Connect with us

Sports

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying odds, preview, picks: Canada nears clinching scenarios while pressure is up for U.S., Mexico – The Athletic

Published

 on


Let’s all embrace our new Canadian overlords, which have somehow won five straight matches in World Cup qualifying. Canada’s 2-0 win against the U.S. men’s national team on Sunday was a humbling result for the Americans. It also has Canada four points clear at the top of the table with four matches left.

Canada can’t clinch on Wednesday, when the final matches of this international window will take place. However, Canada can clinch a top four spot by getting a better result than Costa Rica, which plays at El Salvador.

Pressure is a bit higher on the USMNT and Mexico which look to bounce back from disappointing results. Both are still in a good spot, but another slip up would make things very interesting in the final window in March.

Let’s see if our pickers have finally embraced Canada as a dominant force in CONCACAF or if they still are skeptics.


Jamaica (+160) vs. Costa Rica (+175); Draw +210

Jamaica 1-5-4, 7 points; Costa Rica 3-3-4, 13 points

Writer Pick
Matt Pentz
Costa Rica
Jeff Rueter
Dan Santaromita
Costa Rica
Andrew DeWitt
Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s resurgence in qualifying is the only thing keeping the top four from feeling secure about their places. Getting a home win against Panama and a point at Mexico in this window has kept the Ticos in the race. Costa Rica was outplayed by Mexico, allowing 25 shots, but just one on target in a scoreless draw at Estadio Azteca. With Panama going to Azteca on Wednesday, it’s reasonable to think Costa Rica could get within a point of fourth place.

Jamaica led in Panama on Sunday, but an own goal a few minutes before halftime broke the dam and Panama added two more goals in the second half of a 3-2 win. The Reggae Boyz are on life support. A loss eliminates Jamaica from World Cup contention.


USA (-550) vs. Honduras (+1600); Draw +550

USA 5-2-3, 18 points; Honduras 0-7-3, 3 points

Writer Pick
Matt Pentz
Jeff Rueter
Dan Santaromita
Andrew DeWitt

The American fanbase is probably not in a good mood after being on the other end of a 2-0 scoreline on Sunday. The comparisons to the famous dos a cero scores against Mexico are unavoidable in so many ways. In many of those American triumphs, Mexico was the more talented and, even in some cases, the more dominant team in possession and territory. Yet, the Americans found a way to win by being better in front of both goals.

On Sunday, the Americans were the team with more possession and the ball around Canada’s box more often. However, Canada took advantage of a series of mistakes to score the first goal and avoided major trouble for the most part in its own box despite the Americans sniffing around the area for much of the match.

The good news for the USMNT is it is still in second place in the table and gets to host Honduras in St. Paul, Minn. Honduras is dead last, freshly eliminated, winless in qualifying and has lost five straight qualifiers. The Americans are the biggest favorite of Wednesday’s matches, and deservedly so.

Midfielder Tyler Adams and defender Chris Richards are both out with injuries for this match.


El Salvador (+320) vs. Canada (-115); Draw +230

El Salvador 2-5-3, 9 points; Canada 6-0-4, 22 points

Writer Pick
Matt Pentz
Jeff Rueter
Dan Santaromita
Andrew DeWitt

People who followed CONCACAF closely enough expected Canada to make the 2022 World Cup, but few would have expected Canada to be the top team in qualifying. Not only is Canada the last remaining undefeated team, but everyone else in the region has at least two losses. Canada got eight points against Mexico and the US in qualifiers, something that has never been done before. The remaining road for Canada isn’t that easy with just one home match left, but a win here would put Canada on the verge of clinching a spot.

El Salvador picked up a 2-0 win at Honduras on Sunday, but is still on the brink of elimination. La Selecta can’t quite get eliminated, but there is no room for error left.


Mexico (-300) vs. Panama (+1050); Draw +375

Mexico 5-2-3, 18 points; Panama 5-3-2, 17 points

Writer Pick
Matt Pentz
Jeff Rueter
Dan Santaromita
Andrew DeWitt

This is the biggest game of the day. Panama’s win against Jamaica pulled Los Canaleros to within a point of the USMNT and El Tri. After Mexico failed to beat Costa Rica despite producing 25 shots, El Tri is under a lot of pressure for this match. The odds say a Panama win is very unlikely, but it would cause a full-on panic among El Tri supporters.

