I’ve gotten the same questions a few times since Jurgen Klinsmann and Co. got their official invitation to the 2014 World Cup. So, let’s run through them. (Followed by the ProSoccerTalk pieces from the last two days, which should answer any other questions about whys and wherefores as your United States national team qualified for its seventh consecutive World Cup.
Do the final CONCACAF standings impact World Cup seeding?
Here’s the deal when it comes to FIFA and World Cup seedings and how they are determined before teams are drawn into groups: FIFA folks pretty much do whatever they want. (And they will do it just before the December draw.)
They decide what’s best ostensibly for the tournament (or maybe for FIFA, I’m not really even sure) and then backtrack on the methodology until they arrive where they want to be. That’s my theory, anyway.
So, no … not much. Perhaps marginally if they use the FIFA World Rankings as part of the formula.
Q: Did Clint Dempsey miss that penalty kick on purpose?
Spend any time at all with Dempsey and you will know that he is all about soccer. (Well, fishing, too … but mostly soccer.) It’s a serious game to him, serious business. He approaches it honestly.
So, no. I never suspected for a second that he did. Why in the world would he? (No, not even for the sake of “Dos a cero.” My guess if he had scored: He would run to the crowd and say “Tres a cero!”) Besides, in post-game comments he said he didn’t miss on purpose. And he probably wondered why anyone would even ask such a thing.
Q: Will Mexico make it?
Best guess, 50-50. Third-place Honduras has a home game against already qualified Costa Rica, then a road game against bottom-of-group Jamaica. That’s ample opportunity for points collection, so I see Honduras keeping its lead on Mexico.
That means Mexico has to collect more points than Panama – just to get 4th-place and that playoff spot against New Zealand!
ProSoccerTalk posts on U.S. qualification for World Cup Brazil 2014:
- Jurgen Klinsman’s work is just getting started: His evaluation was always about what happens at the World Cup, not just getting there.
- The tantalizing scenario that is developing between the United States and Mexico
- Why U.S. fans might want Mexico in the World Cup
- Is this the best United States team ever?
- One unsung hero from Columbus: Michael Parkhurst
- Five critical moments in shaping the United States arrival into Brazil 2014
- With two World Cup qualifiers remaining, how will the United States handle things?
- Five U.S. Stars who emerged during World Cup qualifying
- More than a headline, “Dos a cero” signifies U.S. dominance over Mexico
- List of nations now qualified for the World Cup
- Even U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard wanted it to be “Dos a Cero”
- What we learned from the United States win over Mexico