Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Espinoza and Kamara Called Up

We're closing in on the next international break, coming up in the middle of October and headlined for KC fans by the US World Cup qualifier against Guatemala at Livestrong Sporting Park.  And while that sold out game will be absolutely huge when it comes to the USA's qualifying for the hex, some Sporting players will be busy during that stretch as well. 

The US hasn't released their roster yet, but one would expect Graham Zusi to be included in the US squad.  Two other Sporting players have been called up though.  Roger Espinoza will compete for Honduras in two extremely important qualifiers in their hopes of making the hex.  Espinoza is one of 6 MLS players included on Honduras' roster that will play in Panama on the 12th and host Canada on the 16th.  Honduras is currently in second place in Group C on 7 points, tied with Canada but ahead on goal difference.  While Honduras is in Panama Canada will be hosting Canada.  While that match is important for Honduras, the game on the 16th is going to be huge.  That game on the 16th against Canada at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula will likely be a win and you're in game. Unless Canada absolutely blows out Cuba or Panama crushes Honduras goal difference is likely going to be the deciding factor on who goes through to the Hex and who stays home.  Espinoza figures to play a vital role for Honduras in both those games.

Speaking of win and you're in games.  That's exactly the situation that Kei Kamara and Sierra Leone face in their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Tunisia. This is the second leg of their home-home series to qualify for the Cup of Nations in South Africa in January 2013.  Kamara and Sierra Leone played to a 2-2 draw against Tunisia in Freetown in September, a disappointing result as the Leone Stars twice led the game, including in the 87th minute before giving up the equalizer a minute later.  The result in Sierra Leone means that the Leone Stars are in a virtual must win in Tunisia on October 13th.  Sierra Leone will either need to win on the road, or hope for a high scoring draw (3-3 or greater) to go through automatically.  A 2-2 draw would see extra time and potentially PKs.  I would absolutely love to see Kamara get the chance to represent his country at the ACN in January.

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