We start this sport brief with Football (soccer) and the Houston Dynamo, who have qualified for the Major League Soccer playoffs in the Eastern Conference. With their 3-1 defeat over the Philadelphia Union last Saturday, they now have a standing spot in the playoffs and only one road game left in the season. The Dynamo remain undefeated at home with 25 regular season home game wins, and are now 2nd with only Real Salt Lake leading the Dynamo in their undefeated home games record with 29 undefeated home games between 2009-2011.
The Dynamo will know more about whom they will play and what seed after this Saturdays match against the Colorado Rapids. They can walk away from that match as a third, fourth, or fifth seed, depending on the Chicago Fire and NY Red Bull matches the same day.
The Dynamo also made it to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, as they played CD OLIMPIA of Honduras to a 1-1 draw. Andre Hainaults, second half header, earned the score for the Dynamo playing at home again at the BBVA Compass stadium. They now have won Group 3 and wait to see whom they will play, as the next round is set for March in a home and home aggregate format.
Dynamo playoff tickets will go on sale October 31– you can call 713 276 GOAL for tickets.
In World Cup Qualifying in this region, the US were able to defeat Antigua and Barbuda 2-1 in what was supposed to be a walk over for the US as they played in Antigua. A 90-minute goal by Eddie Johnson the US team the win in this important Group A match.
Mexico, who already qualified, played Guyana in Houston at the BBVA Compass Stadium in their Group B qualifier. The question that has to be asked is… Where are all the Mexican football fans? The passion is always there when the tricolor plays in the United States, but there were a lot of empty seats at this match. During the match, Javier Hernandez missed a penalty kick as goalkeeper Derrick Carter brought down the Mexicans in the box for the penalty, but Hernandez’s kick went high. It was Mexico that held most of the possession the majority of the first half, but Guyana’s Gregory Richardson and Charles Pollard came close to shocking this partisan crowd of Mexicans. However, the 0-0 score at the end of the first half does not do justice to the dominance of the Mexican side. It was Andres Guardado who finally put the Guyanan side away with a goal off the corner kick from the left side at the top of the box. Minutes after that, in the 80th minute, Mexico scored again. Then, Charles Pollard made the mistake of scoring for Mexico, giving Mexico the lead by 3-0. Mexico, in the 85th minute, continued with a header by Javier Hernandez again inside the box, making it 4-0. Then, 30 yards away, a terrific strike at the 86th minute by Angel Reyna made it 5-0 Mexico.
On the talking points for the Guyana team is the loss of their head coach Jamel Shabazz, who was missing from the team’s matches in the United States on case of a family emergency. They lost both of their matches in their WCQ, but it’s the biggest advancement for the tiny country which, for years, dominated the sport of cricket. If their coach had been there, it might have made a difference, but Mexico has been so strong that one wonders if anyone can compete with them.
Canada finished up their WCQ against Cuba with a 3-0 victory in Toronto. On the second round of qualifying, October 16, Mexico defeated El Salvador 2-0 and Costa Rica defeated Guyana 7-0. The US defeated Guatemala 3-1, Jamaica defeated Antigua and Barbuda 4-1, Cuba played Panama to a 1-1 draw, and Canada fell apart and lost to Honduras 8-1. So, the next round is to be played in February, as the schedule has not been announced yet.
The countries in the next round for World Cup Qualifying for Brazil 2014 are as follows (only 3 teams will move on to play in the World Cup in Brazil):
In other news, next month will mark the first annual running of the United States Grand Prix at the new Circuit of the Americas track right outside of Austin, Texas, November 16-18. Last week, Champion Mario Andretti made a test drive on the track and commented about how great the track was. The track is located in southeast Travis County, just south of the airport. The track itself is 3.4 miles for the F1 track, and a shorter 2.4- mile track for other types of races, with a total cost of $350-450 million– all with private donations. The racetrack’s Communications Director has stated that there has been worldwide interest and media interest in the race. Over the weekend there will be shuttles going to and from the race, and after the race, there will be a variety of additional races coming to the track, as well as concerts, booked by Live Nation, in the amphitheater that is currently under construction.
In Rugby, the University of Houston is playing St. Edwards at 1:30pm at the Houston Amateur Sports park off of 288. The New Zealand All Blacks played Australia to an 18-18 draw at the Bledsoe Cup ending New Zealand’s international win streak.
There is more drama from international cycling, as Texas cyclist Lance Armstrong is dropped by two of his sponsors, Oakley and Nike. This comes after the International Cycling Union stripped Armstrong of his 7 Tour De France wins– leaving Greg LeMond as the only American to win the Tour De France, which he won it 3 times. LeMond has come out and called for the resignation of Pat McQuaid, the President of the International Cycling Union. In statements made on Facebook, LeMond has stated that McQuaid has led the sport in cover-ups and helped Lance Armstrong in the process of his doping allegations.
That’s it for now… thanks!