Top Stories

Morning Ticker: World Cup qualifying roundup


Good morning everybody. I’m back from my weekend away and there is a bunch to discuss from the soccer world this Monday morning.

Let’s start with several surprising World Cup qualiying results throughout the world.

Brazil, Argentina struggle before big clash

Paraguay moved into first place in South American World Cup qualifying with its 2-0 win against Brazil on Sunday. Perhaps Brazil was looking ahead to the highly-anticipated clash with Argentina on Wednesday. Argentina looked to be doing the same, needing a last-minute penalty to earn a 1-1 draw against Ecuador.

These disappointing performances make winning on Wednesday even more of a priority for Brazil and Argentina, who will meet in Brazil in two days.

Mexico struggles, but eventually tops Belize

Expected to blow out Belize in their World Cup qualifying series, Mexico needed 66 minutes to score its first goal and added a second in stoppage time for a 2-0 win against Belize in Houston. The result is certainly a disappointing one for Mexico, especially considering the way the United States disposed of Barbados on the same day. The result was a moral victory or Belize, whose goalkeeper, Shane Orio, established himself as a player to watch in the future.

Trinidad & Tobago is in qualifying trouble

What was supposed to be an easy first step toward World Cup qualifying for Trinidad & Tobago has turned into a nightmare. T&T lost to Bermuda, 2-1, in the home leg of their World Cup qualifying home-and-home series against Bermuda. A 2006 World Cup participant, Trinidad & Tobago is in danger of being eliminated from the World Cup race in its earliest stage, which would certainly have to be seen as an embarrassment for a national team that has endured its share of conflict following that 2006 World Cup showing.

Liberia ties Senegal

Trailing 2-0 in the second half, Liberia ralled for two goals to score a 2-2 tie against Senegal in Liberia on Sunday. So why was this qualifier significant? It was the only one outside of the CONCACAF region to have MLS players on both teams. Colorado’s Bouna Coundoul was the back-up referee goalkeeper (yes, it was a rough morning) on Sunday, while D.C. United forward Francis Doe came on as a second half substitute for Liberia.


I will add some more World Cup qualifying notes to this shortly. For now, share your thoughts on the weekend’s World Cup qualifying action in the comments section below (except for the U.S. national team’s performance, which will get its own post later today).


  1. Erik Abarca- if Buddle isnt USMN quality yet, he better hurry…. he’s 26 and i dont see him getting any younger… i know there are players who develope later, but are we going to try to throw him into the same basket as the likes of McBride??

    i dont see him a contender for the WC2010.. i wonder if someone the likes of Bernardo could possibly take a late run into the forward player pool… its possible with his developmenet growing in the direction it is…

    however, i could be completely off with Buddle and he may turn out to be a creative forward that we could definately use… i would rather wait to see how he performs for the rest of the season before we start jumping on any bandwagons…

  2. i didn’t notice all the talk about the mexico-us argument on the board because i was so stoked by adamalfi’s comment (yes, there is soccer life outside of europe and s.america… let’s see if someone will discuss asia as well when time comes)…

    until we can beat mexico in mexico city, we need to temper our exhilaration over mexico’s failures and all this talk about us being better needs to pause for a little bit… that’s before we bring up their superior international reputation to ours…

  3. Regarding Buddle – One thing that you all seem to be missing is the fact that he is now getting service from Beckham. Any half-decent forward in MLS could become a golascoring machine with DB teeing it up for him on a consistant basis.

    Also – it makes you want to work that much harder to get into positions where you KNOW that your midfield(er) is going to deliver you a good ball.

  4. adamalfi: while i agree that some of those scores were “upsets” (re: Malawi-Egypt), i think we need to consider the venues as well. africa is notoriously difficult to qualify for the wc from…

    as far as the trinis and bermies, either one is just wasting a place.

    as for south america, not surprised even a little bit by the results. also a very, very difficult region, with venues that give tremendous homefield advantage… also, paraguay are no slouch

  5. Mexico was not arrogant against Belize. Of course they should of scored more goals but the goalie from Belize played an amazing game and credit should be given to him. Mexico is playing without Rafa Marquez, Nery Castillo. Giovanni Dos Santos & Pavel Pardo. All with the exception of Gio start for Mexico. If anything the Belize & even the Argentina game showed Mexico’s lack of team depth. Judge the Mexican Team in August, when a lame-duck interim coach is not at the helm but rather Sven Goran Eriksson.

