Los Angeles Soccer: CONCACAF
It was Amy Rodriguez's turn to score three Saturday night -- and the U.S. is one win from another Women's World Cup.
Rodriguez, Lake Forest's premier soccer product, followed the hat trick in the region's qualifying opener by Hermosa Beach's Abby Wambach with one of her own as the Americans decimated Guatemala, 9-0, in Cancun, Mexico.
Wambach added two more goals and Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar HS) scored a goal and assisted the 88th-minute finale by Rodriguez (Santa Margarita HS/USC). The U.S. and Costa Rica, also 2-0-0 after a 3-0 win over Haiti, will meet Monday for the Group B title.
Wambach scored her sixth international hat trick and assisted a fourth goal as the U.S. women's national team opened CONCACAF's Women's World Cup qualifying tournament with a 5-0 dismantling of Haiti in Cancun, Mexico. Lake Forest's Amy Rodriguez (Santa Margarita Catholic HS/USC) added a goal, and Redondo Beach's Shannon Boxx (South Torrance HS) had an assist for the Yanks, who have Group B games remaining against Costa Rica and Guatemala.
The goals were Wambach's 110th, 111th and 112th with the U.S., which is expected to claim on CONCACAF's two guaranteed berths in next year World Cup in Germany. The third-place finisher in the regional tournament will meet Italy for an additional berth.
Real Salt Lake avenged a stunning loss at Cruz Azul with a 3-1 victory over the Mexican league leaders to win Group A in the CONCACAF Champions League, and Columbus gave Major League Soccer two spots in the final eight.
All four Mexican clubs also advanced to the quarterfinals. A draw Nov. 1 will fill out the bracket.
Here's the scoop on the region's top club competition:
- RSL, which saw a 3-1 lead disappear against Cruz Azul in a 5-4 loss Aug. 25 in Mexico City, won its group with a 3-1 triumph over the Cementeros as Paulo Arajo Jr. tallied twice. The Utahns, who hope to overtake the Galaxy this weekend for MLS's Western Conference and Supporters' Shield titles, extended their unbeaten streak to a dozen games in all competitions.