Daily news roundups

“We are going to Brazil!” — Reactions, replays and relief as USMNT qualifies for WC2014

US

Eddie Johnson, Landon Donovan, Dos a cero. Brazil. That is all you need to know. As usual, @FarnsworthPSP sums it up best.

But if you want more, check out PSP’s detailed match report from last night’s USMNT clash with Mexico. Full highlights here.

Then go get yourself a WC qualifying scarf before they are all gone.

Landon Donovan bagged a goal and an assist despite a severe case of pink eye. 101GreatGoals has the gross photo and best tweets.

The Guardian has some background reading on the USA-Mexico rivalry you can use to impress your friends. While, “We share a pretty long border, so it just kinda happened” is a perfectly good reason to have a rivalry, there are plenty of other soccer-specific reasons this match is always the highlight of qualifying season.

In a piece that seems oddly unedited, Leander Schaerlaeckens gives a bit of history on American qualifiers in Columbus. Let’s just say most of the team likes playing there quite a bit.

Greg Seltzer gives out player ratings, including an absurdly favorable rating to a very poor Fabian Johnson and an absurdly high rating for penalty-misser Clint Dempsey (especially considering it’s a point higher than Donovan, who provided excellent service for the game winner and scored the second).

Matthew Doyle runs down three things of note from last night’s match, focusing on Eddie Johnson, Chicarito, Tim Howard and Jermaine Jones. Johnson was, of course, immense. But calling Chicharito a luxury seems a bit off. If a guy in Iowa buys a luxury yacht, it’s not the yacht’s fault it’s in Iowa. Chicharito was far from his best (far, far) but he’s not a luxury. On a team that, y’know, creates chances, he’s a necessity. And his consistency is something the US has never had in an out-and-out striker. But he showed none of that last night.

Costa Rica also qualified for the World Cup with a 1-1 draw against Jamaica and Honduras got a late equalizer to split points with Panama

In other qualifiers, Argentina and some guy named Messi broke down Paraguay and earned a ticket to Brazil. Mario Balotelli scored from the spot to send Italy to South America in 2014. And in the most awesome non-US news of the day, San Marino scored their first goal in five years… and went absolutely wild. Good on them.

Here is a map showing every country’s probability of qualifying for WC2014 in Brazil. You’ll never guess what number USA is at.

Union

tBG rounds up former Union players in action over the past week, including Freddy Adu doing his Kleberson impression on the Bahia bench.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University newspaper has a nice article on Aaron Wheeler, who apparently “was the game.”

5 Comments

  1. I finally saw the highlights: how many Fing times is Carrol going to backpedal AWAY FROM A PLAYER HE NEEDS TO BE CLOSING DOWN only to have said player deliver a pressure-free pass that leads to a goal, before we stripe him of his captain status and sit his ass down?

  2. One small correction. Panama got the late equalizer against Honduras rather than the other way around. (My wife would have killed me if it looked like Panama was going to win and Honduras tied it. She went to sleep right after the US game and I would have blown the roof off if the US qualified on a stoppage time goal!)

    Has anyone noticed that over 50% of the games in the Hex that the US have not been involved in have ended in ties (9 of 16)? With only one tie, the US drops the overall percentage by 15 points (10 of 24 being ties including US games).

    Also, Mexico still has the best road record in CONCACAF (5 points). Azteca has just become the friendly confines for the visiting teams.

  3. In the ESPN WC probability table Egypt is only at 60%. Will be interesting to follow their (and the Other African nation’s WC quest). Their is also still a lot of excitement w.r.t. Mexico and some of the European nations (i.e. Portugal)…

    • Something I don’t like about that map. Maybe it’s the fact that 7 of the 10 remaining African countries have better than a 50% chance of qualifying, even though only 5 team qualify. Yes, it’s difficult since the draw isn’t until Monday, but still 5 should be above 50% and 5 below.

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