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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old March 11th, 2008, 21:57 Thread Starter
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Olympic Qualifying

Big day for CONCACAF today, not only does the final edition of the Champions Cup kick off, so does Olympic qualifying. US and Mexico both have some exciting players who featured at the U20 WC last summer (Adu, Altidore, Sturgis, Zizzo, and Seitz for the US; Dominguez, Andrade, Villaluza for Mexico - no dos Santos or Vela though they probably would feature in the Olympics in Beijing). Mexico also have Ochoa on their roster. Canada also look like they have a decent squad, but we all know about their U20 WC campaign.

Two groups, the top two in each group qualifies for the playoffs, the semi-final winners qualify for the Olympics.

Group A: United States, Panama, Honduras, Cuba

Group B: Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, Haiti

United States and Panama to advance from A, Mexico and Canada (perhaps Guatemala instead though) from B.

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old March 13th, 2008, 10:30
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3/12/2008

Five Cuban Soccer Players Have Defected, Cuba now only has 12 eligible players for their match on Thursday.

As was first reported by ESPN Deportes earlier on Wednesday, five players from Cuba’s Under-23 National Team left their hotel in Tampa on Tuesday night after their side tied 1-1 tie with the U.S. in an Olympic qualifier. They were thought to be heading south to Miami in hopes of defecting.

Raul Gonzalez, Cuba’s coach, confirmed that captain Yenier Bermudez, goalkeeper Jose Manuel Miranda, Erlys Garcia Baro, Yordany Alvarez and Loanni Prieto are the missing players, leaving his side with only 12 eligible players for their match against Honduras on Thursday, as Roberto Linares is ineligible due to the red card he received against the Americans.

CONCACAF officials are meeting with Cuban officials on late Wednesday afternoon to decide what the side would do.

"Cuba has plans to keep playing in this tournament, and we don't want to forfeit our next two matches," said Gonzalez.

This isn’t the first time Cuban soccer players have defected while in the United States. Two players defected during the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Houston last summer, while current Chivas USA standout Maykel Galindo snuck away from the Cuban delegation at the same tournament in 2005. Galindo is currently considered to be one of the top strikers in Major league Soccer.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old March 13th, 2008, 16:35 Thread Starter
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Surprise, surprise...

Reflections on the first round of matches:

USA were poor overall against Cuba but Freddy Adu was good. Some of the US players (read: Charlie Davies, Kamani Hill) are idiots and nearly all our forwards, Findley, Davies, Altidore should have done much better with the chances they had. Panama-Honduras bored me to tears. Haiti-Guatemala was a bit more interesting at times (though still pretty boring), I think it would have been better on a faster pitch which would suit Haiti's game better. Guatemala were clearly more physical than Haiti but also had a few more good moves. I like Marvin Ávila from Guatemala. He did pretty well as a striker even though his natural position is on the right wing. He impressed me in the Gold cup and against last night. He has the potential to be the next big thing out of Central America. I watched the first and last parts of Canada-Mexico and it was the best game out of all of them but that's not saying much. Perhaps a deserved point for Canada if only due to Mexican failures in attacking. I really liked César Villaluz for Mexico though.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old March 13th, 2008, 18:35
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What was the score of the U.S. game? who do they play next?
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old March 13th, 2008, 20:27 Thread Starter
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The final score was 1-1. Adu scoreed for the US, Linares for Cuba. We play Panama tonight at 8:00 PM ET

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old March 14th, 2008, 09:43
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Adu scores in Americans’ 1-0 win over Panama in Olympic qualifying

TAMPA, Fla. (AP)

—Freddy Adu scored on a penalty kick in the 41st minute to help the United States’ under-23 team beat Panama 1-0 on Thursday night in the second round of Group A pool play in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying.

The Americans, coming off a 1-1 tie with Cuba on Tuesday, improved to 1-0-1, while Panama dropped to 0-2. The top two teams in the group will advance to the March 20 semifinals in Nashville, Tenn., along with the top two from Group B. The finalists will earn spots in the Beijing Olympics.

The United States will finish group play Saturday against Honduras (2-0). Panama, which cannot advance, will play Cuba (0-1-1) on Saturday. If Cuba loses or ties, the U.S. automatically advances. Honduras already has clinched a spot in the semifinals.

“I’m really pleased with the effort,” U.S. coach Peter Nowak said. “I think our team played with a lot of heart tonight and we got the result after a very hard fight on the field. You have to give credit to Panama because they put a lot of heart into it, too.”

Adu scored after Panama goalkeeper Jose Calderon received a yellow card for tripping Josmer Altidore 15 yards from the goal during a breakaway scoring chance. On his penalty kick, Adu struck the ball with his left foot, and it went just past Calderon’s outstretched arms into the right side of the net.

