By Amon Kehr
The United States salvaged a point toward its hope of qualifying for the World Cup thanks to Bobby Wood. Wood, a striker, evened the game up late for the U.S. with a goal in the 85th minute against Honduras. The game finished 1-1 Tuesday night in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. This draw comes after a 0-2 loss to Costa Rica on Sept. 1. The U.S. made its job of qualifying for the World Cup more difficult after its last two results. Now sitting fourth in the CONCACAF standing, leading Honduras on goal difference, the U.S. is in trouble. There are two more games left for the U.S. during qualifying: Panama on Oct. 6 and Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10. The U.S. needs to get good results out of those games if it wants to qualify for the World Cup this summer. With one point separating Panama and the U.S., the game Oct. 6 is important. The U.S. needs to finish in the top 3 to automatically qualify for the World Cup. A fourth place finish means the U.S. will play in the inter-confederation playoffs against the fifth place team from Asian qualifying.
United States Soccer Federation rejects North American Soccer League’s Division-Two application
The United States Soccer Federation rejected North American Soccer League’s attempts to hold on to its division two status. The league will likely have to drop to a third division status. NASL, which is a professional minor soccer league, was granted waivers by USSF so it could hold on to its division-two status. USSF decided to end those waivers with NASL, forcing it to meet the standards for a division-two league or accept becoming a division-three league. This is big because it could mean a shake up for all of the lower division leagues in the U.S. Last year, USSF granted the same waivers it gives to NASL to the United Soccer League, the only other fully professional minor soccer league. This meant that USL, a league that has held division-three status for a while, had co-division two status with NASL. Now the question is will USSF continue to give USL waivers on division-two status or force them to go back to division three? Overall, this is bad news for NASL because of the instability of the league. After the 2016 season for NASL, the league lost four of its teams. Two of the teams, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury, joined the USL, while Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Rayo Oklahoma City ceased operations. USSF’s decision could be detrimental to NASL as a league and could mean more teams leaving or going out of business.
Three more countries have qualified for 2018 Russia World Cup
Eight countries have qualified for the World Cup. Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Belgium qualified for a spot in this summer’s big event. These three countries join Brazil, Russia, Iran, Mexico and Japan as countries that have qualified for the World Cup. Saudi Arabia is the only team of the group so far which was not a part of the last World Cup in Brazil. However, it’s Saudi Arabia’s fifth time making it to the World Cup. Saudi Arabia’s last appearance in the World Cup was in 2006, where it failed to get out of the group stage. There are still 24 spots left for qualifying for the tournament and many will be wrapped up in the next two months.