US Soccer
The final phase of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in CONCACAF is set to start this Wednesday evening.  For the United States their opening match will be played at Columbus Crew Stadium against the old enemy, Mexico.  The other matches for the region see El Salvador playing host in San Salvador to Trinidad and Tobago, the third match sees Costa Rica hosting Honduras in San Jose.

Unfortunately I will be unable to attend the match at Columbus as I did the last time the US played Mexico in World Cup qualifying on US soil but my heart will be there with the boys as they take the pitch.  US Soccer did send me a nice post card inviting me to the match but it was a bit too late for me to rearrange my schedule on short term notice.  The postcard had a nice little passcode on it that allowed me to purchase tickets prior to them being available to the general public.  US Soccer reported that the tickets sold out within 90 minutes of going on public sale.  I love the fact that US Soccer finally decided on Columbus as the venue.  Columbus does seem to pull in a goodly amount of US fans, the most rabid of which stand behind the goal and sing their wonderful hearts out.

Qualification for the United States to the big event in South Africa should not be extremely difficult but a good showing against the ancient enemy will make the whole process a great deal less stressful for all those involved.  For CONCACAF the final phase of qualification consists of a six team single table called a hexagonal.  Each teams plays the other twice, once at home and once on the road for a total of 10 matches each.  The top three finishers in the hexagonal automatically qualify for South Africa.  The fourth place finisher must then enter a two match, home and away, playoff with the fifth place finisher in CONMEBOL.  CONMEBOL is the region that consists primarily of the South American nations.  CONCACAF has seen the US and Mexico become the two big guns in the region so both should go through but like I said I would love to see the US stuff El Tri.

The US Squad looks like this for the match;

POS Player Club
GK Tim Howard Template:Flagicon Everton F.C.
GK Brad Guzan Template:Flagicon Aston Villa
D Carlos Bocanegra Template:Flagicon Stade Rennais
D Jonathan Bornstein Template:Flagicon Chivas USA
D Danny Califf Template:Flagicon FC Midtjylland
D Frankie Hejduk Template:Flagicon Columbus Crew
D Oguchi Onyewu Template:Flagicon  Standard de Liege
D Heath Pearce Template:Flagicon Hansa Rostock
D Marvel Wynne Template:Flagicon Toronto FC
MF DaMarcus Beasley Template:Flagicon Rangers F.C.
MF Michael Bradley Template:Flagicon Borussia Monchengladbach
MF Ricardo Clark Template:Flagicon Houston Dynamo
MF/F Clint Dempsey Template:Flagicon Fulham F.C.
MF Sacha Kljestan Template:Flagicon Chivas USA
MF Robbie Rogers Template:Flagicon Columbus Crew
MF Jose Francisco Torres Template:Flagicon Pachuca
F Jozy Altidore  Template:Flagicon Xerez C.D.
F Brian Ching Template:Flagicon Houston Dynamo
F Charlie Davies Template:Flagicon Hammarby IF
F Landon Donovan Template:Flagicon Bayern Munich

A nice looking squad from what I can see.  Of particular note is Jose Francisco Torres.  Torres had the option of playing either for the USA or Mexico, he has a Mexican father and American mother.  It caused quite a stir when he decided to play for the United States over Mexico I'm hoping he has a great match.


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