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15 October 11:55 de la mañana

On connaîtra bientôt le sort du Canada pour la suite des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde. Vous le savez désormais : un point au Honduras sera suffisant pour continuer la route vers le Brésil. Mais ce sera tout sauf simple…

L’équipe est arrivée à San Pedro Sula sans Olivier Occean, suspendu et remplacé par Lucas Cavallini. Si l’accueil a été moins hostile qu’au Panama (souvenez-vous…), l’ambiance promet d’être suffocante à l’Estadio Olimpico, bâti il y a 15 ans à peine mais paraissant d’une autre ère.

André Hainault ne se souvient pas avoir joué dans un endroit aussi hostile, où on se fait quasiment cracher dessus. Ce qui ne l’a pas empêché d’y marquer son premier but en équipe nationale. Une des missions de Stephen Hart sera donc de garder l’esprit de ses joueurs concentré sur leur mission la plus importante, mais « leur dire qu’ils ont besoin d’un nul est ce qu’il y a de plus dangereux », prévient-il.

On aura également l’œil sur les autres rencontres de éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde, auxquelles prendront part de nombreux joueurs de MLS. Regardez ici les résultats qu’ils ont obtenus ce week-end avec leur équipe nationale respective. Après la victoire étriquée à Antigua-et-Barbuda, l’ambiance est à la polémique aux États-Unis, à qui un point suffit pour passer au tour suivant : en cas d’échec, ils n’auront aucune excuse.

15 October 10:14 de la mañana

As part of Soccer Kicks Cancer, Major League Soccer and clubs throughout the League have been doing their part to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research and treatment during the month of October.

Today kicks off the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Breast Cancer Awareness online auction and your chance to bid on commemorative memorabilia from some of your favorite MLS players and teams. Some of the items featured are:

 Sporting Kansas City 2012 Breast Cancer Awareness jersey signed by Graham Zusi

 Various team signed photos from clubs wearing limited edition Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts (limited edition Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts also available for bids as part of the auction)

 Game-used pink soccer balls from teams

Partial proceeds from the online auction will benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Interested in making a donation? Click HERE to donate in the U.S. and HERE to donate in Canada.

Don't forget to purchase your limited edition Breast Cancer Awareness adidas products including scarves, sweat bands, hats, t-shirts and replica balls at select retailers throughout North America, including MLS stadium shops and MLSGear.com. When you shop on MLSGear.com, you can donate $1 in support of MLS W.O.R.K.S. Soccer Kicks Cancer.

BID NOW!

13 October 11:43 de la mañana

Le match Canada - Cuba a eu des allures de stand de tir à la fête foraine, avec un viseur maladroit qui s’est acharné 90 minutes durant, et a finalement touché trois fois la cible après avoir tenté sa chance 37 fois. Ce succès 3-0 n’en reste pas moins très important.

Dès le coup d’envoi, le ton de la soirée était donné : cinq joueurs cubains avaient fait défection et les visiteurs n’avaient aucun remplaçant sur le banc. Imaginez si leur gardien avait dû quitter le terrain rapidement…

Les Canadiens se sont rués sur le but adverse et si Ricketts a ouvert la marque au quart d’heure, ils ont souvent péché par excès de précipitation tant et si bien que ce n’était que 1-0 à la pause. Stephen Hart leur a alors demandé d’être plus patients. Ils ont dû attendre les buts de Johnson et Edgar dans les 20 dernières minutes pour se rassurer. Suite à l’un deux, Olivier Occean, qui voulait récupérer le ballon rapidement, s’est chamaillé avec un adversaire et a été exclu. Il sera suspendu mardi.

Paradoxalement, il y avait une pointe de déception dans le vestiaire en raison des nombreuses occasions ratées, mais les joueurs étaient quand même heureux. « 3-0 à domicile, c’est un bon résultat sur lequel il faut bâtir », expliquait ainsi Atiba Hutchinson. « Nous sommes en bonne position pour aller au Honduras », ajoutait le premier buteur de la soirée.

Dans l’autre match du groupe, le Panama et le Honduras n’ont pu se départager (0-0). La mission du Canada est claire : avec au moins en point mardi au Honduras (coup d’envoi à 16h00 HE), il passe au tour suivant, sinon il est éliminé.

Ailleurs dans la Concacaf, le Costa Rica a réalisé une belle opération et les États-Unis ont tremblé toute la soirée, émergeant seulement à la dernière minute à Antigua-et-Barbuda.

