U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called 23 players into training camp in Denver to prepare for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico. The U.S. will face Costa Rica at sold-out Dick's Sporting Goods Park on March 22 at 8 p.m. MT. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN and UniMas.
The Estadio Azteca is one of the most difficult places to play in world football and getting a point at the vaunted Mexican stadium is a very difficult task. The draw with Mexico actually moved the United States down the CONCACAF standings, but a draw at Mexico's home field is an encouraging result.
It has been said that World Cup qualifying in South America is more tightly-contested than in any other of the continental federations within FIFA. Pittingthe likes of Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina, who have all graced the top 12 of the FIFA World Rankings in the past year, against each other for a spot at the world's biggest sporting tournament, it is no surprise that despite only 10 national teams CONMEBOL consistently provides some of the most memorable matches during the qualification phase.
With the English Premier League on international break this week, many players have a much needed break heading into the final weeks of the season; but for others, there was no rest to be found as national teams took to the pitch for some crucial World Cup Qualifying matches. Unfortunately, injuries, as always, played a big role in this weekend's matchups.
Two of the best teams in the world face off Tuesday in a crucial World Cup Qualifying match as Spain visits Paris to take on a strong French squad that currently sits two points ahead of the defending champions for first place in the group.
Tuesday's match is particularly important because only the first place team in the final group standings automatically qualifies for the 2014 World Cup to be held in Brazil.
The CONCACAF Hexagonal battle is heating up and will hit a boil on Tuesday as the United States takes on Mexico. Numerous of fierce battles have encapsulated these two national teams throughout the years and Tuesday night will be no different.
As the Hex continues to separate the weak from the strong a victory could potentially vault one of the teams into a pole position to World Cup 2014 qualification while a loss could possibly place a damper on qualification.
England Captain Steven Gerrard (Google Creative Commons)
England head to San Marino on Friday, keen to keep pace with Group H rivals and next week's opponents Montenegro. Though unlikely to provide a stern test, Roy Hodgson and his men would me smart not to overlook San Marino—so as to avoid an upset, but also to get in the best preparation possible for the big game that follows.
Brazilian International Neymar (Google Creative Commons)
FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Betting Odds and Predictions
Friday, March 22, 2013
Israel +575 vs. Portugal -205, Draw: +280; Total 2o -150 (8:45 a.m. ET/5:45 a.m. PT):Despite having one of the world's two best players in Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal has been tepid at best on the world stage in the last decade in international competitions.
The United States visited neighbors Mexico last night in a massive CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier that led to spoils being shared in a 0-0 draw. Though Mexico maintained most of the possession throughout the match, the Americans did exactly what they needed to do to grab a vital point in their quest for Brazil 2014.
World Cup Qualifying resumed action yesterday, and Spain's 1-1 draw against Finland, who currently sit 86 spots below Spain in FIFA's World Rankings, served as the biggest surprise of the short international break thus far.
Despite commanding an astounding 82% possession, Spain woefully lacked a cutting edge and were only able to muster four shots on target against their Nordic foes.
The U.S. Men's National Team's showdown vs. Costa Rica will be front and center for all American fans tonight, but before that match, and throughout the weekend, there are soccer matches of all kinds to keep fans entertained and excited.
Honduras faces off against Mexico in a match with plenty of CONCACAF ramifications.
Again, I am not in training to watch (or allowed to request any specific reps, if you can believe that... hrmph!), so grab the salt shaker. The truth is I'm not totally sure what Klinsi should do. I feel strong on knowing what he shouldn't do, but let's not go there, lest I be ruled a duplicitous traitor.
On Tuesday morning, FIFA released a statement on the official protest lodged by the Costa Rica football association, following the 1-0 win by the United States during a match played in blizzard-like conditions in Denver, Colorado.
In their statement, FIFA wrote "FIFA has examined the content of the letter and, taking into consideration article 14, paragraph 4 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup regulations, has confirmed that the conditions established in the regulations for an official protest have not been met by the Costa Rica FA.
Apologies to whoever invented Spanish. Saturday night the U.S. buried a lot of rightful doubts, even if the game was a largely barren wasteland for anyone trying to extract something tactically. At least, I wrote as much. For NSC eyes only though, are my player ratings*. Brad Guzan 7 Missed a punch in the 54th minute, but gave Costa Rica nothing in nightmarish goalkeeping conditions.
Mexico drew Honduras yesterday but they won't be happy to have given away the two goal lead they jumped out to thanks to Javier Chicharito Hernandez. Hernandez struck first in the 28th minute and then in the 54th minute before Carlos Costly scored in the 77th minute. Jerry Bengston then brought Honduras level in the 80th minute after putting away his initially missed penalty.
This is shaping up to be the most difficult Hexagonal ever, right? I certainly think so, and I figure many of you do too. But I wanted to prove it. Saying the quality and depth of the region is improving with the growth of MLS and Liga MX doesn't really do anything for me. It wouldn't be the whole truth either.
After a great round of World Cup qualifiers, the teams that will be going to Brazil next year begins to take form. Two things are great about Denmark's great 3-0 away victory against the Czech Republic: firstly, Denmark returns as a contender for a spot in the 2014 World Cup. With a victory against Bulgaria next week, it will all look good again.
Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez and Schalke 04 defender Benedikt Höwedes have pulled out of Germany's squad for Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan. Mario Gomez missed the reverse Friday fixture with a muscular injured and has failed to prove his fitness in time. The striker has already left the team's base near Nürnberg [.
Following an injury to Julian Draxler and the suspension of Bastian Schweinsteiger, head coach Joachim Löw has called up Marcell Jansen and Patrick Herrmann to the Germany squad to face Kazakhstan on Tuesday. Hamburg's 27-year old Marcell Jansen has 36 caps to his name already since making his debut against Slovakia in September 2005 but [.
During the press conference ahead of Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan, national team manager Oliver Bierhoff warned against complacency. The former Germany striker does not want his players to take the game lightly going into the game with a 5-point lead at the top of group C ahead of Sweden but having played a [.
One way you can tell if a player really wants to improve his game is whether he's honest and straight forward with himself about his game, and certainly Moussa Sissoko seems to know both his strengths and weaknesses, and he certainly wants to improve as a footballer and we expect he will big [...]
I wore my Argentina shirt to work yesterday, as I was excited about Argentina getting revenge for the 1-0 away defeat to Venezuelan in the first round of the qualifiers. While Venezuela has been rising over the last years, the one thing they have still not achieved is to get a point in Argentina. And it was not to happen: Sabella's Argentina was superior to Venezuela in all respects, and in spite
We've seen many referee's and officials side on the way of caution with head injuries and rightly so. But someone didn't read out the rules clearly for this ref who waved-play-on despite New Zealand striker Shane Smeltz receiving a kick to the head though be it accidental during the All Whites 2-1 World Cup qualifier win over New Caledonia who boast a population of a little over 250,000.
Portugal get set to continue their qualifying campaign for World Cup 2014 in Brazil and play Isreal on the road March 22 in a battle for second spot in the group, then return home to face Azerbaijan on the 26th. Paulo Bento has announced the following players will be part of the squad for the next round of games.