The 18-year-old American star was given a yellow card in the 90th minute.

“I’m going to do whatever it takes, play with some fight, some attitude, just go out and help this team win in any way I possibly can,” said Adu, who also scored against Cuba on Tuesday night.

The United States, which had five new starters Thursday night, again had trouble converting scoring chances into goals. In the 47th minute, Calderon hit the ground to knock a shot away. Later, he stopped Holden Stuart’s free kick from 25 yards.

The United States had a brief scare in the 56th minute when Adu fell to the ground after making contact with a Panamanian player. But just as Adu was about to be placed on a stretcher, he bounced up off the ground and was playing again moments later.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old March 14th, 2008, 20:14
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CONCACAF, As Usual Gets It Wrong
by Bill Ault
Thursday, 13 March 2008

"CONCACAF has been notified by the Head of the Cuban Delegation that several players have left the team. CONCACAF has no information on the location of the players or the circumstances surrounding their separation from the delegation.

CONCACAF's sole objective is to ensure the 2008 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament is carried out in the proper manner. The Cuban Delegation has informed us that they will continue to participate in the tournament. All matches, therefore remain as scheduled."


- Chuck Blazer, CONCACAF General Secretary



And that statement sums up the sheer blind ineptitude of the people that pretend to run the game in our part of the world.

At least five and now it appears seven players from the Cuban national team have decided to take advantage of their qualifying trip to the United States and “go missing” in an attempt to defect to the U.S.

Raul Gonzalez, Cuba’s coach, confirmed that captain Yenier Bermudez, goalkeeper Jose Manuel Miranda, Erlys Garcia Baro, Yordany Alvarez and Loanni Prieto are the missing players, leaving his side with only 12 eligible players for their match against Honduras on Thursday, as Roberto Linares is ineligible due to the red card he received against the Americans.

Today [Thursday] Yendry Diaz told ESPN International on the phone that he and Eder Roldan also had left the Cuban team.

Assuming the seven players do not return, Cuba would be left with an 11-man squad, but only 10 would be available to play, because Roberto Linares is automatically suspended one game for receiving a red card in Tuesday's game.

To say this could affect the outcome of the tournament is a bit of an understatement especially after the Cubans held the much favoured home team Americans to a 1-1 tie in the opening game of the tournament while Honduras opened with a 1-0 win over Panama.

That a demoralized and short staffed Cuban side will be able to put up much of a fight tonight against Honduras and in their final match against Panama must surely be seen as unlikely. In fact the chances are that both games could (will) turn into routs are high and will therefore seriously effect the final standings in case of ties.

The American team admittedly who put themselves in a hole in game one mostly due to the fact they could not finish have been put into an even worse situation as the result of a boardroom decision and not by play on the field. Simply if the Americans want to finish first in the group they need two outright wins as anything else would put their chances of even advancing in serious doubt in a tie breaking situation.

Indirectly, this effects the teams in Canada's group as well as it could have a direct bearing on placement for the cross-over semi-final matches and ultimately who grabs the two qualifying spots.

It's a potential disaster just waiting to happen.

CONCACAF's leaders should have dealt with this the way UEFA or FIFA would have – by suspending the Cuban federation (see FIFA's current battle with Spain) and recording all of their games as forfeits. It is the only way they could protect the validity of the tournament.

Unfortunately they as usual failed to show any backbone and took the easy way out. The question is now how will they handle World Cup Qualifying where Cuba is likely to be once again visiting the U.S.?
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old March 14th, 2008, 20:41 Thread Starter
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Its a mess, as usual, but it will have less of an effect on things if the US beats Honduras tomorrow.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old March 14th, 2008, 20:48
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WOW, I've never heard something quite like this!

Pretty unconvincing scorelines for the U.S. Is Michael Bradley in the team as well?
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old March 15th, 2008, 08:23
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Lopez scores winner as Guatemala beats Mexico:dielaugh: 2-1

CARSON, Calif. (AP)—Maynor Ignacio Lopez scored in the 67th minute to give Guatemala a 2-1 victory over Mexico on Friday night in Group B play at the CONCACAF men’s Olympic qualifying tournament.

The game was the second of a doubleheader. In the first game, Haiti beat Canada 2-1.

Guatemala earned its first victory over Mexico in 40 years of Olympic qualifying and earned a berth in the March 20 semifinals in Nashville, Tenn.

With one game left, Guatemala has six points, Haiti has three points and Mexico and Canada each have one. The group’s top two finishers qualify for the semifinals.

Lopez, who entered the game in the 54th minute, broke a 1-1 tie with a glancing 2-yard header off Marco Papa’s corner kick from the right flank.

