Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

US World Cup 2018 Bid Committee Announces List of 27 Potential Host Cities

August 21, 2009

NEW YORK (August 20, 2009) – The USA Bid Committee today announced the 27 United States cities that passed the third stage of the city and stadium proposal review process and remain under consideration as potential host venues for the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. These cities will continue working with the USA Bid Committee both on the development and promotion of their local and national campaigns.

Officials representing a total of 38 cities received the Requests for Proposal (RFP) and had from June 16 to July 29 to complete their proposals and return them to the USA Bid Committee. The RFPs requested information from city officials covering a vast array of subjects such as tourism, climate, security, transportation, training sites, promotion and more.

“The USA Bid Committee is pleased to have received comprehensive responses from city officials and local organizing committees across the United States,” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “The overwhelming interest and creativity shown by the candidate cities made our extensive review process that much more difficult in narrowing down the list.”

The RFP process resulted in 11 cities being pulled from contention, an important step in the United States’ application that is due to FIFA in May 2010. FIFA and its 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two host nations for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.

The 27 remaining candidate cities offer a wide variety of markets that range in size from New York City to Jacksonville, Fla., as well as vast coast-to-coast geographic strength. Numerous U.S. markets that did not play host to matches during FIFA World Cup in 1994 remain under consideration, including Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver, Seattle and Phoenix.

The 11 cities removed during this round were: Birmingham, Ala.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Fayetteville, Ark.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Minneapolis, Minn.; New Orleans, La.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Salt Lake City, Utah and San Antonio, Tex.

In conjunction with the list of 27 cities announced by the USA Bid Committee, a short list of 32 stadiums still under consideration was also announced today. The venues average almost 74,000 in capacity and represent a wide spectrum of facilities, featuring stadiums typically used for college and professional football, including open-air, domed and retractable roof venues. All 32 stadiums currently exist or are under construction with eight featuring capacities between 80,000 and 108,000 spectators. A list of the finalist cities and stadiums, all of which are vying to be included in the USA Bid Committee’s formal bid book to FIFA in May 2010, can be found at the end of this news release and at the bid’s official webpage, goUSAbid.com.

The current list of venues came as a result of a four-month process that began in April with representatives from 58 stadiums expressing interest in being considered for the USA’s bid. The USA Bid Committee was then able to cut the list to 45 stadiums in 38 cities in mid-June following the review of a detailed questionnaire completed by the candidate venues that incorporated the strict FIFA facility requirements into the evaluation process.

“We will be working closely with officials from all 27 cities, stadiums and host committees over the next few months in our process of identifying the final list of cities that will be included in our bid book to FIFA in May 2010,” said David Downs, the Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee. “The support of the individual cities and their capacity to promote the bid will be crucial to our efforts as we work to maintain the momentum created by the launch of our national campaign and our Web page, goUSAbid.com, last week. With the passion for the game being shown by our fans and the existing infrastructure in place in the U.S., we are confident we have assembled a list of candidate cities that will meet and exceed FIFA’s requirements for hosting World Cup matches.”

FIFA’s criterion requires a candidate host nation to provide a minimum of 12 stadiums and a maximum of 18 capable of seating 40,000 or more spectators. Stadiums with a minimum capacity of 80,000 are required by FIFA for consideration to play host to the Opening Match and Final Match. The U.S. used stadiums in nine cities when it hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022.

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Hothead Mexican Assistant Coach Slaps Hejduk

February 12, 2009

Last night I kept thinking of the long list of reasons why we’re lucky to have Frankie Hejduk, a man in the best form of his life, still earning caps for Team USA. Then, thanks to Greg Seltzer and Steven Goff, I remembered another reason; that he is one classy dude.

In case you haven’t heard by now, Mexican assistant coach (and poor sport) Paco Ramirez slapped Hejduk while the teams were heading into the locker room after a 2-0 US win. Frankie could have reacted in a number of ways but his response speaks volumes for his class and character.

