Panama, Canada, Guatemala in position to clinch semifinal round qualifying berths
Panama, Canada and Guatemala could clinch places in the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying on Tuesday, becoming the first teams to advance past the first group stage and join the six seeded nations.
Panama needs only a victory at home over Nicaragua to assure itself of winning Group C and advancing to face Honduras and Cuba.
Canada, which leads Group D by four points, can advance with a victory at home over Puerto Rico and a win by St. Lucia at St. Kitts & Nevis.
The winner of Group D also joins Honduras and Cuba in the semifinal round. Similarly, Guatemala, which leads Group E by six points , can advance with a win at home over Belize, and Grenada and St. Vincent & the Grenadines draw.
The Group E winner is set to face Jamaica, the United States and the winner of Group F.
Canada, Guatemala and Panama all moved closer to the semifinal round with victories on Friday as the first group stage reached its midpoint. Canada won 7-0 at St. Lucia; Guatemala won 3-0 at St. Vincent & the Grenadines; and Panama won 5-0 at Dominica.
El Salvador consolidated its hold on the lead in Group A with a 2-1 win over the Dominican Republic; Guyana moved atop Group B with a 2-0 victory at Barbados and Bermuda's 2-1 upset of Trinidad & Tobago; and Haiti and Antigua continued to their likely showdown for the Group F crown, each claiming a third straight win.
Besides the games involving, Panama, Canada and Guatemala, seven other matches are set for Tuesday.
For complete results, schedules and standings, please visit the World Cup qualifying page at CONCACAF.com
Blazer to depart as General Secretary
General Secretary Chuck Blazer on Thursday announced he will leave his position on December 31 to pursue other career opportunities in the burgeoning industry of international football.
Blazer, 66, will end a 21-year tenure during which CONCACAF's revenues increased from $140,000 to $40 million and became one of the world's most influential and prestigious football organizations, with 40 member countries, a roster of prestigious and well attended tournaments and a strong track record of enhancing the sport's popularity and reach. Blazer will retain his seat on the Executive Committee of FIFA, which he has held since 1997.
Galaxy, Seattle claim first berths for next year's CCL
The Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy became the first teams to secure a place in next year's CONCACAF Champions League.
The Seattle Sounders FC, already qualified for this season's quarterfinals, will return to the CONCACAF Champions League for a third straight year next season, claiming the first berth in the 24-team field with a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire on October 4 to win a third consecutive U.S. Open Cup.
The Galaxy clinched the Supporters' Shield as the team with Major League Soccer's best regular-season record when the Philadelphia Union beat Seattle 2-0 Saturday night.
Two U.S. berths remain unclaimed from the United States, to be filled by the MLS Cup champion and runner-up.
Costa Rica, Guatemala earn last places in Vancouver
Costa Rica and Guatemala advanced to the CONCACAF Olympic women's qualifying finals, taking the top two spots in the five-team Central American tourney.
Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno scored three second-half goals and led Costa Rica to a 5-2 win over Guatemala on Thursday, sending "Las Ticas" to the CONCACAF finals for a third straight time.
Las Ticas finished atop the Central American qualifying standings with four wins in as many matches and12 points, three better than Guatemala, which claimed the last berth in the eight-team CONCACAF field with a 2-1 victory over El Salvador on Saturday.
Costa Rica and Guatemala joined Caribbean qualifiers Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti as well as the North American automatic qualifiers Canada, Mexico and the United States for the finals in Vancouver, British Columbia, January 19-29.
Trinidad replaces Guatemala in Pan Am Games men's field
Trinidad & Tobago will replace Guatemala in the men's tournament at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Guatemala was withdrawn by the Guatemala Olympic Committee for non-compliance with protocol.
Panama and Honduras, who finished just behind of Guatemala in the final standings of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in April, declined the last-minute invitations to replace Guatemala in the eight-team competition, set for October 19-28 since their teams are not currently in training .
U.S. gets first victory under Klinsmann; Costa Rica, Honduras fall
The United States won its first game under Juergen Klinsmann, beating Honduras 1-0 Saturday, a day after Costa Rica was beaten by Brazil 1-0.
Clint Dempsey scored the only goal for the United States in the first half, earning Klinsmann his first win in four tries as manager of the Americans.
On Tuesday, the United States will play Ecuador at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, while Honduras hosts Jamaica in La Ceiba.
Playing in San Jose, Costa Rica allowed a goal by Neymar in the 60th minute to fall to Brazil.
The match was the first of two against CONCACAF opposition for Brazil, who will play Mexico in Torreon on Tuesday.
CONCACAF teams to compete at 2011 Grand Prix de Futsal
Costa Rica, Guatemala and the U.S. will compete at the 2011 Grand Prix de Futsal in Manau, Brazil, starting on Sunday.
Costa Rica is in Group B with Paraguay, Russia and Zambia. Defending CONCACAF champion Guatemala is in Group A with Angola, Netherlands and Brazil while the U.S. is in Group C alongside Belgium, Iran and Uruguay.
The 16-team annual invitation tournament will be played at the Amadeu Texeira Arena and the Gymnasium Sesi and wrap up on October 23.