Sunday, June 15, 2008

World Cup Qualifying Begins

The United States began the long trek to the 2010 World Cup with a rout of Barbados, who I am now convinced is possibly one of the worst national soccer teams in the world. The U.S. won 8-0, scoring in the very first minute of the game and not letting up after that. The goals came with such frequency that U.S. players on the bench could hardly bring themselves to stand up and cheer after the 7th and 8th scores. I'm not at all convinced that the U.S. is suddenly a better team than the one that failed to score in three matches against England, Spain and Argentina, but as far as confidence building exercises go one could do worse than to rout a lowly opponent at home. And when it comes to World Cup qualifying, all that matters is getting to the tournament. They can worry about the big dogs once they've secured their berth. The U.S. will face Barbados again next Sunday in the second leg of the home-away match-up, but unless Barbados plans on scoring 9 goals and shutting out the U.S., the advancement of the U.S. to the third round of qualification in CONCACAF is a foregone conclusion.

FC Dallas also notched a win against the Chicago Fire today, blanking Cauhtemoc Blanco and his team 1-0 on a Kenny Cooper score. They looked composed and threatening, and if they can hold to form there's a chance that they can do something in the post-season. Of course, the coaching turmoil as well as FC Dallas' past history with summer slumps hardly suggests a surge to the top of the West, but a new coach may mean new opportunities.

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