  6. kpugs, y not give Edson Buddle a chance, at least bring him into camp. We don’t have much up front, and yes we scored 8 yesterday, but u know as much as I do, that doesn’t really come into affect come 2010 and the competition we will face there. Do I think he is USMNT material, at least not yet, I think he has potential to. When he’s playing with confidence he plays good. I say, at least bring him into camp and we’ll go from there. We have to look at other options. The same goes for Cooper, and J. Johnson

  7. concacaf has many other issues, but the qualification process really needs fixing. It is in the best interests of the entire region for the small nations to improve, but how will they have see any improvement when they only get 2 games in qualifying

  8. Pat the Red Bulls Fan – and before you or anyone else says it, YES, im positive the likes of Jaqua, Cooper, or Buddle couldve droned out such a result as EJ and CHing against Barbados…. but id rather be certain and not have to force a quality win on the second leg…

  9. i stand by the fact that Buddle is still far on the pecking order….. possible forwards ahead of him?? Dempsey, Jozy, Cooper, Adu, and LD…. and you have to accept that EJ and Ching will be brought into the pool as they do have the experience….

    and while some may disagree and say the likes of LD, Dempsey and Adu arent true forwards, they are still some of our best options….

    IF buddle can consistantly show this form throughout the season then quite possibly he may get the nod…. but when he has 8 goals, i think 5 of which come from 2 games, one must ask about his consistantcy… as a player his high for a season is 11, which is obviously going to be shattered assuming he holds firm to his form…

    i wouldnt mind seeing new faces in the lineup on the 2nd leg… get Cooper and Adu up top, and then bring in someone like Jaqua and buddle if he feels the need… but honestly i see BB keeping EJ in the roster and quite possibly starting just to build the kid’s confidence…. hopefully BB brings new faces into the roster….

    Pat the Red Bulls – “So defensive and homerish for clearly lackluster int’l players”

    unlike the people who want to bring players up on a prayer?? sorry, but when it comes to the first leg of WCQ’s then i want someone who’s experienced rather then a “hopeful wish”…… EJ and Ching may not be quality forwards, but they help the team get the job done (regardless of how weak teams like Barbados are)… show me results, then we can talk about bringing up “national no-names”…

  10. I swear, it’s as if Brian Ching’s, Eddie Johnson’s and Josh Wolf’s family members post at this site. So defensive and homerish for clearly lackluster int’l players.

    And God forbid someone asks to see Jaqua, Cooper or even Buddle get a sniff. Even just to see what they have.

  11. Hey DavidJ, South Africa is in the WC qualifying tournament because it also acts as the qualifier for the African Cup of Nations. If they make it all the way and would end up taking a place at the WC, then the next team behind them will go to the World Cup as they are already the hosts.

    Also I think Mexico supporters should concede that it is unfair for FIFA to rank Mexico so far above the US. Even if Mexico has more talent and a better historical pedigree, what counts should be friendlies, CONCACAF championships and World Cup performances not a listing of how talented each individual player is.

    With that in mind the US had dominated Mexico over the last decade, while Mexico was more consistent at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. To my mind based on Gold Cups, friendlies, and World Cups, Mexico and the US should have almost the same ranking somewhere in the late teens. They should be 17 and 18 or something like that for instance.

    Also the US killing Barbados doesn’t mean much, but it shows that the US doesn’t show disrespect by taking opponents lightly. Mexico on the other hand has shown why it isn’t smart to be arrogant. Their result against Belize shows this in addition to the fact that they were knocked out of the olympics.

  12. We could argue for days as to who the best team in CONCACAF is and surely both sides will have plenty of good arguments and I will agree that the US has been the better side. But outside of CONCACAF is different and there is a reason why we (Mexico) are the highest ranked CONCACAF team not to mention that outside our region we are still considered the # 1 team, but that’s all semantics and I believe the US has a great chance of showcasing how far they have come since 1990 at next years Confeds Cup.