And wouldn’t you know that American Spanish language channel Univision caught the whole thing on tape…

Given the pressure Sven-Goran Eriksson is under after the loss, did Ramirez just offer himself up as an easy sacrificial lamb Sven can throw to the Mexican federation, press, and public? Will FIFA and/or CONCACAF sanction Ramirez? Should they?

Bradley Names 20-Man Roster For World Cup Qualifier Against Mexico

February 8, 2009

Courtesy of US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Feb. 8, 2008) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a roster of 20 players that will train in advance of the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Mexico on Feb. 11 in Columbus, Ohio. Kickoff for the USA’s most anticipated match of the final round is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN2 HD and Univision. Fans will also be able to listen to the match on 75 affiliates of the Fútbol de Primera Radio Network, and can follow live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

The match on Wednesday will mark the third straight time that Columbus Crew Stadium has hosted the home leg of the final round World Cup qualifying series between the United States and Mexico. Tickets sold out within 90 minutes of going on public sale.

Eighteen of the 20 players on the roster participated in the first two rounds of World Cup qualifying last year. Bradley has called on a dozen players from foreign-based clubs, led by team captain Carlos Bocanegra and 2008 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year Tim Howard, who is unbeaten in four matches against Mexico and has posted an impressive five shutouts in five all-time World Cup qualifying appearances. Clint Dempsey finished 2008 tied for the team lead in goal scored (4), with all of his strikes coming in World Cup qualifying action. DaMarcus Beasley is one of four players on the roster who started in the last World Cup qualifier against Mexico, scoring the insurance goal in the 2-0 win on Sept. 3, 2005, in Columbus. Oguchi Onyewu, who set up Steve Ralston for the game-winner that day, scored a career-high three goals for the U.S. in 2008, including a header against Mexico in the 2-2 draw in Houston. Michael Bradley, who scored the game-winning goal in the 3-0 semifinal round qualifying win against Trinidad & Tobago, tied with Heath Pearce for the most appearances for the team in 2008, each starting in 11 of 14 matches. José Francisco Torres – who plays in the Mexican Primera División – is the only player on the roster who is not based in Europe or the United States.

Landon Donovan is the leading capwinner on the roster with 105 international appearances, the USA’s all-time leader in goals and assists now one goal shy of tying Brian McBride for the most career goals in World Cup qualifying (10). Donovan has been a particular nemesis to El Tri, having scored four times in his career against Mexico, highlighted by the second goal in a 2-0 win in the Round of 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

On the domestic front, eight players from the recently completed training camp at The Home Depot Center traveled to Columbus. The current MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew contributes two locals in Frankie Hejduk and Robbie Rogers. Hejduk, now in his fourth qualifying cycle, has eight career appearances and two goals against Mexico. Brian Ching scored four goals through the first two rounds of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying, the striker now just one shy of reaching double digits in goals for the United States. Sacha Kljestan – one of six 2008 Olympians on the roster – became only the second player in U.S. history to score his first three goals in the same game when the U.S. collected a 3-2 win against Sweden on Jan. 24 at The Home Depot Center.

The Columbus Crew Stadium match will be the sixth World Cup qualifier hosted by the nine-year-old venue. The U.S. has a 3-0-2 record in qualifying and an unbeaten 4-0-3 all-time record in the stadium. In the first meeting on Feb. 28, 2001, goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart paced the U.S. to a 2-0 victory. Four years later on Sept. 3, 2005, goals by Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley earned the United States another 2-0 win and officially booked their place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

The match on Feb. 11 will mark the 55th meeting between the USA and Mexico. The U.S. has dominated the series of late, collecting an 8-0-2 home record against Mexico since 2000. During that span, the USA has netted 17 goals, while the Mexicans have scored only three on American soil in this decade.

Under head coach Bob Bradley, the U.S. has a 2-0-1 record against their border rivals, including a 2-1 victory in the 2007 Gold Cup final in Chicago that delivered the U.S. its second-consecutive regional championship and a place in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, where they will play current World Champion Italy, Brazil and Egypt.

