The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

MAY  2013
                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.







World Cup Qualifications

by Jerry Keys

The CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) qualifications for the 2014 World Cup are almost complete. Of the original thirty-five teams, six remain. Qualifying seeds were a bit different than in the qualifications for the 2010 World Cup. Four years ago, the top thirteen seeds received a first round bye. This time the top six seeds were given a bye to the third round and teams ranked seven to twenty-five a bye to Round two.

A majority of the teams seeded twenty-six to thirty-five were small islands in the Caribbean Sea. These ten teams played a home and away series (some games drawing only 100-150 spectators) in the Summer 2011. Round two consisted of six groups of four teams with the winner of each group advancing. Second round action took place in the Fall 2011. Round three included the top six seeds, United States, Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Cuba.

Round three was three groups of four teams with the winner and runner-up advancing to the fourth round. Round three action took place in the Summer and Fall 2012. In the six round three games the United States compiled a 4-1-1 record. All three home games were victories and suffered their only loss at Jamaica and only draw at Guatemala. Five of the six teams given byes to Round three advanced, sixth ranked Cuba failed to advance; replaced by Panama.

Fourth round games began in February and will conclude in October. Each team plays the other five in a home and away series. Action is mull until next month.

The current standings are:

Panama 1-0-2; 5 points

Costa Rica 1-1-1; 4

United States 1-1-1; 4

Honduras 1-1-1; 4

Mexico 0-0-3; 3

Jamaica 0-1-2; 2

(three points for each win, one point for draw)

The U.S. defeated Costa Rica (home), received a draw with Mexico (away) and lost to Honduras (away). The seven remaining games for the U.S. are: June 7 at Jamaica, June 11 Panama, June 18 Honduras, September 6 at Costa Rica, September 10 Mexico, October 11 Jamaica and October 15 at Panama. Three of the six teams will advance to Cup play and the fourth will square off with the OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) winner, New Zealand, in a home and away series for a spot in Cup play.

Jerry Keys

The AFC (Asia) is in the fourth round action, the CAF (Africa) second round, CONMEBOL (South America) round-robin and UEFA (Europe) first round. Europe will send thirteen teams to Cup contention, and Africa five. Asia and South America are guaranteed four with a possible fifth being decided in a play-off, and North America three. The fourth place North American team will face OFC winner for final spot. The 2010 Cup winner, Brazil, gets an automatic entry and hosts the '14 event.


Recently, there was a story out of the Miami Daily News claiming Alex Rodriguez's latest injury is probably going to end his career. Rolling back the time machine about six years to when Barry Bonds eclipsed Hank Aaron's home run record. Speculation swirled about PED use by Bonds and I was in that group. I commented how "ARod" would pass Bonds and bring new luster to the home run crown.

Alas, it was not far in the future he admitted to using PEDs. News outlets are attempting to tie him to additional reported use at later dates than he previously admitted to. Although Albert Pujols has fallen on less attractive stats and broken millions of hearts in St. Louis, I still have the utmost respect for him as a player. He has never been cited in any PED investigation.

Pujols is the best bet to break the home run record, but if he does not, it does not matter. As long as he played the game without illegal substances, he will be remembered as an honest baseball player. Sometimes that means more than any record.

Just ask "Mr. Friendly" Bonds.