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Old 11-21-2008, 01:48 PM   #1
KevinBeane
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Default CONCACAF enters final round of World Cup qualifying

I've tried to get soccer discussions going here before without success (except for Doug), but here goes.

If you have an interest in "getting into" soccer, I'd say starting in February will be an excellent time to do so, because North America is down to their final six (Top three enter the World Cup, fourth place plays a playoff with the 5th place South American team for another spot).

I say this because the last couple of spots are really up for grabs. The US looks to comfortably be the best team in the group. Mexico REALLY struggled to even get this far, getting through to the final group only on Goal Differential over Jamaica. But, they're still Mexico.

But there seems to be very, very little space between Honduras, Costa Rica, and Trinidad, with El Salvador bringing up the rear.

Anyone paying attention to this?
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Old 11-21-2008, 02:15 PM   #2
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I like Trinidad & Tobago out of the Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador cluster. Liking Trinidad might be mainly because they were in the World Cup in 06 and beat the US in qualifying.

Would love to see Mexico not qualify, but the close call in round 3 might have been as close as that will come.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:13 PM   #3
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I actually don't mind soccer in HD. I enjoyed watching the World Cup a few summers ago, I pulled for the Brits when the U.S. was out. But like most Americans, my problem is the low scoring. It kinda sucks to watch hours of play with no scoring. I guess we're just an ADD nation.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:54 AM   #4
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Kevin, I am more than willing to talk about soccer, but this topic of discussion is far from my expertise. I have very little access to North American soccer since I live in England but I will do my best to try and watch some these matches.

Come on El Salvador!!!

Marc, I love the low scores. I think you are right about America being an ADD nation in this respect. A hard fought 0-0 is something that us Brits look on with pride. In all honesty that is also kind of wed but that's just the way I like it.
If you prefer higher scores then you should probably try and watch some of the UEFA Champions League. This season the teams seem to have forgotten how to defend with the likes of Barcelona winning 5-1 and Villarreal winning 5-3.
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke broadbent View Post
Kevin, I am more than willing to talk about soccer, but this topic of discussion is far from my expertise. I have very little access to North American soccer since I live in England but I will do my best to try and watch some these matches.

Come on El Salvador!!!

Marc, I love the low scores. I think you are right about America being an ADD nation in this respect. A hard fought 0-0 is something that us Brits look on with pride. In all honesty that is also kind of wed but that's just the way I like it.
If you prefer higher scores then you should probably try and watch some of the UEFA Champions League. This season the teams seem to have forgotten how to defend with the likes of Barcelona winning 5-1 and Villarreal winning 5-3.
I take great pride in being a converted soccer fan. I was never a hater of soccer to begin with, but I was indifferent about it like most Americans are.

I decided to give it a REAL shot. I adopted Pompey as my team in the Premier League and followed them religiously (still do).

It took a couple of years, but I gradually became a big fan and I appreciate it on its own terms. The 0-0 matches are often the most exciting, and the fact that they are so low-scoring makes each shot and each save that much more precious and dramatic; it also means the spectre of an upset is ever-looming. Often times the heavily favored team just can't quite get one through, and then the minnow team does on a breakaway.

But, I really think I love it because I love sports and football codes in particular. American Football is awesome. I'm sure Rugby and Aussie Rules football are as well. It's just about putting the time in - it doesn't happen overnight - to learn to appreciate it. It's worth it. I have no doubt many English fans could similarly learn to greatly appreciate American football if they picked a team and followed them closely.

In fact, speaking of soccer being boring - I was reading reaction from UK viewers of last year's Super Bowl in the Guardian. They agreed it was a great game, which had me swelling with pride - but they also lamented that not all Super Bowls were so exciting. Most of them are just so BORING.
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinBeane View Post
I take great pride in being a converted soccer fan. I was never a hater of soccer to begin with, but I was indifferent about it like most Americans are.

I decided to give it a REAL shot. I adopted Pompey as my team in the Premier League and followed them religiously (still do).

It took a couple of years, but I gradually became a big fan and I appreciate it on its own terms. The 0-0 matches are often the most exciting, and the fact that they are so low-scoring makes each shot and each save that much more precious and dramatic; it also means the spectre of an upset is ever-looming. Often times the heavily favored team just can't quite get one through, and then the minnow team does on a breakaway.

But, I really think I love it because I love sports and football codes in particular. American Football is awesome. I'm sure Rugby and Aussie Rules football are as well. It's just about putting the time in - it doesn't happen overnight - to learn to appreciate it. It's worth it. I have no doubt many English fans could similarly learn to greatly appreciate American football if they picked a team and followed them closely.

In fact, speaking of soccer being boring - I was reading reaction from UK viewers of last year's Super Bowl in the Guardian. They agreed it was a great game, which had me swelling with pride - but they also lamented that not all Super Bowls were so exciting. Most of them are just so BORING.
Kevin, I like your dedication to looking for new sports to enjoy. Personally, I was brought up watching and playing a lot of sports. There aren't many that I can't think of that I don't like, apart from netball.

Nice to see you support a decent team as well from over here in England. I support West Bromwich Albion, sadly we aren't very good as I'm sure you know if you've been following the Premiership this season.

Since I write for Sports Central like yourself, I have been meaning to write some soccer articles. I have a lot of ideas saved on my computer but I haven't really felt like any of them will make a great article. But some time in the future I hope one will get written.

On the topic of exciting Super Bowls, the Patriots vs. Giants game was the best final I have ever seen in any sport. Simply, a great defensive battle. Also, even if the coming Super Bowl isn't very entertaining, the half-time show will be enough for me. In my 18 years on this planet I have listened to nobody more than I have Bruce Springsteen, so he can save the day.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:31 PM   #7
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I have been looking at some of the results in the prior qualifying stages and going by them I reckon that Honduras have a pretty good chance of going through.

I understand that the top 3 go to the finals, and the 4th place team goes into a play-off. So only 2 teams are left with nothing, so to put it simply Honduras won't be one of them.

In the previous rounds they have won every game at home and only conceded one goal in their home games. A continuation of that record, or even a slight slip, should be enough to see them finish in the top 4.

Also, from my research Honduras appears to be an emerging force on the soccer scene, what with good results in the last decade or so. So, even if they fail to make it to the finals then they appear to be a team worth keeping your eyes on.

On a related note, another team that is an emerging power in world football is Uzbekistan. So they are worth keeping your eyes on as well.

Nevertheless, I still want El Salvador to go through, as well as Honduras.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:00 PM   #8
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My roommate is a big soccer fan, so I'm also a newly converted fan.

The North American qualifiers don't interest me that much, though, because N.A. is synonymous with bad play. My national team is Bolivia and things aren't looking too good for them right now-- 2-3-5. If the U.S. had to play the South American or European teams, there's no way that they would ever advance.
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