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At The Halfway Point, The U.S. Sits On Top Of The Hex

The road through the Hex is never an easy task, and this cycle has provided no shortage of challenges for the United States, who faced three of the first four matches on the road.  Opening in the heat of San Pedro Sula, taking on Estadio Azteca, and attempting to win its first qualifying match ever in Jamaica were all formidable tasks in front of the MNT in the Hex’s first half.

The U.S. fell 2-1 in Honduras in the first game of the group, but has been piling up the points ever since. The USA is unbeaten in its last four with a record of 3-0-1, posting three shutouts while conceding only one goal. Most importantly, the USA has picked up key results on the road. Following the 1-0 win against Costa Rica in Denver, the team earned its first point in Mexico since 1997 by taking a 0-0 draw on March 26 at the Azteca. Most recently, the USA put up another historic result by defeating Jamaica 2-1 in Kingston, the first time the MNT has ever taken all three points from the Reggae Boyz on their home turf. 

Two classic performances at home have enabled the U.S. to surge to the top of the table. With two shutout victories, the United States has increased its unbeaten run to 22-0-2 in the United States since 2001. The MNT is coming off a victory against previously unbeaten Panama by a 2-0 score in front of an electric crowd at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Thus far, the U.S. and Costa Rica are the only two teams to take full points at home, and along with Mexico are the only three teams to not concede a goal on home soil.

The 10 points earned by the U.S. put them at the top of the table, two points clear of Costa Rica and Mexico with a game in hand on the Mexicans. Sitting in the pole position at this stage marks the first time the USA has led the Hexagonal at the halfway point since the 2002 qualifying campaign. This cycle has also been one of the most competitive in recent memory. The seven total draws in this year’s matches are already more than each of the previous three cycles combined.  

Here’s where the MNT has stood at the halfway point of the Hex in each of the last five cycles:

2014 Hexagonal

  1. United States – 10 points
  2. Costa Rica – 8 points
  3. Mexico – 8 points
  4. Honduras – 7 points
  5. Panama – 6 points
  6. Jamaica – 2 points

2010 Hexagonal

  1. Costa Rica – 12 points
  2. United States – 10 points
  3. Honduras – 7 points
  4. Mexico – 6 points
  5. El Salvador – 5 points
  6. Trinidad & Tobago – 2 points

2006 Hexagonal

  1. Mexico – 13 points
  2. United States – 12 points
  3. Costa Rica – 7 points
  4. Guatemala – 4 points
  5. Trinidad & Tobago – 4 points
  6. Panama – 2 points

2002 Hexagonal

  1. United States – 13 points
  2. Costa Rica – 10 points
  3. Honduras – 8 points
  4. Jamaica – 5 points
  5. Mexico – 4 points
  6. Trinidad & Tobago – 1 point

1998 Hexagonal

  1. Mexico – 11 points
  2. Costa Rica – 7 points
  3. United States – 6 points
  4. El Salvador – 5 points
  5. Canada – 5 points
  6. Jamaica – 5 points