The U.S., along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago, is competing in the 10-game round-robin format through Oct. 14, 2009, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 14/18 against the fifth-place finisher in South American qualifying.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION

GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 4/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton FC: 7/5 SO)

DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 16/2), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA, 1/0), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland: 3/0), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew: 14/1), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 12/1), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 7/0), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC: 0/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers: 21/6), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach: 6/2), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo: 3/0), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 6/0), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew: 0/0), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca: 1/0)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Xerez C.D.: 3/1), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 12/6), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF: 1/1) Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC: 12/4), Landon Donovan (Bayern Munich: 25/9)

*numbers indicate all-time World Cup Qualifying caps/goals

BRADLEY RECALLS 20 PLAYERS TO BEGIN PREP FOR MATCH AGAINST MEXICO

January 31, 2009

Courtesy of US Soccer Communications:

CHICAGO (Jan. 29, 2009) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley has called 20 players back to U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., to begin preparations for the USA’s first match of final round qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. will take on regional rivals Mexico on Feb. 11 in front of a sold-out crowd at Columbus Crew Stadium live on ESPN2, ESPN2 HD and Univision beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The match can be heard live on the Futbol de Primera radio networks, and fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

The 20-man group is made up almost entirely of players who participated in the previous camp from Jan. 4-24 at the HDC, with Columbus Crew defender and three-time World Cup veteran Frankie Hejduk the only new addition. The U.S. team will train in Carson for nine days before departing on Feb. 7 for Columbus.

Fourteen of the players on the roster appeared in the USA’s 3-0 win against Sweden on Jan. 24, including midfielder Sacha Kljestan, who became the second player in U.S. history to score his first three goals all in the same game. Both Robbie Rogers and Chris Wingert made their debut for the full team in the victory.

Tickets for the USA-Mexico clash sold out in 90 minutes following the beginning of the public sale. The match is the first of 10 in the final round hexagonal that will determine the three automatic entrants from CONCACAF into the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In addition to qualifying, the U.S. will compete in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in June, having been drawn into Group B along with five-time World Cup winners Brazil, current World Champion Italy, and Egypt. Just days after the tournament, the U.S. will begin its defense of the CONCACAF Gold Cup title.

U.S. Men’s National Team Training Camp Roster By Position
Carson, Calif.
Jan. 29 – Feb. 7, 2009

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENDERS (5): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew), Ugo Ihemelu (Colorado Rapids), Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Brian Carroll (Columbus Crew), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Jack Jewsbury (Kansas City Wizards), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), John Thorrington (Chicago Fire)
FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)

TICKETS FOR U.S.-MEXICO QUALIFIER ON SALE STARTING JAN 28TH

January 13, 2009

OK vagabonds, its time for a road trip…

Courtesy of U.S. Soccer:

TICKETS FOR U.S.-MEXICO QUALIFIER GO ON SALE WEDNESDAY, JAN. 28

Sell-Out Crowd Expected at Columbus Crew Stadium Where the U.S. Remains Undefeated in Seven Matches

CHICAGO (Jan. 13, 2009) — Tickets for the United States’ FIFA World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, go on sale on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 12 p.m. ET. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 11, and will be televised live on ESPN2 HD and Univision.

The game marks the third-consecutive time that Columbus Crew Stadium hosts the final round home leg between the U.S. and Mexico. The match in Columbus is the first of five home qualifiers for the United States this year.

Tickets ranging in price levels from $48 to $125 go on sale to the public Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 12 p.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout central Ohio (including Kroger), as well as the Crew Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Due to anticipated demand, tickets will be limited to four per purchase. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages which include a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale will take place from Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 12 p.m. ET until Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 8 a.m. ET at ussoccer.com. Tickets will be limited to four per purchase. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

“We are very excited about returning to Columbus,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, who guided the U.S. to a 7-1-0 record through the first two rounds of FIFA World Cup qualifying. “Our national team has enjoyed a great history there, and the team has always appreciated the fantastic support from the fans. We are looking forward to an incredible atmosphere as we continue the difficult task of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.”

