Archive for the ‘CONCACAF’ Category

The Gaffer & Hooligan Blog: CONCACAF Standing Strong

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

by Kamal Hylton

Kamal Hylton Blog





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Being a writer and podcaster that mainly covers MLS and CONCACAF, I’m taking a fair bit of pride in how well the region has done so far at the 2014 World Cup.
(Image courtesy of

(Image courtesy of

Not the most heralded of regions compared to UEFA (Europe) or CONMEBOL (South America), currently CONCACAF are 3-1-1 in the tournament. A record that is highlighted by Costa Rica’s 3-1 win against Uruguay, USA’s 2-1 win over Ghana and Mexico’s 0-0 draw over tournament hosts Brazil.

I’ve already touched on the Costa Rica game in my last Gaffer and Hooligan blog, but that was more from a Uruguay perspective.

The Ticos pulled off what has to be the shock of the tournament, not only winning but completely outplaying a far more talented side like Uruguay. Earning three huge points has turned Group D on its head, star forward Joel Campbell coming up big and helping set the table for what was to come.

Another big result for CONCACAF came Monday evening, USA picking up a much needed three points against Ghana.

John Brooks’ eighty-sixth minute winner is one of the moments of the tournament so far. The timing of his headed goal, his reaction after scoring and the numerous vine videos on social media of American Outlaw supporters groups all over the country going crazy will be a standout moment for me when the World Cup is over.

USA vs. Ghana was billed as a “must win game” for two reasons, as the Stars and Stripes attempted to get revenge on its African rivals for defeating and ultimately eliminating them from the last two World Cups. Other results also worked in the Americans favor, knowing there’s now a huge opportunity with Germany defeating Portugal 4-0 in the earlier group match.

Mexico followed up its 1-0 win over Cameroon with a credible 0-0 draw over Brazil, getting an otherworldly performance from goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

Standing tall under fire from the Brazilian attack, he kept his second clean sheet. Setting up El Tri very nicely for its final group match against Croatia next week.

Coming into the tournament, few will have had any CONCACAF teams advancing to the next round in their brackets. However, if the teams continue to perform there’s a chance that the region could see three of its four teams move on to the knockout rounds.

While some fellow Canadian National Team fans can’t bring themselves to cheer for CONCACAF rivals [particularly Honduras after losing 8-1 in World Cup Qualifying] or don’t see the regions success reflecting on or helping Canada in anyway, I take the opposite approach.

The further USA, Mexico and Costa Rica [or even Honduras if they play better] go there’s a better chance big teams around the world will look at CONCACAF players and more fans [particularly in North America] will be drawn to watching its national team, players or even local club on a more regular basis.

Be sure to keep up with my World Cup experience on the War Room Sports Blog and catch the Gaffer & Hooligan World Cup mini-shows on the War Room Sports Podcast Network.