Mexico took a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute on Edgar Castillo’s 13-yard shot. Guatemala tied the score in the 40th minute when Jean Marquez’s midfield pass freed Carlos Villa for a breakaway, and Villa converted from 19 yards.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old March 15th, 2008, 17:06
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Cuba calls soccer desertions in US a ‘low blow’


Mar 14, 6:44 pm EDT


HAVANA (AP)—Cuba called the desertion of seven soccer players at the Olympic qualifying tournament in the United States “dishonorable” and a “low blow” on Friday.

The seven players left the team in Tampa, Fla., after their opening match, a 1-1 draw with the United States on Tuesday night.

On Thursday night, the team started with 10 players when one was suspended for a red card in the U.S, match, and lost to Honduras 2-0.

“After their brilliant performance against the United States … Cuba’s Under-23 team suffered the desertion of seven members under the protection of the Cuban Adjustment Act,” read a short note in the Communist Party daily Granma.

Entitled “Low Blow for Cuban Soccer,” the article noted that Cuba was left significantly weakened against Honduras.

The Communist Youth Union newspaper Juventud Rebelde, the island’s other national daily, qualified the desertions as “dishonorable.”

While Cuba hasn’t officially identified the players, Jose Manuel Miranda, Erlys Garcia Baro, Yenier Bermudez, Yordany Alvarez and Loanni Prieto missed practice Wednesday and were absent against Honduras. Yendry Diaz and Eder Roldan also missed the game, with Diaz telling ESPN that the two players left the team Wednesday.

Under the Cold War-era Cuban Adjustment Act that provides special protection to immigrants from the communist-run island, the United States instituted a “wet foot, dry foot” policy that lets Cubans who reach American soil remain in the country and apply for U.S. residency after one year.




Dont BLAME the US Dudes ... If your Citizens want out of the Regime...they will raft to the States if necessary..WE all know that WELL !!!!!!!

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old March 15th, 2008, 18:17 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FootyFan365 View Post
WOW, I've never heard something quite like this!

Pretty unconvincing scorelines for the U.S. Is Michael Bradley in the team as well?
Michael Bradley isn't in the US team, I think it was difficult to get a player who is as important to his club team as he is for this tournament.

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old March 16th, 2008, 06:59
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Originally Posted by colocolo View Post
Dont BLAME the US Dudes ... If your Citizens want out of the Regime...they will raft to the States if necessary..WE all know that WELL !!!!!!!
The only reason they do that is because the US encourages them to use risky means to leave Cuba.

The USA is the only country in the world with two immigration laws: one for all other nationalities and one exclusively for Cubans.

It's called the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act. It grants special immigration privileges to any immigrant from Cuba. It legalized the status of all those who had illegally migrated since 1959, giving them US residency and the authorization to work. No other group has ever been given this special treatment, nor was it ever given to the thousands of Cubans who had immigrated before the 1959 revolution. Among other things, it says that Cuban immigrants who arrive at "other than designated ports of entry," with or without legal documentation, are guaranteed permanent residency.

The position of the Cuban government is that Cubans who want to leave can leave, but it must be by safe and legal means (not by boats or rafts, but by airplane flight), provided they are guaranteed legal entry to another country, and that includes the US. But the US makes it almost impossible for any Cuban to get a legal immigration visa. It's the USA, not Cuba, that poses the biggest obstacle to legal emigration from Cuba.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old March 16th, 2008, 14:32
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Then the CUBAN SHOULDNT be allowed to play in the States ....SIMPLE

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old March 16th, 2008, 14:33
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Americans win Group A, advance in Olympic qualifier

TAMPA, FLORIDA (TICKER) —Although the United States advanced to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament before it even stepped on the pitch Saturday, it still had plenty to prove against Honduras.

Eddie Gaven scored the lone goal on a penalty kick in the 95th minute as the U.S. secured a first-place finish in Group A with a 1-0 victory over Honduras at Raymond James Stadium.

The United States (2-0-1), which already had punched its ticket to the next round when Panama defeated Cuba earlier in the day, awaits the Group B second-place finisher on Thursday. The Americans will face either Haiti, Canada (0-1-1) or Mexico (0-1-1), while Honduras (2-1-0) will face Group B first-place finisher Guatemala (2-0-0).

Group B completes first-round action Sunday, when Guatemala faces Canada and Mexico squares off against Haiti.

With the match in stoppage time, Charlie Davies was pulled down in the penalty box. Rather than have Davies attempt his second penalty kick of the contest, Gaven was given the nod, and the Columbus Crew midfielder beat goalkeeper Kevin Hernandez for the lone tally of the game.

“It was a great run by Charlie,” Gaven said. “I just stepped up, took a deep breath and kicked it in. But like I said, it was a great play by him. I thought we had a really good play from our full team today.”

Davies was unsuccessful with his penalty-kick attempt in the 62nd minute, pushing the ball wide of the net.

