Sunday’s biggest game is in Foxboro |

Sunday’s biggest game is in Foxboro

Column Gary Kank

Nameless game show host: Crucial, significant, vital, pivotal.

Kank: What are words describing the U.S. National soccer team’s match with Jamaica this Sunday at Foxboro Stadium?

NGSH: Right!


A sea of red white and blue will fill the Foxboro stands this Sunday, but oddly enough fans on this October afternoon won’t be rooting for the New England Patriots.

Instead, they will be cheering on the U.S. men’s soccer team, a team that will represent our nation for the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

And while the game is huge in regards to the team’s hopes of reaching next year’s World Cup in Japan/Korea, it is even bigger for our country as we are looking to get back on track.

Yes, boiling down to it, it’s just a soccer game, but wouldn’t it be nice to see the U.S. victorious?

Not like our country has even come close to slipping into a defeated attitude since the attacks, but to have a team wearing our colors come out representing us, the people of the United States, and notch a win on the world stage would maybe add that much more comfort to a nation trying to heal.

It will be no easy task, though.

After jumping out to a 4-0-1 record in their first five CONCACAF qualifying matches, the U.S. team has struggled in its last three matches, losing to Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica.

In a press conference Wednesday, U.S. head coach Bruce Arena gave his thoughts on the teams struggles.

“In all honesty, I would say that we were a bit complacent over the last two or three games. Many players believed what they read in the papers, that we were basically in after having 13 points in 5 games. I think we stepped back a little bit … we lost our focus.”

The U.S. currently sits in fourth place with 13 points. Mexico is in third with 13 points, but hold an advantage over the U.S. on goal differential. Honduras is in second place with 14 points and Costa Rica’s 19 points have already secured them one of the three CONCACAF bids to the World Cup.

So on 13 points, the U.S. controls their own destiny.

With a win against Jamaica on Sunday and another in its final match at Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 11, the U.S. will clinch a berth to the world’s biggest competition. If the Americans lose, they rely on other teams’ wins and losses, to back in.

It’s definitely do-or-die time for us yanks. We need to step it up right now.

Luckily for the U.S., things are looking good going into Sunday’s contest.

Missing in action for all three of its losses was team captain and central midfielder Claudio Renya, who’s passing skills through the middle are unparalleled by any other member of the U.S. side.

Sunday, a healthy Claudio will lead his team back on the field.

The venue, Massachusetts’ Foxboro Stadium, is also in the U.S.’s favor.

The U.S. has enjoyed unprecedented success at Foxboro, boasting an unbeaten 6-0-3 lifetime record, including three World Cup qualifying victories.

And last but not least, the U.S. has never lost to Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, holding a 5-0-5 all-time record in the series.

Bottom line, this is not only the biggest football game going down this Sunday, but’s it’s definitely the biggest game of the year for the U.S. team.

I know it sounds blasphemous to the loyal NFL fan, but if you find it in your heart to watch, Sunday could be a great day for football.


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