Tiger Who?

Sometime around 7 PM yesterday, as some guy named Woods slammed home the tying goal, taking the match to PK's, it dawned on me that the weekend had been nothing but one long soccer game.

Trying to break it down into actual 90 minute contests became more and more difficult, particularly when the one you looked forward to the most, US vs. Barbados, was over in about 15 minutes after which time you were hoping Bradley would start taking players off, like they do in Satuday morning sandbox leagues.

Because 11 on six might have made a game of it. Maybe. Perhaps if he also told everyone to only use their left foot. Ten touches before every shot. No crossing the halfway line.

Or maybe none of it would have helped. The USA has now played Barbados three times and the aggregate score is 19-1.

Recently, Landon Donovan has been suggesting that it's just a bit absurd for teams like the US and Mexico to play these early round matches against no-hope teams.

The thing to do, according to LDo and others, is to give the top ranked teams a bye and let the minnows have a shot against lesser competition.

This excellent theory took a hard shot to the kidneys, however, when Mexico (Motto: "Land of a 1000 Coaches") took the field against hapless Belize (have I used "You Gotta Belize" yet? Can't recall) and left their confidence, their manhood and any shot at credibility they had on the field where, incredibly, it took the Tri a full hour to break the 0 - 0 draw and crawled back to the locker room with a 2 - 0 win against a team that would have trouble beating - well, Barbados.

And the second goal, a stoppage time PK by Jered Borgetti, was mere window dressing that isn't going to do much to convince Mexico's fans that the game was something less than a disaster.

Belize is so hopeless that this game - the Belize "Home Leg" - had to be played in the US because they don't have a single field which meets FIFA specs.

(I'd add something about the $22 million in FIFA development funds that Jack Warner just spent on his personal palace in T&T and ask why 1/20th of that couldn't have been spent on a few bags of grass seed for Belize, but I hate to be a Johnny One-Note.)

Still, the howls which are surely rising from the depths of Mexico's soccer soul today will surely pale in comparison to Brazil, who actually LOST to decidedly unfancied Paraguay 2-0, despite the latter playing almost the entire second half a man down.

Barely escaping a similar fate, Argentina actually needed a stoppage time goal to salvage a tie against Ecuador, setting up a Wednesday Belo Horizonte match against Brazil that will feature two teams in lousy moods.

Wish we could see THAT one.

Completing the weekend of Qualifying madness, Jack W's T&T side dropped a stunner to tiny Bermuda 2-1 behind two goals from MLS washout John Barry Nusum.

Only Jamaica joined the US in playing to form, dropping the Bahamas 7-0 on goals from six different players.

So in light of the results from around the hemisphere, maybe instead of saying "Ho hum" about the win over Barbados we should be getting a little nervous about the fact that Barbados only needs to beat the US by nine to win the round on aggregate.

Somehow, it doesn't seem quite as absurd as it did three days ago.