Raul Jimenez is at training for Mexico after missing the previous two qualifiers due to an injury. His return would be huge after the finishing display against Costa Rica.


Picks records

Correct results Matches picked
Matt Pentz
Jeff Rueter
Dan Santaromita
Andrew DeWitt

(Photo of Cyle Larin and Richie Laryea: Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images; The Athletic may receive an affiliate commission if you open an account with BetMGM through links contained in the above article.)

Get all-access to exclusive stories.
Subscribe to The Athletic for in-depth, exclusive coverage of your favorite players, teams, leagues and clubs. Try a week on us.


START FREE TRIAL

Dan Santaromita is the associate editor of sports betting for The Athletic. Dan previously wrote for NBC Sports Chicago and ProSoccerUSA. He attended the University of Missouri and is from Chicago. Follow Dan on Twitter @TheDanSanto.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Alex Newhook Becomes Third Newfoundlander To Win The Cup – VOCM

Published

 on


Newfoundland and Labrador’s Alex Newhook is a Stanley Cup Champion.

The Colorado Avalanche finally dethroned the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday night, holding on for a 2 -1 victory and taking the series 4-2.

Newhook becomes the third Newfoundland player to win the Cup, following Daniel Cleary of Harbour Grace and Bonavista’s Michael Ryder.

Newhook had four points in 12 games this post-season and, at the age of 21, becomes the youngest player from this province to ever win the Cup.

Anticipation now builds toward this summer when it’s expected Newhook and the Cup will make the trip home.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Andreescu's 3-year title drought extended at Wimbledon tune-up in Germany – CBC Sports

Published

 on


Caroline Garcia won her first tour title in three years after coming back from a set and a break down to beat 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday in the final of the Bad Homburg Open in Germany.

Andreescu was looking for her first title since beating Serena Williams in the 2019 final at Flushing Meadows before injuries forced her to miss the entire 2020 season.

“I’m very happy. It’s been a couple of rough years but, you know, I’m putting in the work and on to the next. I’m excited for Wimbledon,” said Andreescu, who became visibly emotional while thanking her team. “You guys stuck with me through the toughest moments and that’s all anyone could ever ask for.”

She has drawn American qualifier Emina Bektas in the first round of Wimbledon next week. Garcia has Yuriko Miyazaki of Britain for her opener.

WATCH | Andreescu falls to Garcia in Bad Homburg final:

Andreescu falls to Garcia in Bad Homburg final

1 day ago

Duration 2:40

France’s Caroline Garcia battled past Canadian Bianca Andreescu to win 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 in Germany on Saturday.

Garcia took a medical timeout for what seemed to be a shoulder problem early in the second set. She then went 4-2 down before winning 10 of the next 14 games to seal the match ahead of the start of Wimbledon on Monday.

“It was a fight [for] every point from the first to the last one,” Garcia said.

Garcia is 8-3 in career finals but her last title was almost exactly three years ago in Nottingham in the build-up to the 2019 Wimbledon tournament.

WATCH | Canadian tennis star Andreescu answers questions from kids: 

Bianca Andreescu answers questions from kids

2 days ago

Duration 4:02

Canadian tennis champ Bianca Andreescu answers questions and offers a few words of advice to young athletes from the Ontario Racquet Club in Mississauga.

Kvitova captures Eastbourne title

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova tuned up for the Grand Slam tournament by overpowering Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-2 to win the Eastbourne title on Saturday in England.

The 14th-seeded Kvitova earned her first grass-court title in four years — and 29th trophy of her singles career overall – after breaking Ostapenko, the defending champion, early in both sets and feasting on the Latvian’s second serve.

Kvitova saved five break points in the fourth game of the second set to stay in control of the match at 3-1.

“Playing on the grass is very special for me every time,” the 32-year-old Czech player said in her on-court interview. “It’s the best preparation for Wimbledon, as well.”

Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, plays Tuesday at the All England Club in a first-round match against Jasmine Paolini of Italy.

