The qualifying process in the CONCACAF region ended with great surprises. The first two games of the hexagonal made it clear which teams almost have a spot in Russia and those that will have to struggle to get one. The USMNT got off to a bad start: a 2-1 loss to Mexico in Columbus and a 4-0 humiliating defeat by Costa Rica. The stars and stripes are bottom of the six-nation group. Costa Rica is the big surprise by leading the hex with two convincing victories, and a good goal difference. Mexico moved up to second place. Panama and Honduras are also battling for a spot.
BRUCE ARENA RETURNS AS U.S. COACH
Klinsmann’s poor results got him fired at the end of last year. And Bruce Arena arrived who coached the U.S. national team from 1998–2006, leading them to the quarterfinal round of the 2002 World Cup. He was fired after a disappointing performance during the group stage elimination in the 2006 World Cup. The five-time MLS Cup champion has now been given a second chance. He arrives with far more experience than he had when his first national team. With a new coach and a few months to prepare, our team looks to accomplish a difficult but not an impossible task.
What to expect
Los Ticos expect to win their CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, regardless of the opponent. Costa Rica sits alone at the top of the six-team hexagonal field.
Mexico national team started the year with optimism. Three of its next four qualifiers are at home, El Tri has a great opportunity to clinch its place.
Los Canaleros are aiming for their first world finals. “If we can win our home matches, we’re through to the World Cup”, said defensive Roman Torres.
The team hopes to make a third World Cup in a row. The goal of Los Catrachos is to finish among the top three to secure an automatic berth to Russia 2018.
Trinidad and Tobago
The team is participating in its first hexagonal since 2010, unfortunately has failed to take a single point. The Soca Warriors’ hope for a fresh start.
Despite bad results, they’re still favorites to finish in the top three. “We have enough talent to build a good team and end up in Russia,” said Arena.