Saturday, September 08, 2012

Joseph Only Sporting International to Play Friday

Three of Sporting Kansas City's four players on international duty had games scheduled last night, but only one of those 3 saw the field.  Roger Espinoza's Honduras teammates were in Cuba for a mid-day kick off in their World Cup qualifier.  Espinoza had to sit out the game due to his red card against Brazil in the Olympics.  Honduras didn't need him though, after a shaky start, the Hondurans settled down and defeated Cuba 3-0 in a game that Honduras had to win to truly keep their qualification hopes alive thanks to goals by 3 other MLS players, Jerry Bengston, Victor Bernardez, and Marvin Chavez.  A loss would have left Honduras on 1 point, 5 points behind second place Panama with 3 games left.  At the half way point of this round, Honduras is currently 3rd in the group with 4 points.  Tuesday they host Cuba in the return leg while Panama host Canada.  A win there could move Honduras into second place in the group depending on the other result.  Espinoza will be available for that game after serving his suspension.

Graham Zusi was on the bench, but was an unused sub for the United States as they fell to Jamaica for the first time in history last night in Kingston.  The US got off to a great start when Clint Dempsey scored 35 seconds into the game, but it was all down hill from there.  Silly fouls just outside the box allowed Jamaica to score twice off of free kicks to win the game 2-1.  The loss puts a lot of pressure on the US in the return leg in Columbus on Tuesday.  Thanks to Guatemala's 3-1 win over Antigua, they are now tied for second place in the group with the United States.  The US definitely missed Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan last night, and the whole team will need to step up come Tuesday.  The "good news" (if there is any) for fans in Kansas City is that the loss certainly makes the game in October at Livestrong Sporting Park look much bigger than it was heading into this series of qualifiers.

Peterson Joseph was the only Sporting player to see the field as he and Haiti took on Saint Martin in their first game of qualification for the Caribbean Championships later this year.  Haiti is the host for their group that also includes Bermuda and Puerto Rico.  Joseph started, and recorded an assist as Haiti got off to a flying start, winning 7-0 over the French overseas collectivity.  Sunday, Haiti return to action against Bermuda and can clinch a spot in the next round with a win over Bermuda and Puerto Rico not losing to Saint Martin.  Haiti finish this group stage against Puerto Rico on Tuesday.  Should they advance, Haiti will play in a group with either Grenada or Guadeloupe, depending on whether they finish first or second.

Today, Kei Kamara and Sierra Leone take on Tunisia in the first leg of a home-home series in an attempt to qualify for the African Cup of Nations in January.

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