MLS Daily Sweeper, 3.18.08: Amado Guevara’s, Obsession; Cramped in CONCACAF; + One More

Knowing I not only buried this feature, but essentially chastised myself for ever creating it, it feels like I should acknowledge that – no links, though. That said, my New Year’s resolutions usually die a quiet death somewhere around January 10 and this one was no different. Well, there was my resolution to go bald…that one is going like gangbusters.

Moving on the stories I liked/that mattered today…

– You’ve all heard by now about Honduran midfielder Amado Guevara’s apparent, looming return to Major League Soccer (MLS). (UPDATE: Soccer Insider reported later today that this deal is in “long-shot” mode. Well…dammit, people.) But I haven’t yet read anything as his motivation. He’s not positioning himself for a hop to Europe, not at his age, and it sounds like things were going well enough in Honduras: so, what is it that keeps Amado coming back? And it’s worth remembering that he made some noises about wanting to return last year, so this isn’t exactly spur of the moment. Anyway, it sounds like he’ll head to Toronto, news that has the locals (somewhat over, perhaps even irrationally) excited. Some call it, desire; Amado calls it….obsession.

– Andrew Dixon, of Gol Noir and a contributor to USSoccerplayers.com, wrote a column this morning about feeling uninspired by the opposition in CONCACAF. He figures we’ve outgrown our small pond. On a coincidental, yet somehow related note, MLS Rumors passed on word (well, it actually appears closer to a comment of dubious context and significance, but let’s run with it) on MLS clubs getting into the Copa Libertadores. Doubt this is anywhere near happening, but count my corner of Center Holds It as four-square behind the (non-existent) proposal. Actually, count me a fan of merging CONCACAF and CONMEBOL for World Cup, and all other, qualifying, having the smaller nations do preliminary qualifying, etc. Does this mean we’d miss out on the World Cup – perhaps even more than from time to time? Yup. But the virtually automatic bid we’re now getting through CONCACAF leaves me feel cheap and dirty. We should earn our bid. It should make us stronger on the occasions we do arrive. Continue reading

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CONCACAF Qualifying: It’s Started….Somewhere…

Wow. If I hadn’t read this MLSnet.com fluff-piece on Khano Smith, I wouldn’t have known that the preliminary qualifying round for CONCACAF had started this past weekend. Obviously, given Smith’s name coming up, Bermuda was one of the participants. Since the article was written on Friday, there’s nothing in there about whether Bermuda beat the Cayman Islands…time to see what I can dig up…

Hmm…ESPN does all right, but only so far as posting the original draw. If there’s a CONCACAF specific corner of the site, I’m not seeing it…wait, no, I found it. There’s a “results” link just above the schedule’s title and that takes you to ESPN’s “Live Scores” section. Click back to February 3 and – voila! – there’s your result: Bermuda 1-1 Cayman Islands (ouch…crappy start…isn’t it? I didn’t even know the Cayman Islands had a team…I mean, I assumed they did, but…you know what I mean. Then again, I probably wouldn’t know much about Bermuda, either, if the Revs didn’t go down there every preseason).

Long parenthetical rambles aside, it looks like more qualifying games are coming on February 6 – including, yep, the relevant-to-Yanks game between Dominica and Barbados. You can get the complete preliminary qualifying schedule on the Khano Smith profile.

So, it has begun…damn shame it’s not on TV. Ugly as I imagine they are, I’d watch these things. The bigger shame, though, is the fact the African Cup of Nations isn’t on a more accessible outlet

(UPDATE: A couple other sites flagged the kick-off of CONCACAF qualifying: Sideline Views and Soccer Insider (quite probably among others).  Steve Goff, author of the Insider and an infernal busy-body to boot, one-upped my “coverage” by doing the obvious: digging up a match report and reaction piece….damn you, Goff!!  As it turns out, though, this was a bad result for Bermuda…and not just because they played this one at home.)