Posted on September 9, 2012
By Michael Lewis
The only time the United States dropped a home World Cup qualifier to a Caribbean foe at home came in a 1-0 loss to Haiti in San Diego, Calif. on May 11, 1969.
The U.S. has a 15-1-3 on American soil against Caribbean teams since playing Bermuda for the first time in 1968. The Americans will bring in a 17-game unbeaten streak (14-0-3) against its Caribbean foes at home.
The defeat, in front of a 4,274, eliminated the Americans from the 1970 competition, which Mexico hosted. In other words, they did not have to meet up with their archrivals in qualifying, but still could not get to the World Cup.
Guy St. Vil tallied he lone goal in the 42nd minute.
“Haiti’s young prepared team [was] too good in all departments for the Americans,” according to the book, A History of the World Cup, Volume I, The Jules Rimet Years.
“We had a few players with injuries,” U.S. forward Peter Millar told U.S. Soccer vs. The World. “In Bermuda, we got a raw deal from the referee. In California we were unfortunate. We attacked, attacked, attacked, especially in the first half. But they scored and that was the end of the game.”
Three weeks prior on April 11 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the Caribbean prevailed in a 2-0 win. Joseph Obas lifted the hosts into aneighth-minute lead before St. Vil added an insurance tally in the 54th minute.
Prior to that, the Americans had recorded a 3-1 record in CONCACAF qualifying and felt they were in a excellent position to advance.
After opening with a 4-2 defeat to Canada in Toronto on Oct. 13, 1968, the U.S. rebounded with a 1-0 triumph over the Canadians in Atlanta on Oct. 27, 1968 and two victories over Bermuda — 6-2 in Kansas City on Nov.2 and 2-0 in Hamilton, Bermuda on Nov. 10.
Millar had a hat-trick in the rout of Bermuda.
The North American Soccer League helped change the fate of the U.S. team. Phil Woosnam directed the team, but became executive director of the league, which went from 17 to four teams. Gordon Jago took over the coaching reins.
Categories: Bermuda, Caribbean, Haiti, Jamaica, North America, U.S.A., World Cup Qualifying