Upside down CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers

I ….


Okay, so I’ve got nothing. The U.S. Men’s National Team game just ended against Panama, and it was a thriller. After being down the entire first half and notching back the tying goal early in the second, the US mustered up whatever reserves they had left and walked out of Panama with a 3-2 win and the final three points they could gather from World Cup qualifying in CONCACAF.

That’s good news, right? Right? Well, depends on what you think about the bigger picture.

If Mexico (who played Costa Rica tonight as well) lost and Panama beat the US, they were out of World Cup.

Yes, that’s right, completely out. No second tries in New Zealand, no miracles in a do-or-die game. The Mexican National Team would have been watching World Cup 2014 from their sofas in Mexico.

But wouldn’t you just know it…. When it seemed like Panama was going to finish the game 2-1 against the US and get into World Cup themselves… Graham Zusi appeared on the end of a cross from Brad Davis and hello, there were Mexican fans cheering “USA!”

Then wonder Iceman Aron Johannsson notched his first goal in the USMNT kit. A hell of a strike too… And the deal was sealed.

So Mexico gets to fly to New Zealand for the last ditch effort to get into World Cup. And USMNT reign over all in CONCACAF for the moment. It all seems surreal. It seems … like madness. But it is CONCACAF so while we’re all still scratching our heads a bit, are any of us really surprised? … Nahhhhhh.

I have to say though, though I’m conflicted on how I feel about the US technically helping Mexico out, the players did their jobs. They didn’t hang back and not score just to keep Mexico out. They played as if it meant something, because every game in the US kit SHOULD mean something for them. And when I got past the whole “Oh my God, how am I supposed to feel about this!” I realized I was supposed to be proud of my team because they put in a damn good effort to come back from behind.

And hey, let’s look at it this way. Just think … Mexican players are sitting in the spot they are now NOT because they did well tonight against Costa Rica but because an American with really great hair decided “I’m going to go for that goal.”


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