She is now 5-1 in grass-court finals in her career. Her most recent title on grass had been Birmingham in 2018.

Injured Keys, Coric out of Wimbledon

Madison Keys, the 2017 U.S. Open runner-up, and Borna Coric withdrew from Wimbledon on Saturday because of injuries.

The tournament begins Monday.

Keys, an American who was seeded 19th at the All England Club, pulled out because of a hurt abdominal muscle.

She was replaced in the field by Coco Vandeweghe, twice a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon and twice a semifinalist at other Grand Slam tournaments, who lost in qualifying this week. Vandeweghe’s first-round opponent will be No. 17 seed Elena Rybakina.

“This isn’t what I was hoping to say a few days before @Wimbledon, but unfortunately I have to withdraw due to an abdominal injury,” world number 24 Keys tweeted.

“I’m so disappointed, but my health comes first and my body needs time to get back to 100%. Lots of love London fans. See you next year.”

Former world No. 7 Keys won her first title since 2019 at the Adelaide WTA tournament in January before reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open.

She was defeated in the French Open fourth round by Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova.

Coric is a Croatian who got into the field thanks to a protected ranking because he has been injured. He cited a shoulder problem for his withdrawal.

He was drawn to face No. 12 seed Diego Schwartzman and that spot will be filled by an as-yet-unannounced player who lost in qualifying.

Jaeger: Sexually harassed ‘at least 30 times’

Former teenage tennis phenom Andrea Jaeger said she was sexually harassed “at least 30 times” by a female Women’s Tennis Association staff member during the 1980s.

Jaeger, now 57, also told The Independent she also was unknowingly served alcohol when she was 16 by a different staff member, who drove her home and tried to kiss her.

The two-time Grand Slam finalist was on the tour from ages 14 to 19 and was ranked as high as No. 2 in the world in 1981. Despite her success, she said she made it a habit to avoid WTA officials at tournaments during her five years on tour. Jaeger said much of the harassment occurred in locker rooms.

“I’d change in portable toilets or a bathroom stall because I didn’t want to deal with the comments, the interest or actions of people,” Jaeger said, according to The Independent. “I had at least 30 incidents with one specific non-playing staff member, physical attempts all in the locker room very, very early in my career. That particular non-playing staff employee had a major issue keeping her hands to herself.

“I avoided being in training rooms alone because an approach was made on me there as well.”

Jaeger said she was served multiple alcoholic drinks following the 1982 WTA Championships and began to get fuzzy. An official drove her home.

“When we got to my condo, she walked me to the door and tried something on with me,” Jaeger said. “She was trying to kiss me. I was so sickened that I was crawling up the stairs inside trying not to throw up so my dad wouldn’t see me.”

Jaeger said she complained to WTA officials after the incident and was threatened with reprisals.

She won 10 career titles before retiring at age 19 due to a shoulder injury.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Lightning’s Brayden Point remains out of lineup for Game 6 – Sportsnet.ca

Published

 on


Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is not anticipating any lineup changes Sunday night for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final as forward Brayden Point continues to deal with an undisclosed “severe injury.”

Point sustained a leg injury during Game 7 of the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He returned for the start of the Stanley Cup Final and recorded one assist in two games before leaving the lineup again.

“It’s tricky too because players are used to playing at, I guess, a certain way or how they feel they can play,” Cooper told reporters. “If they don’t feel confident in playing at the calibre they’re used to, it almost works against them.

“It’s unfortunate because it was a severe injury and at this time of the year, everybody’s trying to get back into the lineup and there are just some things you can’t do. When you can’t do what you’re used to doing, it’s tough on the player.”

The 26-year-old Point, who has 78 points in 76 career postseason games, skated with the Lightning during Sunday morning’s practice, and Cooper did not completely rule him out for a potential Game 7.

“He’s still plugging along here and rehabbing and trying to get better. Who knows? If the series goes one more game, you never know,” Cooper said. “It’s tough on these guys because they’re such competitors.”

The Colorado Avalanche hold a 3-2 series lead looking to secure their first Stanley Cup since 2001 while the double defending champion Lightning are aiming to keep their hopes of a three-peat alive. Watch Game 6 live on Sportsnet or Sportsnet NOW starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending