45 – Evans is down possibly from boredom? Half time: 0-0. Well, we wanted this match to be meaningless, and it is. This is still better than needing a result; Im sure Mexico would rather have a leisurely run-out than their nail-biting, sphincter-clenching match with Panama. 46 – Zusi comes in for Donovan. Donovan was underwhelming in the first half, but so was everyone else. I think Klinsmann pulled Donovan to show everyone that they have to perform. 50 – While were waiting for something to happen here, lets look at what happened in World Cup qualifying elsewhere. News flash: Germany have qualified. So have the Swiss, perennial contenders for most boring team of the tournament. Belgium are in, a team with about 15 world-class players that will still be referred to as a dark horse. England got the job done against Montenegro, so you can flip the English Journalistic Hyperbole Switch to optimism. Hey: Remember the 90s? Colombia does: Theyre in.
In Mexico City, it ground out a point at the Azteca. Then there were wins in Kingston against Jamaica and Seattle over Panama and Salt Lake City over Honduras . A fetid loss followed in San Jose, Costa Rica. Heartfelt was the win over Mexico in Columbus and easy the victory over Jamaica in Kansas City. And on Tuesday, at length, the weary USA concluded its meandering World Cup qualifying travels with a bizarre 3-2 win injury-time in Panama City that saved its archrivals. When Panamas Luis Tejada snuck in front of Kyle Beckerman in the 83rd minute to poke home the low Roberto Chen cross that US goalkeeper Brad Guzan had pushed into his path, it seemed for all the world like Panama would win 2-1. Combined with Mexicos 2-1 loss down in Costa Rica , that would mean that Mexico would fail to qualify for the World Cup and Panama would be into the playoffs with New Zealand. Panama had never been to a World Cup; Mexico hadnt failed to qualify (without being excluded) since 1982. Yet an injury-time Graham Zusi header and a subsequent Aron Johannsson rip overturned that result, freeing Mexico of ignominy, leaving the home team inconsolable and its crowd stunned. It was, perhaps, the most fitting of endings to this strange and twisted World Cup qualifying campaign for the USA. Since February, there were reports of faith suspended and restored in head coach Jurgen Klinsmann as the Americans careened from crisis to recovery, to dominance, to a slip-up, to competence, and finally, to Tuesdays, well, weirdness. Video: What’s your favorite stadium for USA World Cup qualifiers? But for their part, in the end, securing a spot in their seventh consecutive World Cup was fairly straightforward for the Americans, in spite of the inherent trickiness of qualifying from the grueling hexagonal round in CONCACAF.
Team USA, Brazil meet Nov. 10 in Orlando
Sermanni said Solo has fully recovered from wrist surgery and expects to be at full strength. The women’s team will train for three days before the event in Orlando, but a practice site has not been chosen. Sermanni was joined on the dais by Orlando City Soccer Club owner Phil Rawlins to promote soccer from the national and local levels. Rawlins welcomed Sermanni, adding he hoped “the next time you come back” that Orlando will have built or have under construction a downtown soccer-specific stadium. The city unanimously approved a deal to fund an $84 million stadium that Rawlins hopes will bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Orlando. All that’s needed is for Orange County leaders to give a thumbs up during an Oct. 22 vote. “Soccer has gained more than a foothold. There’s a massive footprint and we see that footprint has grown,” Rawlins said. “The game is growing and going places.” Tickets for the USA-Brazil match go on sale Thursday and can be purchased on ussoccer.com, the Amway City Box Office and at Ticketmaster.