Green Bay has a bye week, but as it turns out, there’s plenty of sports to provide my Sunday diversions. To be sure, I’m pleased about the Dodgers sweeping the favored Cardinals in the NLDS. The Phillies-Rockies series yesterday was postponed for snow. Point is, the delay will let our starters rest and we can go in with our best pitchers teed up whenever West New Jersey and Denver are done. Both the Yankees and Angels are up 2-0 in their series and both can lock things up in away games today. This is prime time for Los Angeles baseball fans.
But in other news perhaps less prominently featured on your Sunday morning sports page, the Stars and Stripes — the USA national team — has qualified for the World Cup, one point ahead of Mexico (which also qualified for the trip to South Africa 2010). The official result was Honduras 2 – 3 USA, but more than that it was a come-from behind victory, overcoming a 1-0 lead by Honduras scored just before halftime on a beautiful corner kick.
There is one more round of play in the qualifiers, which will affect whether Honduras or Costa Rica gets the remaining automatic third North American bid. If USA defeats Costa Rica, and Honduras defeats El Salvador, Honduras gets the third bid; otherwise it’s Costa Rica.
The teams that have qualified to join host South Africa at the World Cup are, in alphabetical (English) order: Australia, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, England, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Korea People’s Republic (North), Korea Republic (South), Mexico, Netherlands, Paraguay, Serbia, Spain, and USA. Watch for Argentina, Costa Rica, France, Greece, Switzerland, and Russia to qualify over the next few days. I don’t know enough about the Asian and African areas to offer anything other than a SWAG; the European qualification rules are very complicated. Also of interest is how Bahrain wound up having to play off against Saudi Arabia and now is in a two-leg playoff with New Zealand to qualify; I don’t know whether that speaks well of either team.