Jonathan Spector is heading to South Africa on Monday for the FIFA Confederations Cup having helped the United States to take a significant step towards next year's FIFA World Cup in the same country.
Spector played the full 90 minutes in a lively attacking display on Saturday as the US came from behind to win 2-1 against Honduras in the West Ham United defender's home city of Chicago. It was the perfect response from the US who, minus Spector, had lost in Costa Rica on Wednesday night. Landon Donovan's penalty and a Carlos Bocanegra header made it ten points from five games in CONCACAF qualifying. The US are second in the standings, with the top three guaranteed a place.
The US travel to South Africa this week to prepare for their opening Confederations Cup fixture against Italy on 15 June. They then play Brazil three days later before finishing their group-stage campaign on 21 June against Egypt. Meanwhile, Lucas Neill's Australia became the second team to qualify for the World Cup with a goalless draw in Qatar, with Japan the first through to join the hosts before South Korea and the Netherlands added their names to the early confirmed nations.
Elsewhere, Luis Boa Morte played 45 minutes as Portugal won 2-1 in Albania thanks to a last-gasp clincher. The Hammers attacker was making his first start for his country since November 2005. Portugal face an uphill battle to qualify for the World Cup as do Wales who were without James Collins, Danny Gabbidon and Jack Collison but still managed to win 1-0 in Azerbaijan. Both countries are off the pace in their respective qualifying groups and still have a lot to do if they are to reach next summer's tournament.