Just Talkin' 'Bout CONCACAF

Three down, seven to go in the qualies, and the Gold Cup groups are out, so that must mean it's time to get talkin' 'bout CONCACAF.

Can you dig it?

The Hex is Tight

You wouldn't really have expected anybody to leap out to a commanding lead in just three games. Likewise, you wouldn't have expected anybody to be completely out of the running, but things are a bit tighter than I anticipated. The US (7 pts) and Costa Rica (6 pts) lead the group and will face each other next time out in a bid to see who will be the early favorite for qualification. Honduras (4 pts) leapfrogged Mexico (3 pts) courtesy of an impressive 3-1 beatdown of El Tri. And down on the bottom, but by no means completely adrift, T&T and El Salvador are level on 2 points apiece.

The next group of games will be an important one for the US. They face the two teams directly behind them in the automatic qualifying spots, Costa Rica and Honduras, while those two each get a pop at one of the two bottom teams, in addition to the US, and Mexico gets both of them. The US doesn't need six points, but anything less will likely see them still in the thick of the pack at the halfway point.

Going For the Gold (Cup)

Considering the World Cup dry run that the US will face in the Confederations Cup, I think it's fairly obvious that we're going to see the scrubs trot out for the Gold Cup. So what do the groups look like?
  • Group A: Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica
  • Group B: Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, USA
  • Group C: Guadeloupe, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama
Damn! Mexico got off light, didn't they? Though, to be fair, their recent run probably makes them just about favorites to win Group C. The US's assortment of second-teamers is going to have a real struggle on their hands, as Honduras looked really dangerous last night, Haiti have the potential to cause real headaches, and Grenada have a couple of good players who might make a difference. If this was the first team, I think we'd be through pretty easily, but with a mostly MLS and Scandanavia-based crew? Thankfully, they avoided what looks to be the toughest group, A, with two sides in the Hex, and two that missed out having been unlucky enough to be drawn in a tough group with Honduras and Mexico.

So what do you think? Worried about the qualification campaign or "In Bob We Trust"? Excited to see if we can dredge a gem from the scrubs on display at the Gold Cup? Wondering if Mexico has it in them to get past Guadeloupe?

And finally, because I can, and because I'm sure you've had that lick thwacking along in your head the whole time you've been reading this since I planted the seed in your head...

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