USA Takes A Big Step

Ricardo Clark celebrates his goal against Trinidad and Tobago

Ricardo Clark celebrates his goal against Trinidad and Tobago

Earlier tonight the US Men’s Soccer Team defeated Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 on a Ricardo Clark second half goal.  After the smoke cleared on tonight’s round of matches the US sits atop the CONCACAF (can we get a shorter name, please?) region with 16 points.  By my amateur, and quite possibly inaccurate, calculations, if the US beats Honduras or Costa Rica in  either of their last two matches then they qualify for South Africa.  There is an outside shot that when USA plays Costa Rica on October 14th, the winner will go on to the World Cup while the loser will play the fifth place team from South America.  Not an enviable position.

As far as tonight’s match, well, three points is three points.  The US team has this terrible habit of playing down to the competition.  They did so again tonight.  I realize that taking any points from an away game in the final round of World Cup Qualifying is a great thing, but still, the US was lucky.  Honduras hit the crossbar and tested Tim Howard several times in the first half before the US showed any signs of life.

If it wasn’t for Clark’s long range strike in the second half, this post would have a significantly different tone.  I just wish we could get some sort of consistent play out of this team.  That will be essential if we expect to advance past the first round.

Anyway, October 10th will make this picture a little clearer.  The mission is simple, win and you’re in.

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