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A day of worldwide soccer drama commences

Let’s face it, the one soccer event that captivates the masses, even here in Pittsburgh — is the World Cup.
We’ve already seen a number of team qualify during some of the weekend action — like Egypt getting through.

Another remarkable feat took place when Iceland advanced on Monday for the first time in its history, and as the smallest nation ever to be in the World Cup finals. The nation with a population (337,780) only slightly bigger than how many reside within the City of Pittsburgh (303,625).
On Tuesday, while the United States concludes play in the Hexagonal finale against Trinidad & Tobago (8 p.m. – Be In Sports), there will be plenty of other drama that includes the other teams in CONCACAF playing simultaneously.  This is a long standing world football tradition that American sports have begun to emulate recently (Major League Baseball now plays all the final games on the final day of the season at the same time).
Here are the scenarios for the U.S. as they currently sit in third place (with both Mexico and Costa Rica above them having already cliniched):

  • With a victory over Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday night, the United States will join Mexico and Costa Rica as CONCACAF’s automatic qualifiers.
  • With a draw, Bruce Arena’s squad will advance, unless Panama or Honduras wins by an obscene number of goals (eight and 12, respectively)
  • With a defeat, the Americans better hope that Panama and Honduras fail to beat Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively. If one wins, the U.S. team is headed to the two-leg intercontinental playoff against the Socceroos — that’s the Australians if you didn’t know — who beat Syria way, way earlier today down under, 2-1 to clinch its spot in the playoff. If both win, the Americans will land in fifth place and out of the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

If you are interested in watching the U.S. qualifier with a group in our area, the local chapter of the American Outlaws will be hosting a watch party at Highmark Stadium’s pub beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Qualifiers will also be wrapping up in Europe (2:45 p.m. EST kickoff time for all games) and South America (7:15 EST kickoff time for all games), where many spots are still on the line. In South America, it will be especially crazed, as spots 2 through 5 are still up for grabs. And yes, Argentina, and Lionel Messi are in severe danger of missing the World Cup.
If you are trying to keep up, here’s who’s qualified so far:

If you are going to try to catch the games on television or on live feeds here’s some of schedule courtesy of Soccer America:
Concacaf World Cup Qualifier
Trinidad & Tobago-USA 8 pm.
Ecuador-Argentina (delay) 11 pm.
UEFA World Cup Qualifier
Portugal-Switzerland 2:45 pm.
CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifier
Ecuador-Argentina 7:20 pm.
UEFA World Cup Qualifier
Netherlands-Sweden 2:45 pm.
Concacaf World Cup Qualifier
Honduras-Mexico 11 pm.
Concacaf World Cup Qualifier
Trinidad & Tobago-USA 8 pm.
Liga MX
Toluca-Lobos BUAP live 10 pm.
Conmebol World Cup Qualifiers
Paraguay-Venezuela 7:15 pm.
Brazil-Chile 7:15 pm.
Ecuador-Argentina 7:15 pm.
Peru-Colombia 7:15 pm.
Uruguay-Bolivia 7:15 pm.
UEFA World Cup Qualifiers
Netherlands-Sweden 2:45 pm.
Estonia-Bosnia & Herzegovina 2:45 pm.
Latvia-Andorra 2:45 pm.
Luxembourg-Bulgaria 2:45 pm.
United Soccer League
Rochester-Bethlehem 7 pm.
Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers
Honduras-Mexico 8 pm.
Panama-Costa Rica 8 pm.
Trinidad & Tobago-USA 8 pm.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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