I was going to write something about my thoughts of another renewal of the biggest rivalry in North American soccer, but this piece by Noah Davis in SB Nation is so engrossing and visually stunning that it'll take that post's place. It recollects the story of the first win by a US national team against Mexico since 1934, which marked an inflection point in the rivalry and its significance to both countries.
US soccer players might have noticed an earthquake this morning but it wasn't in Mexico City -- it was near Oaxaca, over 200 miles away. Given Mexico City's geology (it's built on a lake bed), major earthquakes are bad news. No damage in the city was reported, and the qualifier will go ahead as scheduled.
Mexico 2-2 Honduras If you had told the Mexican national team before this match that they would leave with a point from SPS, they would have taken it with both hands and said "Gracias!" But the way three points became one in the space of four minutes must have left them feeling sick. In an evenly played match, Mexico -- more precisely Javier Hernández -- made the most of the chances offered to them.
It's time for the second round of the Hexagonal. Should be an eventful evening, so here we go. Kickoff times in Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4). Honduras 0-1 Mexico 25' Jamaica - Panama 2130 USA - Costa Rica 2200 Commentary after the jump. 1738: It's been an even match, but Mexico have had their chances.
It's time for another edition of the CONCACAF Hexagonal. It's already kicked off, and two more matches get underway shortly. Let's get started! Kickoff times in EST (GMT -5). Honduras 2-1 USA FT Panama - Costa Rica 2100 Mexico - Jamaica 2130 Commentary after the jump.
The first Honduran footballer to make a mark in Europe passed away last week. José "La Coneja" Cardona died on the 30th of January at the age of 73. Most of his playing years were spent in the late 1950s and 1960s in Spain at Elche, where he led the 2nd division in scoring in 1959, and Atlético Madrid, where he won a Spanish Cup in 1965 and the Spanish Primera in 1965-66.
I know I've been gone for a while, and I'm finding out just how much has changed in the interim. Therefore it's comforting in a weird way that some things haven't changed at all. For example, you remember the dispute between thirteen of the 2006 Trinidadian World Cup players, Jack Warner, and the T&T Football Federation (but I repeat myself)?
Yes, I know I'm late, but Happy New Year to everyone! Soccermetrics is keeping me busy as always, but I had a great reason to come back. Belize is going to the Gold Cup! Yes, Belize, currently ranked 164 in the FIFA World Ranking (and last among Central American countries), is headed to the Gold Cup after finishing in fourth place in the Copa Centroamericana, formerly known as the Copa UNCAF.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I haven't been around much, but I do hope to have more of a presence next year as Champions League restarts and Hexagonal beckons. To make up for my absence -- and because it went over so well the last time I did it -- here's Nigella: Thank you for your support, and see you in the New Year!
San Jose Earthquakes entered today's match at Portland Timbers with an opportunity to break two long-standing MLS records: become the first team in seven seasons to average more than two points per game and the first to reach that landmark twice (LA Galaxy 1998, Miami Fusion 2001, San Jose Earthquakes 2005), and set the individual goal-scoring mark in a season through two goals by Chris Wondolowski (Roy Lassiter's 27 goals in 1996).
Below are collated results for the knockout stage of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League. Ties are two-leg series, aggregate goals, away goals rule in effect unless the tie goes to extra time in the second leg. Winners of each round are highlighted in bold red lettering. First leg host is listed first, and first leg host's score is given first for both legs.
Guatemala's Xelajú MC became the first non-Mexican side to knock a Mexican club out of the CONCACAF Champions League. The 1-0 win over Guadalajara on 21 August gave them an opening, but Chivas' 1-1 draw to W Connection in Trinidad & Tobago did the most damage to their prospects. In the end, an Allan Alemán header ten minutes from time on Thursday gave Xelajú the away goal that they needed to advance to the quarterfinals.
The San Jose Earthquakes clinched the 2012 MLS Supporters Shield on Saturday night without having to kick a ball -- Sporting Kansas City's goalless draw in the NYC metro left San Jose with an unassailable 64 points. The Quakes will now play the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League with perhaps an easier draw in the group stage.
Last Friday was supposed to be the day when representatives of the six Hexagonal teams would come together in Miami to decide on the schedule for next year's matches. That plan was never going to work; national associations want schedules that give their teams the best chance to decide, and why should competing teams assist in that effort?
So here are the teams that will play in the Hexagonal next year: Mexico Costa Rica Jamaica USA Honduras Panama Mexico advanced to the final group of six comfortably. The others, not so much, although some sides had it more difficult. I'll have more to write about the finalists, and about those who fell short.