The schedule for CONCACAF qualifying is out, and it is not pretty. The first round, againt Pot d teams, requires the U.S. to play 2 or 4 games in 181 days. Plenty of time to work callups into the MLS calendar, especially since the first 3 dates are prior to the MLS season. Then things get strange. Round II, with 3 groups of 4 teams playing a home and home series for a total of 6 games, is crammed into a 90 day period. Six games in 90 days, right in the heat of the MLS season and playoffs. Keep in mind that no other federation has a cram schedule like this; CONMEBOL plays 2 games here and there over a 26 month period. UEFA gets alots of time in between game brackets. Otherwise they could not get players relased to play for the national team. Please recall the chaos in August-September, 2001. the U.S. was reeling from whatever happened in Azteca. Coach Arena faced major problems getting the players he wanted from MLS, and we fielded sub-par teams in DC and Costa Rica, where we got our head handed to us. There were other issues, including the insanity of putting the Honduras game in DC, but a big factor was the inability to get top MLS players released from their teams. I could go on, but I will give you another example. In the final game of Round I qualifying, in Barbados, we played our 3rd or 4th string keeper in this critical game because the better keepers could not get released from their club teams. We may be forced into fielding a second strong team or worse for much of Round II. Mexico does not have as big a problem because Round II occurs early in the Apertura, when it is easier to get players released. Thanks FIFA. Thanks CONCACAF.