EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE CHANGES YOUTH TOURNAMENT QUALIFYING FORMAT; SUPPORTS U.S. WORLD CUP BID
Canada, Mexico and the United States will play off against the seven Central American nations for five places in the CONCACAF men's youth championships beginning with the 2011 tournament, a change approved Monday by the confederation's Executive Committee.
The three North American entrants previously had qualified automatically for both the under-17 and under-20 championships, but now will be grouped with their UNCAF counterparts with a procedure yet to be determined. The Caribbean will qualify three sides for the eight-team biennial tournament.
The qualifying will be slightly different for the CONCACAF U-17 Championship in 2011. Since Mexico is hosting the U-17 World Cup that year, it will qualify automatically for the FIFA finals.
The board also voiced unanimous support for the United States' bid to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022. Executive Committee member and U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati outlined the major aspects of the bid in a video and slide-show presentation to the panel.
COSTA RICA DENIED THIRD STRAIGHT TRIP TO WORLD CUP
Uruguay held Costa Rica to a 1-1 draw Wednesday night, claiming the last berth in the 32-team World Cup field and denying the Ticos a third straight trip to the quadrennial championship.
Uruguay enjoyed the majority of possession and chances and advanced with a 2-1 aggregate victory in the two-leg playoff.
Costa Rica, which led the United States by two goals with 18 minutes remaining on October 14 in a match where a victory would have earned it a fourth appearance at the World Cup, was 30 seconds from a berth but surrendered a goal 4½ minutes into injury time to settle for a 2-2 draw.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REALLOCATES BERTHS FOR NEXT YEAR'S TOURNAMENT
With the Group Stage of the CONCACAF Champions League now complete and results analyzed, the Executive Committee approved a reallocation of berths, giving Panama one automatic place in next season's Group Stage while making both of El Salvador's qualifiers go through the Preliminary Round.
Neither Firpo this season nor Metapan in 2008 managed to advance past the Preliminary Round, and of the two teams that did earn a direct berth, Metapan won only one of five games this season while Firpo went 2-2-2 in 2008.
Panama, however, has had three of its four teams advance past the Preliminary Round into the Group Stage and this season had one, Arabe Unido, reach the quarterfinals. It will play Cruz Azul in the final eight in March.
UNITED STATES, CANADA FALL IN EUROPEAN FRIENDLIES; HONDURAS LOSES
In their second round of international friendlies last week, the United States, Canada and Honduras all lost on Wednesday (November 18).
The Americans lost 3-1 to Denmark in Aarhus. Jeff Cunningham gave the United States the lead, however the Danish scored three goals in the second half to get the victory.
Canada lost 1-0 to Poland in Bydgoszcz on Wednesday. Maciej Rybus scored the game's only goal in the ninth minute.
Following a victory on Saturday at home against Latvia, Honduras fell 2-1 to Peru on Wednesday in Miami. David Suazo scored the lone goal for the Catrachos.
GROUPS ANNOUNCED FOR 2010 CONCACAF U-20 WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT
Defending and two-time champion Canada will face Costa Rica, Cuba and host Guatemala in Group A in the first round of the 2010 CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship, while the reigning world champion United States will be grouped with Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica in Group B..
With the field set, the eight teams will head to Guatemala City for the January 19-30 tourney at the 17,000-seat Estadio Cementos Progreso. After the last two tournaments were held in Mexico, this will be the first time since the event began as an under-19 championship in 2002 that it will be held in Central America.
GROUPS ANNOUNCED FOR 2010 CONCACAF U-17 WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT
For the Women's Under-17 Championship, the defending champion United States will face host Costa Rica, Haiti and either the Dominican Republic or Cayman Islands in Group B. Group A will be comprised of Canada, Mexico, Jamaica and a second team from Central America.
Costa Rica will stage the second U-17 championship March 9-20 in Estadio Ricardo Saprissa and Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto in the San Jose area. The Dominican Republic and Cayman Islands must face each other in a two-leg playoff for the last of three berths from the Caribbean, set for December 5 and December 12. The remaining Central American side will be decided among Panama, Nicaragua and El Salvador starting Tuesday night and finishing Saturday at the Virgilio Tejeira Stadium in Penonomé, Panama
REAL SALT LAKE WIN MLS CUP; CLAIM CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE BERTH
Real Salt Lake will join the Columbus Crew in the Group Stage of next season's CONCACAF Champions League, earning the second spot in the main phase of the continental club championship with its victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup final.
Sunday's 5-4 victory on penalties after a 1-1 draw marked the first time in the 14-year history of Major League Soccer that a team with a losing record in the MLS regular season has won the title. The Galaxy will play in the Preliminary Round along with the Seattle Sounders, which clinched its berth in the Champions League with a 2-1 victory September 2 against D.C. United to win the Lamar Hunt Cup.
Columbus, which will face Toluca in the quarterfinals of the this season's Champions League in March, claimed its spot in next year's Group Stage by finishing with the best record in the MLS regular season.
2010 CONCACAF WORLD CUP QUALIFICATION
09.05.2009: San Jose, Costa Rica; Estadio Ricardo Saprissa
COSTA RICA - MEXICO 0:3 (0:1)
09.05.2009: Sandy, Utah USA; Rio Tinto Stadium
UNITED STATES - EL SALVADOR 2:1 (2:1)
09.05.2009: San Pedro Sula, HONDURAS; Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano
HONDURAS - TRINDAD 4:1 (2:0)
09.09.2009: Port of Spain, TRINIDAD; Hasely Crawford Stadium
TRINIDAD - UNITED STATES 1:0 (0:0)
09.09.2009: San Salvador, EL SALVADOR; Estadio Cuscatlan
EL SALVADOR - COSTA RICA 1:0 (0:0)
09.09.2009: Ciudad de Mexico, MEXICO; Estadio Azteca
MEXICO - HONDURAS 1:0 (0:0)
10.10.2009: Ciudad de Mexico, MEXICO; Estadio Azteca
MEXICO - EL SALVADOR 4:0 (1:0)
10.10.2009: San Pedro Sula, HONDURAS; Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano
HONDURAS - UNITED STATES 3:2 (0:0)
10.10.2009: San Jose, Costa Rica; Estadio Ricardo Saprissa
COSTA RICA - TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 0:4 (1:0)
10.14.2009: Port of Spain, TRINIDAD; Hasely Crawford Stadium
TRINIDAD - MEXICO 2:2 (1:0)
10.14.2009: San Salvador, EL SALVADOR; Estadio Cuscatlan
EL SALVADOR - HONDURAS 0:1 (0:0)
10.14.2009: Washington, D.C. USA; RFK Stadium
UNITED STATES - COSTA RICA 2:2 (0:2)
09.30.2009: Dallas, Texas, USA; Cotton Bowl
MEXICO - COLOMBIA 1:2 (0:1)
11.14.2009: Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Estadio Nacional
HONDURAS - LATVIA 2:1 (1:0)
11.14.2009: Bratislava, Slovakia; TBD
SLOVAKIA - UNITED STATES 1:0 (1:0)
11.14.2009: Skopje, Macedonia; TBD
MACEDONIA - CANADA 3:0 (0:0)
11.17.2009: Bloemfontein, South Africa;
SOUTH AFRICA - JAMAICA 0:0 (0:0)
11.18.2009: Aarhus, Denmark; NRGi Park
DENMARK - UNITED STATES 3:1 (0:1)
11.18.2009: Miami, Florida, USA; Land Shark Stadium
HONDURAS - PERU 1:2 (0:1)