NORCECA Men’s Olympic Qualifier

Go Puerto Rico, Go!Today is a big day for the Puerto Rico Men's National Team in their quest for an Olympic birth. After two days of the tournament, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United States remain undefeated. However, tonight one of those team will lose their undefeated status. Tonight at 8:00 p.m. our team will face up against the United States to determine the winner of the A bracket.

While not a definitive game, a lot rides on the outcome. The winner will move into the seminfinals and if they remain undefeated move into the championship game. The loser will have to progress through the quarterfinals and then still have to advance through the semifinals in order to join the championship game. Besides that it may be payback time for the United States. Coming off their unexpected defeat by the Puerto Rico team in last year's Volleyball World Cup, the U.S. may be primed to save face and prove they deserve a third world ranking. However, for the Puerto Rican team, they believe that the home court advantage will help them prevail.

Most likely scenario

I believe that the U.S team will win tonight and setup a seminfinal match with Cuba, which I think they will beat easily and advance to the Championship game. With a defeat, the Puerto Rico team will advance into the quarterfinals with a match against Mexico. I believe that the Puerto Rico team will defeat Mexico easily and advance into a semifinal match with Canada. Statistically, the two teams seem about the same. This will an even and hard won match for the Puerto Rico team, but will leave them exhausted.

In the end I think a rested and untested U.S. team will meet Puerto Rico in the final game on Friday. This will be a grand challenge for the Puerto Rico team and will require an extremely high level of effort, unity, and excellence for them to prevail. The edge just be available to them however. With revenge and the home town crowd on their side, it might be just enough to even the sides and leave the game open for either team to grab. Let's hope the Taino spirits will prevail.