The Columbus Crew Stadium match will be the sixth World Cup qualifier hosted by the nine-year-old venue. The U.S. has a 3-0-2 record in qualifying and an unbeaten 4-0-3 all-time record in the stadium. In the first meeting on Feb. 28, 2001 – dubbed the “Guerra Fria (‘Cold War’)” because the game-time temperature topped out at 29 degrees – goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart paced the U.S. to a 2-0 victory. Four years later on Sept. 3, 2005, goals by Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley earned the United States another 2-0 win and officially booked their place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

The match on Feb. 11 will mark the 55th meeting between the USA and Mexico. The U.S. has dominated the series of late, collecting an 8-0-2 home record against Mexico since 2000. During that span, the USA has netted 17 goals, while Mexico has scored only three on American soil in this decade.

The U.S., along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago, is competing in the 10-game round-robin format through Oct. 14, 2009, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 14/18 against the fifth-place finisher in South American qualifying.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will kick off a busy 2009 schedule when they face Sweden on Saturday, Jan. 24, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for the USA’s only tune-up match prior to the start of final round qualifying is set for at 5:30 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

Mark Your Calendars: USA-Mexico On February 11th

December 16, 2008

Courtesy of US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Dec. 15, 2008) — For the third consecutive time in final round qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, U.S. Soccer has selected Columbus Crew Stadium to host the home leg between the United States and Mexico. The USA’s most anticipated match of the final round will be played Wednesday, Feb. 11, with kickoff times and broadcast information to be announced at a later date. Fans will be able to follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

The match in Columbus is the first of five qualifiers in the Final Round to be played in the United States. Ticketing details will be announced in the near future. “We are very excited about returning to Columbus,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, who guided the U.S. to a 7-1-0 record through the first two rounds of FIFA World Cup qualifying. “The national team has enjoyed a great history there, and the team has always appreciated the fantastic support from the fans. We are looking forward to an incredible atmosphere as we continue the difficult task of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.”

The Columbus Crew Stadium match will be the sixth World Cup qualifier hosted by the nine-year-old venue. The U.S. has a 3-0-2 record in qualifying and an unbeaten 4-0-3 all-time record in the stadium. In the first meeting on Feb. 28, 2001 – dubbed the “Guerra Fria (‘Cold War’)” because the game-time temperature topped out at 29 degrees – goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart paced the U.S. to a 2-0 victory.

Four years later on Sept. 3, 2005, goals by Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley earned the United States another 2-0 win and officially booked their place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. “Our first priority is to give our team the best chance to be successful and achieve the goal of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, and Columbus Crew Stadium has always been a great venue for the national team,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “We carefully considered our options, and ultimately we felt that playing in Columbus is the right fit for this match.”

The match on Feb. 11 will mark the 55th meeting between the USA and Mexico. The U.S. has dominated the series of late, collecting an 8-0-2 home record against Mexico since 2000. During that span, the USA has netted 17 goals, while the Mexicans have scored only three on American soil in this decade. Under head coach Bob Bradley, the U.S. has a 2-0-1 record against their border rivals, including a 2-1 victory in the 2007 Gold Cup final in Chicago that delivered the U.S. its second-consecutive regional championship and a place in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, where they will play current World Champion Italy, Brazil and Egypt.

The U.S., along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago, is competing in the 10-game round-robin format through Oct. 14, 2009, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 14/18 against the fifth-place finisher in South American qualifying.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will kick off a busy 2009 schedule when they face Sweden on Saturday, Jan. 24, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for the USA’s only tune-up match prior to the start of final round qualifying is set for at 5:30 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

Next Stage of US World Cup Qualifying Starts Feb. 11th Against Mexico

November 22, 2008

Courtesy of US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Nov. 22, 2008) — The United States will continue its bid to qualify for its sixth consecutive World Cup finals on Feb. 11 against Mexico at home. The final round draw for 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying was announced this morning from Johannesburg, South Africa.

The U.S., along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago, will compete in the 10-game round-robin format from Feb. 11-Oct. 14, 2009, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 14 and Nov. 18 against the fifth-place finisher in South American qualifying.

