Thursday, March 22
Stories Of the Day: Shock and Awe
Pissed Off Peter: First there was a kerfuffle in Philadelphia over Danny Califf being benched without explanation. It has since been allegedly calmed. Now, coach Peter Nowak is miffed over the US call-up of his Union defender Sheanon Williams for the U23 National Team at the last minute to replace Molde’s Josh Gatt.
Hard Route Becomes Impossible Path: After the first day of action in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament, it is pretty clear what lies ahead for everyone. The race in Group A was to finish first and, likely, avoid playing Mexico, as the winner of the other group, in the semifinals. With the US getting an easy 6-0 victory on 10-man Cuba, the advantage is clearly in the hosts favor now as Canada and El Salvador did themselves no favors in a scoreless draw. Though odds were against it, they both probably hoped they had a chance at taking the top spot if they could earn a draw against the US, but now they will be left scrambling to better one another in the remaining two contests to finish second just to keep hopes alive that a miracle 90 minutes against Mexico will result in an Olympic berth.
Wonder what thoughts were going through Nowak's mind as the game finished out with Williams on the bench? At the very least, he had to be happy to see Freddy Adu hit a fantastic strike.