’re in such a weird position here in the US. If we aim for results only, we may add a few clueless American fans, but will children look up to these players? Of we play 4-3-3 , then we see the full flowing attacking potential that will stop young Americans from buying Ronaldinho jerseys and start buying a “Donovan 10? jersey and have American footy heroes to look up to. But there is a very good medium. Find a balanced formation, hell what’s wrong with a 4-4-2 diamond midfield if Bob’s too incompetent to play anything else? To be honest, the worst thing about Bob is that he forces a rigid system that doesn’t fit our pool instead of adapting a system that fits the players. It’s quite depressing when fans, who watch all 90 minutes, can say that the performance was ok because we stole a point (or El Salvador handed it to us) when we couldn’t string three passes in a row. Then, we can’t play younger guys because “They don’t have experience, and the older guys keep there starting positions no matter how bad their club situation. It really is frustrating, because as I love supporting my country, I hate explaining to “fans” that while the result may have been adequate, the PERFORMANCE was disgusting. The quickest fix Bob could do is playing with two strikers. Seriously, if he thinks his son is such a good player (which he is, but to be honest, I’d still prefer Mastroeni if we had to play with a real D-mid) why doesn’t he pull Kljestan and give that consistent, but useless Ching a partner, say….JOZY FREAKING ALTIDORE.

    P.S. My name is really Kartik, and I’m bookmarking your site, the articles are some of the top stuff.

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