The U.S. Celebrates World Cup Birth
On Tuesday, the U.S. Men’s National earned a trifecta victory in Columbus, Ohio.
First, they earned a birth to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. That’s great. It worthy of a backslap, some orange slices and a trip to the local pizza parlor for the team. We’re supposed to get to the World Cup. It will be our 7th consecutive World Cup trip.
Secondly, we beat the biggest rivals we have – Mexico. Not only did we beat Mexico, we may have sent them a death sentence. Slightly below the joy of seeing your team win, is the simple joy of seeing your rival fail.
With only two games to go, Mexico is in fifth place (out of six). To get in outright they need to get into third. Fourth place will get them a one-win playoff game. To get there they will have to beat the pesky 2nd place Costa Rica (the same ones who beat the U.S.) and Honduras who are in 4th place and fighting to stay alive.
Mexico not going to the World Cup is a pure joy
The third piece of the trifecta victory is the further growth of the U.S. National team. Here are some facts:
- It was the 14th win in the past calendar year, which is a record.
- Landon Donovan seems to be back to full form after his sabbatical away from the game.
- They are showing great depth. With several players on the bench due to yellow card accumulation, several guys had to step up and fill in key positions. One of which was Eddie Johnson who scored.
The best thing about the victory may be the unspoken and unknown aspects. The backline has been a turnstile of injuries, ineffectiveness and experiments that have necessitated frequent changes. Each game seems to repeat a familiar pattern. The other team aggressively tests the U.S. defense who bends hard before finding their feet.
With the World Cup clinched, maybe coach Jurgen Klinsmann can use the time to get the defense in order against competitive teams without worrying about the results.
At the very least, they can save some money on early booking of hotels in Rio next summer.
Photo Credit: Getty