12 October 10:14 de la tarde

Some of that "Goonies never say die!" magic rubbed off on the US national team on Friday night. Alan Gordon, one of the lead protagonists in San Jose's run to what looks like a certain Supporters' Shield, put it on a plate for Eddie Johnson in second half stoppage time as the US beat a stubborn Antigua & Barbuda side 2-1:

 

12 October 10:08 de la tarde

Even if you play badly, you can still win if you execute on set pieces. That's what the US did on Friday night in a 2-1 win over Antigua & Barbuda. Here's the first goal, courtesy of Seattle's Eddie Johnson on a perfect cross from Graham Zusi:

 

12 October 8:57 de la tarde

This is one of those nights that sports fans endure. Whether it's baseball, football, basketball ... whatever. At some point, your team plays so badly that you become physically ill. Or near enough, anyway.

That's what Jurgen Klinsmann's team just did down in Antigua with their ugly 2-1 win on Friday night. And the painful part is that it's not really a surprise.

Klinsmann is, quite possibly, a great "big picture" coach. He might be the right guy to shake up the USSF and institute a more progressive, enjoyable style. He might be the guy who destroys what remains of the "old boy network." He may be the guy who can write a curriculum that turns the US into the Brazil of the northern hemisphere.

He is not the guy to coach a team through qualifying. Period.

Carlos Bocanegra is still a liability at left back

Hey, Boca's been a fantastic servant for US soccer. He's relentless, responsible and has a knack for timely goals.

He's also a giveaway machine when he plays wide. Bruce Arena learned that to his detriment in the 2006 World Cup — anybody remember that "clearance" vs. Ghana? — and Bob Bradley had his own trip down that path from 2007 through 2009.

Somehow, it's 2012 and we're still learning that lesson. Yes, Klinsmann was handicapped by the injuries to Fabian Johnson and Edgar Castillo, but a good coach compensates by finding the right solution, not any solution.

Klinsmann, on the other hand, compensates by putting Bocanegra in a position to fail. And that's exactly what he did on the turnover that led to the Antigua goal.

Possession doesn't necessarily mean chances

Throughout the game, we were treated to analysis highlighting the US dominance in possession. Problem was, that possession wasn't leading to chances. It wasn't even leading to half-chances.

The US put one shot on goal from the run of play over 90 minutes against Antigua & Barbuda. Anyone who's making reservations for Brazil two summers from now needs to internalize that, understand it and choose a second favorite team right now.

It's not because the US lacks creators, certainly — just look at how the game opened up once Sacha Kljestan came on. Quite simply, it's because the creative attacking players we have are, for some undisclosed reason, in Klinsmann's doghouse.

For years many of us have railed against the perception of the US as a "defense only" team, pointing to games like the 2002 World Cup vs. Germany, the 2009 Confederations Cup vs. Egypt (and Brazil) and the entire run of the 2010 World Cup.

But under Klinsmann, the US are defense only. The possession they hold in midfield isn't used to create chances, and as a result, the only time they're consistently dangerous is on set pieces.

Eddie Johnson has a place in the roster ... and so does Alan Gordon

I questioned EJ's inclusion despite his great production for the Sounders. And truth be told, he was more of a liability in possession than any of the other midfielders.

However, he gets open on set pieces, and he finished two of his three looks (of the five total looks the US had on the night, which kind of makes me want to die). There's a place for that, especially against minnows. I still don't think he's the answer long term because he takes too long on the ball in the run of play, but hell, beggars can't be choosers.

As for Gordon, he's the best-passing big man in or around his prime in the US national team pool. I've been pointing this out for quite a long while, and he vindicated me on Friday.

Center forwards, like d-mids and goalkeepers, tend to develop later in their careers (Gordon is the age Brian McBride was when he transferred to Fulham). It's very, very nice to see a guy like Gordon stick with it as long as he has and, eventually, find his moment in the sun.

And it's a reminder: Over the past three cycles, MLS players have done the bulk of the heavy lifting for the US national team. Klinsmann would be wise, on Tuesday and — hopefully — in 2013, to remember that much.

12 October 4:29 de la tarde

If you somehow missed it in the USA's 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Jamaica last month, Clint Dempsey's – how shall we put it – mocking scowl, has quickly become the next great American soccer meme.

And though it is already well-preserved in the annals of the Internet, you can now take it with you wherever you go. The Deuce face will make its debut with a group of intrepid US fans traveling to Antigua & Barbuda for Friday night's World Cup qualifier, who have done an excellent job capturing one of the iconic American soccer photos of 2012 and putting it into poster form:

Deuce Face has arrived.  on Twitpic

Though it's unlikely we'll see another facial expression quite as great as Dempsey's from a US national team player, it does beg the question, what if we could do this for the whole team? Now THAT could be pretty cool to see in the stands at the USA's next game.