    I don’t believe 2002 showed the real level of the US team, just like 2006 did not show it either. The US has a bright future but you need a lot of patience to reach the level of France, Italy, Germany, etc.

    Good Luck.

  13. Boy… i sure disagree Brett… While I am not a hughe EJ and Ching basher…. Buddle has looked so good along with Cooper of late. They both have the same physical tools as EJ and Ching but in my opinion bring a little more heart and perhaps more of a soccer brain in EJs case. Buddle has looked splendid of late, not just the goals but the positions he has found himself getting into. He needs a look for sure. Jozy is not going to get a look until late October if you ask me. He needs to settle in @ Yellow Sub before he goes off to International matches.

  14. Boy… i sure disagree Brett… While I am not a hughe EJ and Ching basher…. Buddle has looked so good along with Cooper of late. They both have the same physical tools as EJ and Ching but in my opinion bring a little more heart and perhaps more of a soccer brain in EJs case. Buddle has looked splendid of late, not just the goals but the positions he has found himself getting into. He needs a look for sure. Jozy is not going to get a look until late October if you ask me. He needs to settle in @ Yellow Sub before he goes off to International matches.

  15. @Chase – Yeah, after posting I went and looked up the CONMEBOL situation. I guess I assumed since CONCACAF qualifying was such a dizzying quagmire of WTF, that other regions would be as well. I wish CONCACAF qualifying was that un-complicated. Too many small island nations I guess.

  16. CapeCudFutbol- warrented looks ahead of Buddle?? Cooper and jozy….

    then you mix them with Dempsey, LD or Adu and you’ll find Buddle is far on the pecking order…. i wouldnt mind seeing a variety of names on meaningless friendlies and 2nd legs (like against Barbados) but the one thing EJ and Ching have over Buddle is experience… sometimes its not always look to goal, but rather whats the smarter play…. and experience shows in intl’ games…. especially with Jozy fitting into the roster soon enough mixed in with our already established vets (while may not be extremely quality) it’ll be tough to break into games such as WCQ and such…. Friendlies against lesser teams would be his chance

  17. South Afirca is in the prelim group because it is also qualifying for the Cup of Nations. That is the only reason.

  18. Trinidad broke my heart yesterday… take a look at my weekly fun parlay from last week…. granted the Cuba match was still to come but I atleast could have hedged my bet and made a nice profit…. It especially sucks because that bet added only a small amount in comparison to the money that Suriname multiplied out on…I was just so confident even without K. Jones playing that it would be no problem at all.

    Parlay (8 Teams) 06/09/08 12:59 ET

    bet 6.58 to win 3,995.97 Result: Wager Lost

    Portugal(Euro2008) 3

    CzechRepublic(Euro2008) 1 06/11/08(12:00 ET)

    Portugal(Euro2008) 1.90

    Italy(Euro2008) 0

    Netherlands(Euro2008) 3 06/09/08(14:45 ET)

    Netherlands(Euro2008) 3.10

    Turkey(Euro2008) 2

    Switzerland(Euro2008) 1 06/11/08(14:45 ET)

    Turkey(Euro2008) 3.00

    Venezuela(Friendly) 1

    NetherlandsAntilles(Friendly) 0 06/09/08(17:00 ET)

    Venezuela(Friendly) 1.20


    Antigua&Barbuda(CONCACAFWCQual) 06/17/08(19:00 ET)

    Cuba(CONCACAFWCQual) 2.25

    ElSalvador(CONCACAFWCQual) 0

    Panama(CONCACAFWCQual) 1 06/15/08(17:00 ET)

    Panama(CONCACAFWCQual) 1.70

    Guyana(CONCACAFWCQual) 0

    Suriname(CONCACAFWCQual) 1 06/14/08(15:00 ET)

    Suriname(CONCACAFWCQual) 6.00

    Bermuda(CONCACAFWCQual) 2

    Trinidad&Tobago(CONCACAFWCQual) 1 06/15/08(17:30 ET)

    Trinidad&Tobago(CONCACAFWCQual) 1.25

  19. I don’t think an Edson Buddle call up should be sneered at. When you are trotting out Josh Wolff and Eddie Johnson on a regular basis, anyone with close to a goal scorer’s instincts should be considered. Similarly, I’d love to see Kenny Cooper get some time, and keep EJ on the shelf until he gets some pt for Fulham or scores against a side that is ranked in the top 100.

