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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. chg:

    come down to Mexico and win ONCE, just once before you bathe yourself in glory when you beat us at home playing meaningless friendlies and then embarrasing yourself on the international stage.


  2. FK Pirin:

    I’m not going to argue against what you just said because I know our players are way over-confident when facing “lesser” teams.

    If past results shouldn’t be an indication then why do most US fans keep telling me that the reason they’re better than Mexico is because the US knocked us out of the 2002 WC? That was six years ago and what has the US done since? Not enough to be considered a possible seed by FIFA apparently.

    It comes down to how the top 2 teams in our region perform against teams OUTSIDE the region and Mexico has always had the upper hand in this regard but things could change, although Bob Bradley sure as hell ain’t going to be the one to make those changes happen.

    btw, the FIFA rankings shouldn’t be taken too seriously, the IFFHS rankings are actually more accurate and not surprisingly have the US ranked lower than the FIFA rankings.

  3. Mexico’s reputation from the past should not be a predictor of their performance this decade. Relying on reputation to say that you have a strong team is not very smart. The true indicator is results. Mexico’s results are mixed. They do well sometimes against strong teams and they do poorly sometimes even against weak teams.

    The US is certainly not at the point of being a World Power. Like I said before I think they belong within the top 20 teams in the World towards the bottom, 19,18,17. Mexico also seems to have some players that have a higher dollar value and are considered technically superior to US players. However, the US has performed better as a team, and that is what counts. On that basis therefore over the last decade, Mexico and the US sohuld be ranked basically evenly. However, as the US has dominated Mexico over this past decade, the US should have the #1 CONCACAF title rather than Mexico. Maybe the FIFA rankings should be Mexico, #18, and US #17 for instance.

    In addition Mexico is arrogant, when it thinks it can easily knock aside a country like Belize without calling in all its top players. Even without those top players, I still would have predicted a hefty win, but it is arrogant not to call in your best. I would say for instance that the US not calling in its best players for the South American championship might also be considered arrogant.

  4. We all (myself included) bemoan the lack of foresight and organization re: coaching and player development in the U.S. but, looking at these other countries struggle, I must grudgingly admit that our organization is light-years ahead of Mexico and others in CONCACAF. At least we get our players ready and fit and indoctrinated into some semblance of a program. Some countries seem to be completely disorganized.


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