Drawn as Team 6 in the Final Round format, the U.S. faces a tricky road to South Africa as they open up against their biggest rival in the region at home and never has any consecutive home dates. The U.S. plays a fairly balanced schedule, bouncing between home and away matches, only to have back-to-back away games late in the qualifying stretch for Matches 8 and 9. Venues for the USA’s five home matches will be announced as they are finalized.

All of the match dates for Final Round qualifying are scheduled to take place on dates set aside for international play on the FIFA Coordinated Calendar for 2009. [Opponent Capsules]

After playing Mexico, the U.S. kicks off their away schedule of the qualifying campaign against El Salvador on March 28, and then returns home on April 1 to face Trinidad & Tobago. The halfway point for the Hexagonal arrives in June, with the U.S. facing Costa Rica away on June 3 and then returning to the U.S. to host Honduras on June 6, which will complete the first half of the Final Round. The Costa Rica match was moved from June 10 to June 3 to accomodate the USA’s participation in the Confederations Cup.

The second stand-alone date of the Final Round falls on Aug. 12 with the U.S. traveling to the unfriendly confines of Mexico. The U.S. will have two straight double dates, starting with hosting El Salvador on Sept. 5 before heading to Trinidad & Tobago on Sept. 9. The three teams that will automatically advance to the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be decided on the final double date, which begins for the United States on Oct. 10 away to Honduras. The U.S. concludes the final round on Oct. 14 at home against Costa Rica.

The United States has qualified for five consecutive World Cup finals, amassing a lifetime record of 53-31-28 in World Cup qualifying play. With a record of 34-6-11 on U.S. soil, the team has lost only one home qualifier since 1985.

The U.S. advanced to the final round hexagonal as winners of Group 1, going 5-1-0 in the semifinal phase. The United States captured their first-ever road qualifying win in Guatemala, then defeated Cuba in the team’s first visit to the island nation since 1947. At home the U.S. continued to dominate, collecting a convincing 3-0 shutout victory against Trinidad & Tobago and a 6-1 win against Cuba that saw the U.S. qualified before the round’s conclusion. Dating back to the start of the second round, the U.S. won six consecutive qualifiers, setting the record for most consecutive games won in one cycle (set during qualifying for Germany 2006). The U.S. also posted three straight road victories in qualifying for the first time ever.

The U.S. and Costa Rica are nearly evenly split throughout the series history, each team maintaining dominance on home soil. The U.S. has never won a qualifying match in Costa Rica, going 0-6-1 lifetime. The teams met in the final round of 2006 World Cup qualifying, with the U.S. turning in one of their finest performances of the stage in the 3-0 win on June 4, 2005, in front of a raucous crowd in Salt Lake. With the U.S. already through to Germany, the Ticos returned the favor by earning a matching 3-0 scoreline on the return leg in San Jose on Oct. 8 at Estadio Saprissa. Costa Rica breezed through to the Final Round as the only team in CONCACAF that remains undefeated in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Ticos manhandled Group 3 that included El Salvador, Haiti, and Suriname, pumping in 20 goals while surrendering only three.

The U.S. has dominated the series against El Salvador, with only a single blemish on the 13-1-4 lifetime record. The U.S. has been particularly imposing in World Cup Qualifying, posting an unbeaten 4-0-2 record. The teams last squared off in the semifinal phase of qualifying for Germany, the U.S. collecting a pair of 2-0 wins in Foxboro and San Salvador. El Salvador has been in it since the first round, pounding Anguilla by an aggregate score of 16-0 before getting past Panama in the second phase in a series that included an impressive 1-0 win in Panama City. Drawn with Costa Rica, Suriname and Haiti, the Salvadorans comfortably took second place in Group 3 while posting a 3-1-2 record.

The U.S. and Honduras have one of the more unusual histories between CONCACAF teams in qualifying. While they have played only four times, three of those matches took place in Honduras. The teams met in the final round of qualifying for Korea/Japan, the U.S. pulling off a 2-1 a win in San Pedro Sula on the strength of goals by Clint Mathis and Earnie Stewart. Then on Sept. 1, 2001, in Washington, D.C., a quick goal by Stewart looked promising for the U.S., but Honduras stormed back to a 3-2 win to hand the U.S. their last home loss in World Cup qualifying to date. Coincidentally, it was the Honduras home loss to Trinidad & Tobago coupled with the U.S. win against Jamaica on Oct. 7, 2001, that guaranteed the USA’s ticket to Korea.

