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Que de surprises lors de cette première journée du dernier tour des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde dans la zone Concacaf ! Les États-Unis battus, le Mexique tenu en échec dans son antre et un troisième match spectaculaire.
Le déplacement au Honduras ne s’annonçait pas facile pour les Américains et avant le match, Michael Bradley parlait de l’expérience nécessaire lors d’un tel déplacement. Las, l’équipe de Jurgen Klinsmann en a clairement manqué et, malgré l’ouverture de la marque signée Dempsey, s’est inclinée 2-1 suite à des buts de Garcia et Bengston. « Trop d’erreurs dans trop de domaines », résumait laconiquement le sélectionneur de la formation à la bannière étoilée.
Autre ténor de la Concacaf qui panse ses plaies, le Mexique a concédé le nul 0-0 chez lui face à la Jamaïque. Deux points perdus qui font d’autant plus mal qu’ils l’ont été contre l’équipe négligée du groupe et mettent fin à une série de 24 victoires consécutives au stade Azteca en éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde. Le héros du jour ? Le gardien Donovan Ricketts, qui a reçu des éloges qui en surprendront certainement plus d’un à Montréal et à Portland.
Dans le dernier match, le Panama pensait avoir fait le plus difficile en prenant deux buts d’avance sur le Costa Rica. Mais le joueur désigné du Real Salt Lake Alvaro Saborio a réduit la marque avant que la vedette des Ticos, Bryan Ruiz, ne fixe les chiffres à 2-2 d’un superbe retourné acrobatique.
La route vers le Brésil est encore longue, puisqu’il y a un total de 10 journées à ce dernier tour. La prochaine aura lieu le 22 mars, avec au programme États-Unis - Costa Rica, Honduras - Mexique et Jamaïque - Panama.
Chad Barrett appears to be ready to wear the New England Revolution's colors in 2013, if you're a believer in his Facebook posts. Barrett was taken by the Revs in Re-Entry Draft in December after spending the past two seasons in LA, where he scored eight goals in 35 appearances. Barrett was loaned out to Norwegian club Vålerenga in July.
The Revs would be the fourth MLS team of Barrett's career dating back to 2005, when he was taken third overall in the MLS SuperDraft by the Chicago Fire.
C’est aujourd’hui que commence le dernier tour des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde 2014 dans la zone Concacaf. Sans le Canada, vous le savez, mais avec le Mexique, les États-Unis, le Costa Rica, le Honduras, le Panama et la Jamaïque. Trois d’entre eux seront qualifiés directement pour le Brésil, alors que le quatrième jouera un match de barrage contre un pays d’Océanie.
Le sommet de la journée opposera deux nations présentes lors du dernier Mondial, le Honduras et les États-Unis. Le premier objectif des Catrachos est de gagner tous leurs matchs à domicile, explique Victor Bernardez, l’un des nombreux internationaux honduriens à évoluer en MLS. Le déplacement ne s’annonce pas aisé pour les Américains qui, selon Michael Bradley, ne devront pas gaspiller leur énergie à maudire les circonstances hostiles.
L’autre bourreau du Canada, le Panama de Blas Perez (FC Dallas) comptera sur sa solidarité et pense que son heure est venue. Il devra le confirmer chez lui contre un des candidats sérieux à la qualification, le Costa Rica qui a soif de revanche après son échec d’il y a 4 ans. Le dernier affrontement mettra aux prises le Mexique de Giovanni Dos Santos à une équipe de Jamaïque renouvelée mais qui compte encore en ses rangs plusieurs joueurs de MLS.
This is it, ladies and gentlemen. The Hex is finally here.
While many of you might not be able to actually watch US-Honduras (unlucky), KICKTV provides a saving grace from San Pedro Sula, bringing you a unique perspective on what this match means to all involved.
The video below is just the start of a series that will follow the USMNT as they look to book their place in Brazil. Enjoy:
The US national team is in Honduras for their first Hexagonal World Cup qualifier on Wednesday. It's sure to be a tough match.
But for all the talk about the difficulty of getting a result in Honduras, the last time the Yanks played a World Cup qualifier there, they got all three points.
On October 10, 2009, Bob Bradley's US squad headed to San Pedro Sula in need of a good result to secure their qualification to the 2010 World Cup. Mission accomplished, as the US held on for a 3-2 win.
The Americans fell behind early, after Julio Cesar de Leon, but then came back to take a 3-1 lead with two goals from Conor Casey and one from Landon Donovan. De Leon struck a late one to pull los Catrachos within one, and Carlos Pavon, the Honduran legend, skyed a late penalty over the bar, giving the US a vital victory.
Check out the highlights:
If we're to believe the images leaked on TodoSobreCamisetas.com, this is what the USMNT's Centennial jersey will look like in 2013.
The primary feature? It has to be the old-school badge, which replaces the US Soccer Federation logo on today's jerseys.
Do you like this retro jersey better than the sash look? Think they should go with old-fashioned number design on the back? Want to see this crest become the new USSF logo?
Share your thoughts below.
