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September 04, 2005

US secures world cup berth!

capt.ohca10309040121.mexico_us_soccer_ohca103 The US beat Mexico 2-0 to clinch their place in Germany next year. This is the first time since 1934 that the US was the first team in the Central and North America to qualify. What does that mean? Well...nothing really, but it sounds nice, even though Ukraine also secured its world cup finals spot last night, which puts it in context.

Let me be the first person in 2005 to pose the question on whether the US could win the whole thing in Germany. I imagine there will be a lot of that over the next year, just like their was in 2002 when the US beat Portugal to start tongues wagging. I don't think so - they are not playing European teams enough to get the experience they need, although it is good that more Americans are playing overseas. Then again, if Greece can win the European championship...

I will settle for knocking the Germans out to avenge the un-desereved win against the US in 2002. And I am sure English fans would like that too.

Speaking of which, the time zone gap with the US works against us (8am start) and there is not much interest in US football (soccer!) in Japan - so it was not televised. Instead, I watched England play out a miserable match with Wales. Joe Cole banged one in off a defender for the only goal (is it me, or is he looking more like Michael Owen every day? - has anyone ever seen them in the same room together?) There were a few other interesting moments, but all in all, it was 90 minutes and two pints that would have been better spent elsewhere.

In any case, there should be lots of lively debate over the next four days about whether England should be running a 4-4-2 instead of the 4-5-1. Considering they have yet to qualify (like the US! like Ukraine! like Japan!), it is an important subject...

Posted by Kirk on September 4, 2005 11:07 AM