  20. Blake- while true that our 0-0 tie vs Mexico’s 4-1 travesty is a solid testimate that we have the better keeper (howard > Sanchez as it would be hard to find any mexican to disagree), this doesnt necessarily mean anything….

    ill be the first to say that Mexico has had better results BY FAR over the US against teams such as Arg. and Brazil… and yet seem to fail so hardcore against the US which makes me smile :D….

    personally, i give the edge to Mexico, slightly…. the US is constantly growing in depth and talent…

  21. “Outside of CONCACAF is a different story and that’s what separates our teams.”

    Argentina is outside of CONCACAF, correct? If we really want to pick on recent results…

  22. Who even cares about FIFA rankings and how the teams (US & MEX) are viewed. It has and always will come down to three things.

    1. Head to head matches: Most recently dominated by US

    2. Gold Cup’s: Most recently won by US

    3. World Cup’s: Most recently Mexico vastly ourperformed the US

    US and Mexico are usually very even, and that’s what I’d call it now.

  23. Right on Christian. Bring these guys back down to earth. Also Belize definitely looked better, more organized, and way better coached than Barbados. And take into account that Mexico was missing Pardo, Marquez, Nery, and Dos Santos.

  24. Mexico is higher ranked i would wager because they have a higher WC seed than we do. FIFA takes into account the previous two world cups for seeding. You all may have noticed that in those three, we finished 8th and tied for next-to-last. Meanwhile, Mexico finished 11th and 7th.

  25. “Colorado’s Bouna Coundoul was the back-up referee on Sunday”.

    Good one Ives, but I think the correct term would be 4th Official. You know, Bouna had to travel all the way to Liberia. You’d think he could, at least, have been one of the Assistants (linesman). Ha, ha!

  26. so the US pummels Barbados and all of a sudden you’re world beaters? please.

    You’re still celebrating the 2002 WC. It’s been 6 years, time to move on. By your logic, since we (Mexico) beat Croatia 6 years ago, we must be the better team, even though they made it to the semis in 98 and recently beat a real good German team.

    Fact is, the US hasn’t done much to warrant international recognition but the US team is certainly no push-over and as a “team” (in head to head competition) has deffinitely been better than Mexico in the last decade. Outside of CONCACAF is a different story and that’s what separates our teams.

  27. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that Jack Warner set up that T&T result so his tour company could sell more packages for the return leg in Bermuda…

  28. Brazil hasn’t won in Paraguay since ’85, so it really isn’t as surprising as we may think.

    Great to see Jack Warner lost this weekend…

  29. P.S. No, seriously, did someone suggest calling up Edson Buddle last night? More importantly, has that person punished himself yet? You know, for ignorance?

  30. Hearing about Mexico’s pathetic struggles is almost as awesome as hearing about USA wins. Unfortunately the rest of the world doesn’t take notice. They are still viewed as awesome and we are still a laughing stock, and even as bad as FIFA’s rankings are you can see it in the rankings. Mexico could get bounced out of world cup qualifying next week, and despite that and 6 years of pure failure by them and dominance by us, no one would even know.

  31. MiamiA, I agree with you.

    As for where the Brazil-Argentina match, I don;t think it will be on any TV, except PPV. Seeing as your in Miami, like myself, I am SURE that some places will have the game. Which ones? I don’t know.

  32. PEACE DUNGA! A loss against Venezuela and now this?? He’s toast! Brazil knows letting Big Phil go after they won the world cup was a stupid move. Most Brazilians will tell you that they know they will not win the world cup with Dunga. So who would they replace Dunga with? I doubt Zico would take the job just because it would tar his image as a player in Brazil.

    Does anyone know where the Brazil/ Argentina will be shown?

