Here it is. The final day in the semifinal round of CONCACAF’s World Cup qualifying.
Surprisingly enough, the U.S. national team needs a result today in a 3:30 p.m. match against Guatemala to advance into the final round of qualifying. A win or tie would put coach Jurgen Klinsmann‘s side through. A loss could be enough, but only depending on the Jamaica-Antigua & Barbuda match. Group standings here.
We’ll see how much Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson features in the contest before hoping on a plane to Seattle (courtesy of Real Salt Lake, of course).
Also, Mario Martinez and Honduras need a win at home tonight against Canada to qualify for the final round of CONCACAF qualifying. You can track all the qualifiers worldwide at FIFA.com.
Let’s get to some links:
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— Lots of links from around the league, starting with the latest punishment from the MLS Disciplinary Committee, local product George John doing some Gangnam Style dancing, and a chat with MLS executive Nelson Rodriguez.
— Also, Timbers owner Merritt Paulson talked some numbers regarding expansion fees and more, and here’s a report on the amount of money MLS has invested in getting support for another team in New York.
— Up in Vancouver, the Whitecaps are in the final push to earn a playoff spot and one writer thinks unheralded midfielder Gershon Koffie has been the team MVP. Attendance, though, has been a bit disappointing.
— Elsewhere, here’s a good feature on Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi, who has been a USMNT regular.
— SI’s Grant Wahl took a look at BeIN Sport USA, the channel that has been the source of a lot of frustration recently regarding the availability of USMNT road games.
— Did you see the UW men’s soccer team has jumped into the Soccer America Top 25 at No. 17?
— Lastly, on the local scene, I was saddened to hear of the passing of Mercer Island boys soccer coach Steve Newman. He was someone who I had worked often with during my years of prep coverage before moving to the Sounders beat.