25 March 2005

World Cup Qualifying: CONCACAF Update

As Landry discusses, we've got a big weekend of World Cup qualifying games coming. The final round of qualifying is just getting ramped up; the pretenders have been eliminated, and the teams remaining all still have real hopes of qualifying. Where are we now? First, let's look at CONCACAF, the North American region. These are the six teams in the final stage, along with their FIFA World Ranking:

Mexico (6)
United States (10)
Costa Rica (21)
Trinidad & Tobago (60)
Guatemala (62)
Panama (97)

The top three teams go on to Germany, while the fourth team faces a playoff with a team from Asia to qualify. The teams will play home and away with every other team; right now they've all played one game. After next Wednesday, three games will be finished, taking us a third of the way through the stage, and we'll know a lot more. The upcoming games are:

Saturday 27 March:
Costa Rica vs. Panama
Guatemala vs. Trinidad & Tobago

Sunday 28 March:
Mexico vs. United States

Wednesday 30 March:
United States vs. Guatemala
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Costa Rica
Panama vs. Mexico

Obviously, Mexico vs. United States is the pick of the bunch; the two teams are clearly the favorites in the region and the game will be intense. However, the other games should go a long way to sorting out the contenders.

If I have time, I'll look at updates for the other regions next.

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