Honduras had one of the hardest mountains to climb in qualifying and can proudly claim they reached the summit. The Catrachos were drawn into the most difficult of groups along with Mexico, Jamaica and Canada. After narrowly losing out away to Mexico in the opening game, Honduras reeled off three straight wins before falling to Jamaica in Kingston, setting up the dramatic final day. Needing a win to guarantee their place in the final round, the Hondurans pulled off a 1-0 shutout to vault past Mexico and claim first place in the group.

While Mexico holds a major lead in the all-time qualifying series, the U.S. has most certainly pulled even in the modern era. The United States has not lost at home to Mexico in a World Cup qualifier since 1972, and played two of their most memorable games in the previous two hexagonals. In the ‘Guerra Fria’ in Columbus on Feb. 28, 2001, goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart lifted the U.S. to a 2-0 victory, a result that would be repeated a few times over. On Sept. 3, 2005, it was Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley’s turn to tally as another 2-0 victory booked the USA’s ticket to Germany. It’s been another story in Mexico, where the United States has never won (0-12-1), the lone draw coming Nov. 2, 1997, in Mexico City.

Playing their first three games of the Semifinal Round at home after hurricane damage forced Jamaica to switch their schedule, Mexico quickly grabbed nine points. After a loss to Jamaica away, the Mexicans were twice forced to come from behind to earn a point against already-eliminated Canada, setting up an intriguing final match day. They were leading the group on points, but a slip in Honduras combined with a big Jamaica victory could have seen them eliminated from competition. An own goal sank their efforts in the 1-0 loss in Honduras, and Jamaica nearly pulled off the miracle when they won 3-0 against Canada. Tied on points, it was Mexico who inched through to the final round on goal differential.

The U.S. holds a 14-2-3 lifetime record against Trinidad & Tobago, with the series dating back to 1982. The U.S. can also claim 10 shutouts against the Soca Warriors, with six of those coming on home turf. It has been more than 12 years since Trinidad & Tobago have scored during their travels to the U.S., with the last goal coming during a 3-2 loss in 1996 in Anaheim, Calif. The U.S. has owned the series in World Cup qualifying (9-1-2), although T&T will be buoyed by the 2-1 win on Oct. 15 in Port-of-Spain, their first-ever in qualifying against the United States. The teams met in the 2006 edition of final round qualifying; in fact, they met on the opening day of the group. Goals by Eddie Johnson and Eddie Lewis gave the U.S. a nice three points on the road to start the hexagonal, and then Brian McBride did the business in the 1-0 win on Aug. 17, 2005, in East Hartford.

Seeming to be battling Guatemala from the get-go for the second spot in the semifinal group, the teams shared the spoils by each earning a draw on the world. T&T capitalized on the penultimate matchday of the round, defeating the U.S. for the first time in World Cup qualifying history while Guatemala disastrously lost at Cuba. Already in the driver’s seat, the Soca Warriors ended all doubt by winning handily at home against the Cubans to move on to the final round.

The U.S. reached the Semifinal Round of qualifying after defeating Barbados by an aggregate score of 9-0 in the second round. The U.S. easily handled the visitors 9-0 on June 13 in Carson, Calif., the eight-goal win earning the record as the largest margin of victory ever in U.S. Men’s National Team history. The U.S. than fought through a rain-soaked field to win 1-0 at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, six days later.

Following is the complete Final Round schedule:

CONCACAF Final Round of 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Schedule
Date Opponent Home / Away (Venue TBD)
Feb. 11 Mexico Home
March 28 El Salvador Away
April 1 Trinidad & Tobago Home
June 3 Costa Rica Away
June 6 Honduras Home
Aug. 12 Mexico Away
Sep. 5 El Salvador Home
Sep. 9 Trinidad & Tobago Away
Oct. 10 Honduras Away
Oct. 14 Costa Rica Home