-12 F.

When I heard the US was playing a soccer game in St Paul, MN in February, my first thought was, “Who is the nitwit that thinks this is a good idea?” Originally I was blaming US soccer. Recently I learned that it was the coach.

It’s very common around the world that when in inferior team is meeting a highly superior team, the minnow looks for any advantage. Playing at altitude and or heat. Cutting the turf a little higher, and narrowing the field dimensions are a few of the common tactics. When Venezuela plays Brazil for example. They need to do whatever to give them a chance. On the flip side, a team like Brazil, never needs to do that when playing anyone in the world.

The US is the Brazil and Honduras is Venezuela in the example. The US is the best team in Concacaf. (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football). Honduras is the bottom of the heap. No wins in 10 qualifying games. The US has players starting for some of the best teams in Europe. Spain, England, Italy, Holland and France, to drop a few names. Honduras has trouble finding players with the quality to compete at this level.

To play under those conditions was not only leaning toward the insane, but it was also physically dangerous to the players and fans. Two Honduras players were taken of the field with hypothermia as their manager rages at the US team. Read it here. The US team took advantage of the Vikings staff who offered cold weather gear and other ways to keep the players as comfortable as possible. The Honduras players were so unprepared, they made a trip to a sporting goods store to by layers of clothing.

I wanted to attend one of the three games in this qualifying window. looking at US/El Salvador in Columbus OH. US/Canada in Hamilton or US/ Honduras in St Paul. It didn’t take a lot for me to decide on Columbus. Unfortunately, Covid kept me home. I was able to score a ticket and make decent arrangement for a game in the final cycle of World Cup Qualifying, traveling to Orlando FL, at the end of March. Trading in my thermal wear with shorts and sunscreen makes me smile.

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