The quirky scheduling of World Cup qualifying

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World Cup qualifying is quirky in some ways. I’ll give you a “for instance:”

The United States just launched its qualifying bid, warming up with three friendlies ahead of Friday’s match in Tampa and Tuesday’s down in Guatemala. So they’ve been working out the kinks for three weeks, trying to identify the optimum combinations, working to get 100 percent fit and healthy, etc.

But after Tuesday, we won’t see this team again until September, three months from now. Not competitively, anyway. (The United States does have a few friendlies between then and now.)

So, whatever problems the chattering class is chattering about today, whatever road humps Jurgen Klinsmann and his team is trying to drive around at the moment – we could all be dealing with an entirely new set of issues when the United States lines up in Kingston, Jamaica, on Sept. 7 on the next World Cup qualifying date.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s schedule of qualifiers (in all three groups) are here:

  • Jamaica at Antigua & Barbuda
  • Honduras at Canada
  • Costa Rica at Guyana
  • Cuba at Panama
  • Mexico at El Salvador
  • United States at Guatemala