World Cup Qualifiers
American Fans Confident as The Hexagonal Approaches
Despite some struggles during the semifinal round of World Cup Qualification, U.S. soccer fans appear quite bullish on the Yanks' prospects for success in the upcoming Hexagonal.
BY John Godfrey PostedThe U.S. lost to Jamaica in Kingston? No problem. The team needed a stoppage-time goal to win against minnows Antigua & Barbuda? Just a hiccup. Gave up a late goal against Guatemala and had to settle for just one point? Hey, that's life on the road in CONCACAF. That's the prevailing sentiment among fans according to an American Soccer Now interactive infographic. Using this custom-built tool we asked soccer fans to graph their projections for the U.S. national team in the year ahead, and then add commentary. More than 90 percent of respondents believe the U.S. will succeed in the upcoming Hexagonal and qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. "We'll qualify easily," Rob Usry commented. "I think Klinsmann has this team on track. It's just a matter of time before they finally click." "We should qualify but competition is at a premium this go around," Conor wrote. "There will be some early hiccups but the team should recover to finish second. Just have to shoot for at least 12 (4-1-0) home points and five away (1-2-2) points and we'll qualify." This glass-half-full mentality expressed by the majority of ASN readers surpasses that of U.S. Soccer's Optimist in Chief—head coach Jurgen Klinsmann—who struck a measured tone in discussing the upcoming Hexagonal. "If you give away a game like we did in Jamaica then you have to pay the price for it a little while and you have to correct it," the coach said after the U.S. defeated Guatemala on October 16. "We go through now in first place and we made things clear that we were the No. 1 team in this group. The next round will be even tougher. You have very good teams in there, every game will be a battle, every game will be a fight and we are ready for that." Many ASN readers, while confident that the U.S. will qualify for Brazil, acknowledged that the road will not be an easy one. "CONCACAF is definitely becoming a more difficult play, and Mexico is still by far the class of our region," Tim wrote. "We will lose a few away and draw a few at home. We will likely lose to Mexico twice or draw and lose to them. If we have a bad home game or two, this could get tougher than it normally does. Still, not qualifying would be a tragedy and a complete embarrassment. Unlikely to happen." Caleb shared a similar perspective: "We struggled (in the semifinal round), but we still made it. Donovan hasn't been a factor, nor should we expect him to be. We have enough to get through." The Hexagonal round of qualification begins February 6 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. To graph your thoughts on the coming qualifiers, please click here.
December 30, 2012
December 30, 2012