United States coach Peter Nowak was thrilled with his team’s aggressive approach to the contest.

“I think we created chances, regardless of the referee’s decisions,” he said. “We showed spirit and pushed for a win, so it’s not like the penalty kicks come from thin air or someone gives it to you as a present. I think the boys worked hard on the field and you have to give them credit.”

Davies had another prime chance to score just nine minutes later, but his blast from 10 feet out was denied by Hernandez.

Midfielder Ramon Nunez had Honduras’ best attempt to break the scoreless draw in the 84th minute, but his blast from 10 yards out hit the left goalpost.

The Americans were playing without Freddy Adu, who has scored twice but also earned a yellow card in the tournament.

When asked whether the decision not to play Adu was based on rest or his yellow card, Nowak was blunt.

“I think it was a combination of both,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen. Freddy did play two 90-minute games and it’s important to make sure that he’s ready for next week.”

“Freddy obviously played really good in the first two games, and he definitely makes us a better team,” Gaven said. “But I think the other guys that came on tonight definitely stepped up, played well and worked hard in his absence. We just had really good team spirit, so hopefully we can keep that up for the semifinal game.”

In the earlier Group A match on Saturday, Eduardo Jimenez scored twice to propel Panama to a 4-1 victory over Cuba. Alberto Quintero and Reggie Arosemena also scored for Panama (1-2-0), while Roberto Linares had the lone goal for Cuba (0-2-1).

The top two teams from Groups A and B move on to the semifinals, where the winners will earn berths to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old March 17th, 2008, 01:37 Thread Starter
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Canada just crushed Guatemala 5-0 and now it looks like Mexico will likewise have to put five past Haiti if they want to advance...bye-bye Hugo Sanchez!

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old March 17th, 2008, 03:12 Thread Starter
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So at HT Mexico is beating ten-man Haiti 1-0 so unless El Tri come up with five goals in the second half, it will be Guatemala in first and Canada in second which would mean Guatemala-Honduras and US-Canada in the semis, so one North American and one Central American team in the Olympics...

I think Johny Placide is a has great potential as a keeper, fantastic reflexes and not afraid to come out for balls. He plays at Le Havre in Ligue 2, but is a backup there. I'd like to see him maybe in Ligue 1 in a few years.

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old March 17th, 2008, 10:11
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In the other Group B match, Mexico defeated Haiti by a score of 5:1. Edgar Andrade, Enrique Esqueda, Santiago Fernández, Luis Angel Landín and César Villaluz all scored for Mexico, but the result was not enough for the defending CONCACAF Under-23 Champion as they lose a place in the semifinals to Canada on goal difference (+4 to +3). :dielaugh:



Certainly....Goodbye Hugol !!!!!!

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old March 17th, 2008, 10:12
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20.March: Nashville, Tennessee USA; LP Field
SEMIFINALS

GUATEMALA – HONDURAS
USA – CANADA

23.March: Nashville, Tennessee USA; LP Field

THIRD PLACE (13:00)
FINAL (16:00)

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old March 17th, 2008, 20:39
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Mexican media clamour for Sanchez’s head :thmbup:

56 minutes ago


MEXICO CITY, March 17 (Reuters) -

Beleaguered Mexico coach Hugo Sanchez came under pressure to quit on Monday after the country’s under-23 team failed to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Sanchez’s team failed to beat Haiti by a big enough margin on Sunday to advance to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament being played in the U.S..

Mexico’s leading sports newspaper Record published a brief but scathing front-page editorial deriding Sanchez.

“Hugo, have some dignity and quit. Don’t bring on any more shame,” the paper said.

Sanchez, one of Mexico’s greatest players, said the country’s recent performances were a disappointment but hinted he would try to hold on to his job. His contract runs until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

“We couldn’t pull it off. We failed,” Sanchez said after the game against Haiti, which Mexico won 5-1 when they needed a bigger victory to finish above Canada in second place in their group.

Group winners Guatemala and Canada advanced to the semi-finals, with the U.S. and Honduras going through from the other group. The winners of Thursday’s semi-finals go to the Beijing Games in August.

“What I would like to do is finish this process,” towards the World Cup, Sanchez told Mexican television.

Soccer-mad Mexico in recent years has had to come to terms with its diminished status as the regional soccer power with the improvement of the United States.

Former Real Madrid striker Sanchez took over as coach in 2006, boasting that his winning personality would rub off on the team.

He promised an Olympic medal and a victory in the regional Gold Cup tournament, but he came under fire last year when Mexico lost to the U.S. in the Gold Cup final.

Reforma newspaper called Mexico’s elimination from Olympic qualifying “one more disappointment” under Sanchez, while Diario Monitor urged him to “get out now”.

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