  33. Arfican Update:

    Alot of stunning upsets went down In Africa…Here are some Results:

    Tanzania 0-0 Cameroon (Major Upset)

    Mauritius 0-1 Cape Verde

    Uganda 3-1 Angola (Major Upset)

    Niger 0-2 Benin

    Namibia 1-2 Guinea

    Kenya 2-0 Zimbabwe

    Eq Guinea 0-1 Nigeria

    Sierra Leone 1-0 South Africa (Major Upset)

    Gabon 2-0 Ghana (Major Upset)

    Lesotho 0-1 Libya

    Liberia 2-2 Senegal (Major Upset)

    Gambia 1-0 Algeria (Major Upset)

    Botswana 1-1 Ivory Coast (Major Upset)

    Madagascar 1-1 Mozambique

    Mauritania 0-1 Ethiopia

    Rwanda 3-1 Morocco (Major Upset)

    Seychelles 2-3 Burkina Faso

    Burundi 0-1 Tunisia

    Sudan 3-2 Mali (Major Upset)

    Chad 2-1 Congo

    Swaziland 0-0 Zambia

    Djibouti 0-6 DR Congo

    Malawi 1-0 Egypt (Major Upset)

  34. What’s not to understand about CONMEBOL qualification? Every team plays each other twice, the top 4 teams gain automatic qualification and the 5th placed team plays the 4th place team from CONCACAF in a playoff for the final WC spot.

    And Equador a favorite for qualification in CONMEBOL? They have played very poorly in qualification with just one win and have already dropped 10 points. A draw against Argentina is nice (they were also destroyed by Brazil, 5-0), but you need to beat the Paraguays and the Venezuelas of the world if you want to qualify from this region. It’s early, but they have gotten off to a pretty poor start…

    I would argue that outside of the Big 2, Paraguay and Colombia have put themselves in the best position to progress to South Africa, though it is still very early…

  35. As far as South America goes, these scores only go to show that teams are getting better. More and more players are being transfered to Europe which in turn has made the competition in Sout America harder. I think that 4 out of South America will be (in this Order) Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador will be playing out the 5th spot for a chance to play a scrub for a spot to the World Cup. Watch out for Colombia though, they’re a very young team, very talented, who could not get passed Peru because key players were missing, such as Perea from Atletic Madrid, Mosquera from Sevilla FC, Falcao from River Plate (soon to be in Aston Villa or Villareal) and Rivas from Inter Milan (coach was too stubborn to get him on the team)….Colombia will dominate.

  36. With the US Open 18 hole playoff scheduled to start on ESPN at 11:30 am, anyone know what will happen to the Austria – Germany game scheduled for 2:30?

  37. Anyone notice that Mexico is STILL ranked ahead of us in the region, as far as qualifying is concerned?

    Aside from getting the best of recent matchups for several years and winning recent Gold Cups, what more do we have to do? Beat them in a World Cup game on a neutral field?

    oh wait, we did that too..

  38. I don’t really know how CONEMBOL qualifying works. All I can say is that if Brazil for some reason failed to qualify for the World Cup, it would be more shocking than Zidane headbutting Materazzi. It would be apocalyptic.

  39. I love you Ives – but this is classic (and believe me, I make some whopper errors!)

    “Colorado’s Bouna Coundoul was the back-up referee on Sunday”

    That would explain the tie . . .

  40. I’m not too worried about Brazil or Argentina (even though I don’t root for either of them). It’s not like they are going to go 18-0 through qualifying. They always end up at the top. What these results show is that Paraguay and Ecuador might be the favorites to nab the other couple spots (PAR, specifically). If you can get results against those clubs it is huge.

    The Mexico scoreline was a surprise, but they won, and will win the aggregate. No big deal. you know they will play well and be a force in the hex and most likely make it to South Africa

    I don’t know much about T&T. I don’t know what to think about that second leg.

  41. I was surprised to read the Belize score, and even more surprised when I saw that Belize is ranked much, much lower (171) than even Barbados (121) in the FIFA rankings. Not trying to read too much into the rankings, but you’d expect Mexico to put on a much more convincing display.


Leave a Comment