12 October 3:00 de la tarde

Clubs continue to focus efforts on supporting Breast Cancer Awarenes Month in October by wearing MLS W.O.R.K.S. Breast Cancer Awareness jersey patches, t-shirts and using pink soccer balls during the match. A selection of these items from each team will be available on the MLS W.O.R.K.S. online auction with proceeds benefiting the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Don't miss your chance to bid on these commemorative Breast Cancer Awareness items beginning Monday, October 15 at 10 a.m. E.T.

Check out some other community stories from this week:

Video: Stand Together Week Day 4

Stand Together Week Journal Day 4

D.C. United Race for a Cause

D.C. United: Team Unites for D.C.

FC Dallas supports Breast Cancer Awareness

Houston Dynamo Futbol Fiesta

LA Galaxy clinic series

A cancer survivor, Galaxy assistant coach has focused life on developing young players

Union Breast Cancer Awareness Game a Night to Remember

Video: Stand Together Week Day 3

Stand Together Week Journal Day 3

Crew in the Community October 13-19

Crew Stadium hosts City League Championships

Seattle Sounders United We Serve: Mission Gospel

Video: Stand Together Week Day 2

Stand Together Week Journal Day 2

Military service member on leave enjoys Cascadia rivalry

United Drives to collect personal hygiene items

Colorado Rapids: Mastroeni and Corrigan turn dream into a reality

Colorado Rapids: Pine Ridge shows how music and athletes can make a difference

Stand Together Week Journal Day 1

Video: Stand Together Week Day 1

The Crew Soccer Foundation launches the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund

October has extra meaning for Rapids' Cooke as sister battles cancer

Frankie Hejduk visits Mt. Vernon Middle School with the "Crew Takes Over Your School" Program

Street Soccer flourishing in Vancouver neighborhoods

Crew hosts the Global Down Syndrome Foundation's Dare to Play Soccer Program

For more community news from around the League, visit the MLS W.O.R.K.S. news section.

12 October 12:22 de la tarde

On l’a dit et répété : la route du Canada vers la Coupe du monde au Brésil passe par de bons résultats ce soir contre Cuba et mardi au Honduras. Tout commencera à BMO Field (19h30) face à un adversaire qui a tout perdu jusqu’à présent mais n’est pas à prendre à la légère.

D’ailleurs, le discours que tient l’équipe depuis qu’elle s’est réunie en milieu de semaine est clair : « Il ne faut pas déjà avoir la tête au Honduras. » Le Canada n’a marqué que deux buts lors de ses quatre premiers matchs dans le groupe C et avait gagné par le plus petit écart lors de son déplacement à Cuba.

« Personne ne les a battus facilement, il ne faut pas se faire piéger », prévient Patrice Bernier, qui ajoute par ailleurs que l’équipe va « jouer deux des plus importants matchs dans l’histoire du soccer canadien depuis longtemps ». A fortiori, Stephen Hart souligne à quel point une qualification pour la Coupe du monde pourrait aider le soccer à progresser au Canada.

La stratégie des Canadiens ce soir sera d’être dominateurs « comme lors de nos deux dernières rencontres à domicile », déclare Atiba Hutchinson. Privés de Dwayne De Rosario, blessé, ils pourront compter sur Olivier Occean, remis des pépins physiques qui l’avaient privé du déplacement au Panama et tenu à l’écart à Francfort.

Si vous souhaitez vous mettre en appétit, regardez See the Rise, des vidéos de l’Association canadienne de soccer qui suivent le parcours de l’équipe nationale depuis le début de l'année.

Outre le match à Toronto, il faudra garder à l’œil le duel Panama - Honduras, dont le résultat déterminera la mission du Canada mardi à San Pedro Sula. On suivra aussi attentivement les rencontres ailleurs dans la Concacaf et partout sur la planète.

11 October 7:26 de la tarde

Newly named New York Red Bulls GM Jerome de Bontin was non-committal when he was asked last week about the future of current manager Hans Backe.

But Backe himself sounds like he knows what's happening when his contract expires at the end of the current season.

According to a report in Swedish outlet Expressen, Backe indicated that he plans on moving back to Sweden in December.

"My contract runs out and I have not heard anything, so I will be moving home in December," Backe said, according to an online translation of the article. "There has been a reorganization which brought in Gérard Houllier and Jerome de Bontin and Erik Solér has been fired."

Add to that last week's rumors that tie Harry Redknapp and Gary McAllister to the Red Bulls job and it makes for a pretty major disruption for a team that still hasn't clinched a playoff berth with two matches remaining.

We'll see how the club responds in the coming days.