This recent international break has proven, once again, why South America is the toughest qualifying process of any continent on the planet. On Thursday, Brazil trounced Argentina 3-0, Venezuela put up five on Bolivia and Peru handedly laid waste to Paraguay, 4-1. Then on the following Tuesday, Ecuador beat that same Venezuela team 3-0, that same Bolivia team beat Paraguay 1-0 and Argentina rebounded to shut Colombia out in a 3-0 win.
Men's World Cup
When Jurgen Klinsmann was first appointed USMNT boss five years ago, people expected him to come over and shake things up. It was widely understood that he was not some kind of miracle worker, however, there was a clear expectation that his pedigree would motivate players and that he’d introduce a stylish flair into the team by nurturing the next generation — undoubtedly the most talented crop of footballers this country had ever seen.
In a little over a year, the United States has witnessed some truly awful results under the leadership of Jurgen Klinsmann, but the back-to-back defeats to Jamaica and Panama to end a poor 2015 Gold Cup, defeat to Mexico at the 2015 CONCACAF Cup and historic 2-0 loss to Guatemala in the fourth round of World Cup qualifying all pale in comparison to Tuesday night’s capitulation in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Thomas Muller’s incredible return of 32 goals from 49 matches in all competitions for Bayern Munich last season had many prognosticators envisioning a brilliant Euro 2016 campaign for the German attacker. However, Muller’s inability to score and poor form throughout Germany’s six matches made him one of the tournament’s biggest disappointments.
While Muller has scored braces against Norway and the Czech Republic in World Cup qualifying, he hasn’t yet managed a goal in the Bundesliga, a drought that’s now surpassed over 500 minutes of football.
The USA suffered their first home World Cup qualifying defeat since 2001 on Friday night, losing 2-1 to Mexico in Columbus for the opening game of the Hex.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann made unexpected changes coming into the game. He sent out a 3-5-2 formation instead of the usual 4-4-2, causing some players to play out of their positions. The new formation had three center backs in defense with Matt Besler, John Brooks and Omar Gonzalez.
On a day when we've questioned everything and discussed some of the stranger red card offenses in the history of the game, this should come as no surprise. In Sunday's draw between Greece and Bosnia we witnessed one of the most ridiculous red cards of all-time. The culprit was Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko, who earned a second yellow by stripping Greece's Sokratis.
Rafa Marquez, in his 13th appearance against the United States, Rafa Marquez, the scorn of American soccer dating back to to his mid-air head butt on Cobi Jones at the 2002 World Cup, Rafa Marquez, the captain on his international swan song, Rafa Marquez. That's all you need to know: Rafa Marquez.
Mexico took the lead against the United States in the first half, but Jozy Alitdore and Bobby Wood simply weren’t having it. A clear goal scoring chance was crafted out of nothing, Jozy Altidore turning his marker with all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop and sending Wood through on goal.
Wood did much of the same, simply disregarding the attentions of the Mexican defense to fire past Alfredo Talavera and equalize for the United States.
Kick off in Columbus, Ohio was greeted with resounding chants of “Dos a Cero!” from the pro-American crowd. However, the jinx has been resoundingly ended by Miguel Layun, and Mexico are desperately unlucky not to have a couple more.