Still recovering from my time in KC it seems (see below), but let’s get caught up. First, my photo above is Dempsey getting the game-winner against Guatemala in Tuesday’s qualifier at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Can you spot any friends celebrating in the background?
From US Soccer – The U.S. Men’s National Team, backed by a sold-out crowd of 16,947 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, defeated Guatemala 3-1 on Tuesday to capture the top spot in Group A of the Semifinal Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying.
Clint Dempsey scored his 29th and 30th career goals and assisted on Carlos Bocanegra’s 14th career tally as the veteran duo gave the United States momentum heading into the Final Round of qualifying in CONCACAF as the team looks to book its ticket to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil for its seventh straight appearance at the world stage. The Final Round hexagonal qualifying stage will be played from Feb. 6 through Oct. 15, 2013.
The USA finished at the head of the group with a 4-1-1 record and 13 points and improved its 2012 record to 9-2-2, earning its best winning percentage (0.769) in the modern era. Jamaica (3-2-1, 10 points) took second place in Group A and moved ahead of Guatemala on goal differential following its 4-1 victory against Antigua & Barbuda on Tuesday. READ MORE at USsoccer.com
Despite that fine record, how many of you think Klinsmann is doing a good job? My friend and writer Kevin Smith in KC did an interview with Taylor Twellman for SoccerSTL.net. Here’s what Taylor said:
– New U.S. National Team Head Coach Jürgen Klinsmann and if progress is being made in his first year at the helm:
“You get wins in Mexico and Italy, and those are very important, but at the end of the day when you look at the World Cup qualifiers has progress been made? A loss to Jamaica and struggling against Antigua aren’t signs of progress. Why are we playing down at the level of our competition? Why is Mexico rolling through qualification? We haven’t progressed.”
Check out the entire interview with Taylor Twellman
Here is information on the final round of World Cup qualifying, better known as the Hexagonal, where three teams out of six will advance and the fourth place qualifier has one additional chance to advance via a play-in game. Grant Wahl thinks it will be Panama advancing with a win against New Zealand, 2010 World Cup qualifiers from Asia.
The game-winner can be seen below. For more, visit the US Soccer YouTube channel.