Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Captain America is Ready To Go


Captain Claudio Reyna (Getty)
Originally uploaded by mfishkin.

Tonight, the US picks up the chase for the 2006 World Cup in East Hartford, CT, when the Yanks take on Trinidad (8pm, espn2) in the sixth of ten final-round qualifying matches in the CONCACAF region. After 5 matches, the US is sitting pretty in 2nd place, five points ahead of 3rd place Costa Rica. The top three teams qualify directly for Germany 2006, while the 4th place finisher meets an Asian team for another slot.

The US has been buoyed by the return of captain Claudio Reyna, who has sat out most of the round recovering from injuries suffered after a punishing EPL season at his club, Manchester City. The US will be missing midfielder DaMarcus Beasley (PSV Eindhoven), who took a knock in practice, but still are easily considered favorites in tonight’s match. Other matches in the region tonight include Mexico vs. Costa Rica, and Guatemala hosting Panama. With a win, the US can clinch at worst 4th place in the group, but must wait until the next match, September 3rd vs. Mexico in Columbus, OH, to mathematically nail down a trip to Germany next summer.

Press on today’s match includes John Eligon’s piece on Reyna in the New York Times, a profile of up and coming US defender Oguchi Oneywu at USA Today, and match previews at the Hartford Courant and Soccernet.com.

Current Standings:
Team, Pts, GD:
Mexico 13, +6
USA 12, +8
Costa Rica 7, -2
Guatemala 4, -1
Trinidad 4, -5
Panama 2, -6

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