United States now in great shape for World Cup qualification


There is still a long way to go, and things can certainly go wrong. But the United States is in wonderful shape to qualifying for Brazil 2014 and extend that ongoing streak, to find its way into a seventh consecutive World Cup.

Given the U.S. history in World Cup qualifiers on home soil – basically, they don’t lose at home – and given that Jurgen Klinsmann’s team has already gained four of a possible nine points on the road, there is no other way to see it.

Remember when the CONCACAF draw came out? We all looked at the schedule and, exhaled and said, “Well, that didn’t work out very well.”  For Klinsmann and Co., it was all about keeping their heads above water through early June – through Friday, specifically.

So a late goal in Jamaica goes a long, long way to achieving the bigger goal.

Three of the first four matches in final round World Cup qualifying were on the road, and qualifying matches in CONCACAF (anywhere around the world, really) are perilous pieces of work. But a loss in Honduras to begin the final round was mitigated somewhat by a draw in Mexico and now … a huge, huge win in Jamaica.

In between, the United States prevailed in that bizarre, snowy night in Denver.

The formula for qualifying is always the same: win at home, nick a few points on the road and start looking for the best hotels and training grounds inside the World Cup host country.

At this point, the United States has six matches remaining in final round qualifying, and four of those are at home. It starts Tuesday in Seattle against Panama and then flows south of there in Utah a week later against Honduras.

At this point, the United States needs eight or nine points – something that looks quite achievable given the schedule ahead.

  •  June 11, vs. Panama in Seattle
  • June 18, vs. Honduras in Salt Lake City
  • Sept. 6, at Costa Rica
  • Sept. 10, vs. Mexico in Columbus
  • Oct. 11, vs. Jamaica in Kansas City
  • Oct. 15, at Panama