Thursday, August 18, 2005

Taking Care of Business

McBride Hugs It Out (Reuters)
Originally uploaded by mfishkin.
World Cup qualifying, it is said, is business, not art. That was definitely the case in East Hartford, CT, last night, as the US Men’s National Team took care of business in an ugly 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago that pushes the Yanks ever closer to a 2006 World Cup bid. Attendance was just over twenty-five thousand as Rentschler Field, home of UConn football, hosted the USMNT for the first time.

Veteran forward Brian McBride knocked in a Bobby Convey cross on the US’ first quality chance, just 92 seconds into the match to account for the scoring. The US outshot the outmatched Soca Warriors 18-1, but clearly lost focus around the Trinidad net.

The Yanks were robbed on several calls by Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez, including calling back a clear goal by substitute Taylor Twellman in the 86th minute. Two minutes later, Rodriguez gave Convey his second yellow card of the match, not only sending him to the showers early, but also suspending him for the next qualifier, September 3rd vs. Mexico at a sold-out Columbus Crew Stadium. The US can formally wrap up qualification with a win or tie vs. the Yanks’ chief rival. Press reports on the match include:, NYTimes, USA Today, Yahoo, MLSNET, NY Daily News.

Standings after six of ten matches:
Team, Pts, Goal Differential
1. Mexico 16, +8
2. USA 15, +9
3. Guatemala 7, 0
4. Costa Rica 7, -4
5. Trinidad 4, -6
6. Panama 2, -7

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