Quote of the Week:
Fifty years ago, on April 15th, the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) debuted as the first fully professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. Michael Lewis wrote an excellent piece about the start-up of the NPSL earlier this week in The Guardian. In the piece, he quoted Clive Toye, the original General Manager of the NPSL Baltimore Bays, describing the state of soccer in the U.S. fifty years ago:
“There wasn’t too much to laugh about in 1967. The knowledge of the game and what it looked like and how it was played was so strange and foreign to Americans in so many ways. What’s soccer? ‘It’s like kickball.’ No, it’s not like kickball. It’s different. That was the nice people. The nasty people called us communists and midgets. I remember one of the west coast newspapers called us commie midgets. So that went down well.”
Here is the link to this excellent article by Michael Lewis:
Best Article discovered from outside of The Republic this week:
Given that conventional wisdom seems to think that the North American bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup is a lock, the bold bid from Tasmania described in this article was worrisome. The Asia Confederation (which Australia is a member) is unable to bid for the 2026 World Cup. Might Tasmania join Oceania instead to get around this rule? This quote from ESPN.com would seem to throw cold water on any plans Tasmania may harbor to join forces with the Pacific islands.
Oceania’s FIFA vice president, David Chung, said “it makes sense on a rotational basis” for the 2026 edition to return to North America for the first time since the U.S.-hosted 1994 tournament.
Crisis averted. I did like the shot at England in the article though.
Qualification for FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia continues this evening. Last Friday night on Matchday 3, the United States, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago all won at home. Mexico now leads the Hexagonal qualifying round with seven points, with only 4 points separating first from last. Tonight games are (1) Mexico at Trinidad and Tobago (2) Costa Rica at Honduras and (3) United States at Panama.
Texas and Texas-based players involvement in Friday-Matchday 3:
Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca-LigaMX) 90 minutes
Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders-MLS) 90 minutes-3 goals
Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo-MLS) 90 minutes
Maynor Figueroa (FC Dallas-MLS) 90 minutes
Rommel Quito (Houston Dynamo) 43 minutes-left game with a shoulder injury
Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo) 75 minutes
Rommel Quioto’s availability for the Honduras-Costa Rica match, and also this Saturday night’s Houston Dynamo game against New York Red Bulls, is in question. Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article by Corey Roepken as saying that he didn’t believe that Quioto was going to be available this week.
Matchday 3 of the final CONCACAF region qualification round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup takes place this Friday, March 24. Each team will play home and away against the other five countries between November 2016 and October 2017. The top three teams with the most points (3 per win/1 per draw) automatically qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The fourth place team will play a home and away series in November against the fifth place team in the Asian Confederation to determine one of the final two qualifying slots for the tournament.
Points +/- goal differential
Costa Rica 6 +6
Mexico 4 +1
Panama 4 +1
Honduras 3 -1
Trinidad & Tobago 0 -4
United States 0 -5
Matchday 3 Schedule:
6:00 p.m. CDT Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama (Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, Trinidad)
7:30 p.m. CDT Mexico vs. Costa Rica (Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico)
9:30 p.m. CDT United States vs. Honduras (Avaya Stadium San Jose, CA.)
FC Dallas/Houston Dynamo players on team rosters:
United States: Kellyn Acosta (FCD), Walker Zimmerman (FCD), DaMarcus Beasley (HOU)
Honduras: Maynor Figueroa (FCD), Alberth Elis (HOU), Boniek Garcia (HOU), Rommel Quioto (HOU)
Panama: Adolfo Machado (HOU)