CONCACAF Preview: Honduras ready to clinch
It smells good: A delicious Hex sandwich is just about to come out of the kitchen. The United States is the crispy piece of top bread, while Jamaica is the soggy bottom part. In the middle, we have some delectable Latin American carnes. Costa Rica finished cooking last week, Honduras is just about ready, Mexico appears like they will make it the table medium-rare and Panama may just be too raw to serve.
Costa Rica vs. Mexico
All eyes are on Mexico. It's hardly done and dusted for El Tri, but they are in a great position to at least clinch the fourth spot and an International-playoff berth that would see them play New Zealand. However, if Honduras puts up a real stinker, Mexico could jump into third, qualifying for the big show automatically. Although it's a long shot, Mexico will roll out their A squad to close out a poor campaign. Costa Rica is already assured an automatic spot, so they may be tempted to get the scrubs in. As a result, Mexico wins away from home 2-1.
Jamaica vs. Honduras
The Hondurans need a single point to get through to the World Cup finals. Jerry Bengston will look to continue his solid form (at International level) and is a solid bet to add to his 9 qualifying goals. Combined, both teams have let in 21 goals in the Hex, so defensive mastery may not be on the slate for this match. Nothing to lose for the Jamaicans, while Honduras has it all to play for. It should be an open match with a few goals. 3-1 Honduras.
Panama vs. United States
Panama still has a chance to qualify and they will do everything they can to keep their slim hopes alive. That should bode well for Jurgen Klnsmann who will have a chance to evaluate potential bubble players that are competing for a spot on next summer's roster. Clerence Goodson and Brad Guzan are two assured backups who will get the starting nod while Sacha Klejstan may also get the chance to win himself a spot in Brazil from the kickoff. Could end up being entertaining: United States, 3-1.
*All matches at 9:30 p.m.