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What are the chances of official U.S. qualification on Tuesday?

Sep 7, 2013, 8:04 PM EDT

Jamaica v United States - World Cup Qualifer Getty Images

The scenario for U.S. official qualification on Tuesday is fairly simple. Jurgen Klinsmann’s team must beat Mexico and then have Honduras win or draw at home against Panama.

So, what are the odds?

Let’s go with a tentative “good, but not quite great.”

The tougher part is winning against Mexico in a game with quickly shifting variables. Two days ago, we would have looked at the history in this rivalry, factored in the current and disparate states of these two border rivals and declared it a potential romp and stomp. “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! …”

Now … maybe not so much.

Michael Bradley has been the most important U.S. man throughout qualifying, a fact driven home with brutal clarity during Friday’s Costa Rica clunker. How that ankle responds over the next 48 hours will say so much about the U.S. chances of controlling the midfield.

And the missing U.S. men, Matt Besler, Jozy Altidore and Geoff Cameron, all suspended due to yellow card accumulation, significantly reduce Klinsmann’s personnel and tactical options. Besler is probably the most critical absence; he and Omar Gonzalez have been Klinsmann’s preferred center back pairing for the last five qualifiers, a stretch that began with that breakthrough 0-0 draw in Mexico City last March.

(MORE: Mexico fires Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre)

The equally significant moving part will be on the Mexican side; hard to say how the big coaching change will affect El Tri. Will the prevailing attitude in the Mexican camp be more about “fresh start,” or will the development further unhinge a side that has lost its way at the worst possible time?

This is a good piece from Kyle McCarthy on all that ails Mexico, on the scene Friday in Mexico City and the fan rebuke that hung in the air like so much gunky smog in and around the famous Azteca venue.

The other half of the qualification equation mentioned above is the easier part to predict. Honduras was a good team coming into final stage CONCACAF qualifying, and this is certainly a side ablaze with confidence now, increasingly well positioned for a second consecutive World Cup appearance. That’s a heady achievement for the small Central American land.

Meanwhile, Panama just hasn’t been what we thought it would be in final stage qualifying, perhaps with a bit of first-timers disease in this final stage World Cup qualifying business. Last night’s failure to pick up all three points at home against down and out Jamaica is the latest evidence.

So Honduras chances of collecting a point (in a draw, or all three points in victory) when the teams meet Tuesday in Tegucigalpa are excellent.

(MORE: U.S. has dandy history in Columbus) 

(MORE: Clint Dempsey joins U.S. 100 Cap Club)

  1. outlawsoccer - Sep 7, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    dixerud
    kljestan Dempsey Donovan bedoya
    Beckerman
    goodson brooks gonzalez Castillo
    gauzan

    this is how we should line up for mexico.

  2. outlawsoccer - Sep 7, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    unfortuneately our coach is making huge blunders.

  3. outlawsoccer - Sep 7, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    no goodson no kljestan

    not playing bedoya dixerud Beckerman

    still has Fabian jurmaine up his azz and howard
    needs a break, Beasley is needing to be retired now.

    besler was so bad I mean im sick over his performance, what an idiot
    HAVE YOU NEVER HEARD OF PROFESSIONAL FOUL JUST KNOCK HIM OVER
    WITH THE SHOULDER ON THAT BREAK AWAY. or was the yellow card limiting
    our chances?? see, klinsmann and his ahole strategy has ruined our masterpiece
    and now were looking pushed just to qualify at all. BIG COACHING MISTAKE
    DONT PLAY THE YELLOW CARD GUYS ON THE ROAD WHERE WERE ZERO AND EIGHT
    SAVE FOR HOME ACTION AGAINST MEXICO WHERE WE HAVE A 3 AND ZERO RECORD
    AT COLUMBUS ETC. BLAH BLAH THIS IS TEXT BOOK 1A COACHING
    then adding the insult to our already disastrous view of klinsmanns game,
    he puts injured jozy in who he sat due to injury and hes so immature still he fcks up so bad
    hes yellowed out of the mexico game so its lose lose.

    • @C_Tobin - Sep 8, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Does this site have a moderator?

      Outlaws comments, before taking into account factual errors and misspellings, are just embarrassing.

  4. rphillish - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    This game could go any way. The US is missing irreplaceable starters, while Mexico has a new coach and it’s back against the wall.
    Personally, I applaud Kinnsman for taking the risks he did. He could have played it safe, but he decided to go for a statement game. If it had worked there would be dozens of articles all over the place talking about how brilliant Kinnsy is, and how the US is a real team that has left CONCACAF in the dust, but soccer’s not so simple; you take a risk and sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. Would I like the US to have every advantage it can get going into tuesday, sure, but beating Mexico at home isn’t the end goal, it’s getting to the world cup.

  5. footballer4ever - Sep 8, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    50/50 %. It’s 11 vs 11 on the pitch. Both teams have their own issues to deal with. The only advantage USA has over Mexico is on the psychological side.

  6. hildezero - Sep 8, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    @outlawsoccer,

    Klejstan didn’t get called up.

  7. futbol247365 - Sep 8, 2013 at 4:22 AM

    outlawsoccer,

    Are you drunk? English second language? Or both? Or maybe you just hate punctuation and sentence structure?

  8. the0verheadwire - Sep 8, 2013 at 4:37 AM

    I dunno, but if there isn’t a comment policy perhaps one should be created.

  9. schmutzdeck - Sep 8, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    People are making too much of Bradley’s absence.

    He is very good but the US has also become a very good team. Losing him a minute before kickoff gave Costa Rica the edge they needed and credit to them they took advantage.

    Had he been injured in training with Roma and not made the trip at all I’m sure the US would have at least tied.

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