A soccer diary from across the pond

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Two awfully important games

The games against Honduras and Guatemala are actually quite exciting. There story lines are great. 

Canada got the win against Cuba and has momentum, but the match is against an opponent with whom there is a lot of history, both good (1984) and bad (2008). I really hope the Voyageurs, other fan groups and the CSA have managed to sell a lot of tickets to Canada supporters, which will give a boost to the team and help them get a win as this will almost surely give them a place in the hexagonal. Because the 4th place team will play an OFC team this means that CONCACAF is almost ensured 4 team in the World Cup. If Canada can finish at least 4th in the hexagonal, they really should be able to beat any OFC team and accordingly a win tonight will put them on the path towards Brazil 2014.

USA is under a lot more pressure. This is the first time EVER Klinsmann is coaching in World Cup qualifiers anywhere and I just hope that he doesn't underestimate the psychological  pressure of Central American games. I don't fear that the US won't get to the World Cup, but if Klinsmann underestimates these game, it is a real risk.

I think that this is one of the most important World Cup (and qualifiers) in a long, long time for soccer in the US and Canada. Because the World Cup is in Brazil, the games will be in prime time, meaning that two national teams have a unique opportunity to showcase themselves to the soccer fans in their countries that are not supporting them yet. This can really be a step forward for soccer in both countries and in a way it all starts tonight. Canada will get a A LOT closer to the World Cup by beating Honduras and Klinsmann needs to show he respects CONCACAF and he is able to apply his system and style of play under tough circumstances.

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