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USMNT embraces frigid conditions in win over rattled Honduras

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  1. International Falls, MN is often the coldest spot in the contiguous US. I used to tell by track teams training in the winter temperatures in the teens that they were lucky the weren’t there or we would be running in -20 (or worse) weather. I gotta admit the coldest I ever trained in was -16.
    Rot this game, I was never worried about the field players. But for the keepers who mostly just shuffle around a bit, it must have been a real challenge. For the fans, not so much, they were mostly from MN and they know how to dress for sitting around in the cold.

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  2. totally agree that playing in St. Paul in those conditions was short-sighted. Expect our players to play and stay in the worst conditions possible going forward, I lived in Honduras and they will never forget, this. It will be received like an unnecessary kick while they were down. In other news, did anyone notice that the USMNT scored a single goal from the run of play in this window? This team has too much talent to play this way.

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    • Playing in difficult conditions is par for the course in concacaf. You think Mexico is going to give up the advantage of playing in Azteca at 7000 ft? And why should they. Worse than playing in difficult conditions away in concacF, is to play a home game in front of mostly fans of the away team. Unfortunately, that has happened before in World Cup qualifiers. As recently as four years ago, USA played Costa Rica in Red Bull arena and all the ticos showed up. Honduras played what almost amounted to a home qualifier in RFK back in early 2000s. Back in the 80s US soccer played a game in el segundo, against Costa Rica and it was an important qualifier for the 86 World Cup. Again, the game was in a hotbed of away support. I for one, will never be for giving such adavantages to visiting nations in a World Cup qualifier. What are you people, crazy or something?

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    • Playing in Columbus and St Paul in January was the right call, and the US should do it again. The US is asked to play in unbearably hot & humid conditions on a substandard field so often for away WCQ, but expect the US when hosting not to play home field advantage? I’ve been to several WCQ games on the east and west coast where you felt like a stranger in a strange land. The USSF has smartened up by playing in MLS stadiums away from areas with large Hispanic populations, and is now finally using climate to its advantage. If the CA countries don’t like it, schedule the games at night when it’s cooler and put a little FIFA funding into turf upkeep…then we can talk.

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  3. If we had any moral high ground in Concacaf, it’s gone now. Berhalter referred to the extreme heat and players cramping up in Central America when he was asked about the cold, so we’re admitting we did this for an advantage (not just travel miles or fans). I guess some of those Central American games were played in the heat of the afternoon to affect our players.
    I don’t know if it was the right move to sink to that level. Or if we were going to, why did we shoot that bullet against Honduras when we can easily beat them anywhere?
    Good luck to us next time we go down there – if they escalate now and play the game in a mud pit to equalize the teams, how do we complain?

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    • But really when is the next time we will even go down there given there won’t be qualifiers for the North American hosts for 2026? We’re talking at least seven years and who even knows what 2030 qualifiers will look like with an expanded field.

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    • Dave,

      You’re right we’ve never had any moral high ground so don’t go there.

      In JK’s first WCW qualifier away in San Pedro Sula, the grass was over their knees, it was muggy and in the 90’s and much of the USMNT had just come from Europe. You knew right away that our Euros and actually everyone was struggling just to jog let alone run.

      They lost but beyond that, at the time, it was the worst game I had seen the USMNT play, in all respects since maybe ever. Then down the road, the team made up for that horse shit performance with the Snow Bowl.

      It’s called home field advantage for a reason. So take advantage of it.

      There are no morals here. This manger got the job because of nepotism. That did not affect your moral compass? The USSF clowns don’t know about morals; they know about points, in all senses.

      Right now the USMNT are on 21 points and are looking good.

      But for all the hoopla they now face three teams in row, all still in contention. So everyone should be desperate. I’m hoping for an exciting finish, which it should be.

      My professional advice to the USMNT is that now would be a good time to run the table.

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    • A review of past WCQ history shows the USSF made the right move and should continue to do so. For many past WCQ cycles, the US scheduled games where opposing CA and Mexican fans outnumbered US fans, and usually by a wide margin. I know..I’ve been to several of those games..US-Mexico was an eye-opener. The games were played near large markets and in temperate locations to ensure a high gate revenue. But Azteca is inhospitable to US fans, and the players get showered with bodily waste by Mexicans when taking corner kicks. Enough has been said about CA venues. Canada didn’t apologize for the Mexico game in Edmonton, or the narrow field in Hamilton, so why should we take a high moral stance? I say..about time.

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    • I loved it. I was at the snow game vs. CR. I was at a dos a cero victory in Columbus during a crazy storm. It’s awesome baby, bring it on!!

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      • Glad you had fun. Loved that snow game, happened during my wedding rehearsal dinner. Yes, I watched it all. But about last night… Dumb risk. Central Americans don’t intentionally pick the worst conditions for everyone to play in. It’s just hot there. Weak-sauce move that shows GGG would rather risk injury to his own players than just coach to win. Yes, some Honduran players reportedly suffered hypothermia. Well, pat yourself on the back GGG. You needlessly injured people and risked your own players to get 3 points against an inferior practice squad that already failed to qualify. Incidentally, player selection improved.

    • Come on…Honduras has historically chosen to play at the hottest time of the day when the Gringos go down there. Was stunned it was a night game this time around. Maybe we didn’t need it to be St. Paul, but I’m not bothered by cold-weather scheduling (I am from the upper Midwest, it’s just kinda what we have to deal with this time of year, admittedly).

      Hate to be seen agreeing with Lalas, but I laughed at his “over the pearl clutching” comment in the post-game yesterday.

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