Canada's win over Honduras was the ideal start to its latest phase of World Cup qualifying. Losing to Los Catrachos in the last qualifying cycle effectively shut Canadian men's soccer down for about a year, so the 1-0 win brought considerable psychological gains to CONCACAF's sleeping giant.
The next step is to get at least a point on the road. Four points from these November qualifiers would be a good start for Canada and a strong platform from which to mount a serious assault on the next round of qualifying (the CONCACAF Hexagonal tournament). A win in El Salvador would be a signicant step toward the Hex. A draw would also favor Canada's hopes of getting to the Hex.
For El Salvador, the biggest concern lies in its form: its only wins in the last 12 months have been against Nicaragua, St. Kitts, and Curacao - hardly regional powerhouses. Losing to Mexico - as it did in its opening game of this round - is no big deal: a CONCACAF team can get to the World Cup without beating El Tri. But there isn't a great deal of evidence El Salvador is capable of beating any regional side stronger than the minnows that have mostly been dispersed by the qualifying process to date. Beating Canada at home looks much like the minimum the Salvadorans must do to advance any claim that they might be more than passengers in this group.
From the perspective of the New York Red Bulls, all eyes should be on Karl Ouimette. He started against Honduras, at right back. This offers the possibility head coach Benito Floro now regards Ouimette as one of his front line players, since the opening home game of the group was one Canada surely wanted to win (or at least, not lose). Is RBNY's fourth-choice center back the first-choice right back for his country now? We'll find out as CONCACAF World Cup qualifying continues.