All you have to do is look at the transfer market in case you didn't already know it: The most valuable asset in the sport of soccer is the goal.
And yet in American soccer these days, we have a habit of dismissing our goalscorers as if they were utility journeymen.
We start with Kenny Cooper, who has scored 18 goals TWICE in his MLS career. Yet he's on his third MLS club in three years.
Chris Wondolowski has led MLS in scoring for three seasons and yet he can't make the USMNT's World Cup qualifying team.
Jozy Altidore is having the best season of any American forward to ever play overseas, but it earns him a smack-down with the USMNT for his lack of goals in red, white and-blue (let's glance over the fact that the USMNT continues to struggle to create enough chances).
Fredy Montero had four straight double-digit scoring seasons in MLS, and yet somehow that wore out his welcome in Seattle.
What are we left to conclude? Either American soccer hasn't yet learned to truly value soccer's hard currency or we're witnessing a massive shift in what is truly being expected of the modern forward: athleticism (Montero didn't have it), speed (not Wondo's strength), hard work (Altidore has apparently not done enough of it) and smash-mouth play (Cooper has earned reputation of being a soft "finesse" player) are apparently more important than how many goals you can bag.
Gone are the days when the team worked to service its top scorer. Instead, the forward has been asked to become a servant of his team.
Welcome to today's reality. In every walk of life employees are being asked to multitask. Whatever the industry, if you want to stay relevant, you better know how to do it all. One-trick ponies — no matter how valuable the trick — need no longer apply.
Gus Johnson has some work to do. Five-and-a-half years worth, to be exact.
On Tuesday, Sports illustrated's sports media maven Richard Deitsch let us in on Fox Sports' plans to put an American voice, and a distinctive one at that, on center stage during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. That would be Johnson, known for his high-energy play-by-play coverage in college basketball, who surprised many by branching into soccer last year – check out the clip of some of his calls as a radio broadcaster for the San Jose Earthquakes above as well as his interview with ExtraTime Radio (scroll down to the May 2, 2012 episode).
Of course, Johnson won't get thrown in the deep end come 2018. Fox is dedicated to building him up from water wings to the equivalent of play-by-play free diving through their other soccer properties, most notably Champions League broadcasts. Along those lines, Johnson will make his prime-time debut on Feb. 13 when Real Madrid faces Manchester United in Round of 16 action, and augment his CL duties with English Premier League MC honors as well as stints in the booth for the Champions League and FA Cup finals.
Now, Johnson isn't exactly a universal taste in the sports world, mostly because of his sugar-high style of bombastic broadcasting. He also has a very limited background with the Beautiful Game, admitting he's a soccer "novice" in the grand scheme of things.
To his credit, Johnson has closed-door run-throughs under his belt in addition to Quakes duty, but the Champions League knockout stage isn't exactly a low-profile way to kick things off for a novice, especially with a pair of internationally relevant Cup finals on the docket. You can bet the American soccer Twitterati and blogosphere are going to be looking for chinks in his soccer armor from the minute he opens his mouth.
Deadspin already gave their take here, and – to no one's surprise – it wasn't entirely positive and posed the following question: What will Johnson do without a bevy of opportunities to exhibit his trademark excitability? It's a valid point.
Meanwhile, I'm a bit torn.
On one hand, I'd love for American soccer fans to once again have an American voice to narrate the world's biggest sporting event. On the other, Johnson is going to have to remake himself in the booth, a move that could turn out smelling like roses or, just as easily, reek like a crowded subway car in the midst of an oppressive NYC summer. More likely, Fox's experiment is going to fall somewhere in between, and that makes me wonder what the decision to groom Johnson says about the network's opinion of the current crop of American soccer broadcasters.
Apparently, they're not good enough to develop into national voices in five-plus years, although I don't subscribe to that belief. More likely, they're simply not flashy enough and have yet to break through into the American sporting consciousness. Or they're already contracted to a competitor.
All of which is fine. I get what Fox is trying to do. But, like everyone else, I have no idea how the network's gambit will turn out.
What I do know is that I'll follow the building crescendo from Feb. 13 until the summer of 2018. If nothing else, Johnson's unique style won't let us tear our eyes and ears away from the action. Whether that's a good thing remains to be seen.
When Jay DeMerit fell to the Vancouver Whitecaps ahead of their inaugural MLS season, most figured they'd landed the linchpin of their team for years to come.
Nobody could have guessed how quickly or fully DeMerit would embrace life in British Columbia, though. So much so that he's all settled down in the northern-most reaches of Cascadia. Literally.
He put a ring on a local celebrity (Canadian Olympic Ski Cross Gold Medalist Ashleigh McIvor) and has no trouble rattling off 'hoods (he lives in Gastown) like he's been posted up in Vancouver for years.
“The thing I love about this city is that it can really grip you in a lot of different ways,” DeMerit told WhitecapsFC.com.
“I met my fiancée here and I’ve been able to take my life to the next level,” added the World Cup veteran. “That’s what we all want in our lives and our careers, and this city has allowed me to do that on both ends.”
Bravo, Jay. Looks like you're doing just fine.