USA Headed to Brazil
The US Men’s National Team has qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with its (2-0) win over Mexico last Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio. With TV ratings that set a new record for soccer (CBS), all eyes were tuned in, to see the USMNT dominate over rival Mexico. This is not the first time the US team has beaten Mexico in qualifying, as the September 10th win made it FOUR straight against “El Tri”. What is also interesting about the rivalry between the two countries is that the US has beaten Mexico four straight times, in the same stadium. The game was played in Columbus, Ohio, home of the MLS team the Columbus Crew.
It has been an interesting year for the US national soccer team, with Jozy Altidore finally finding form, captain Clint Dempsey finally coming back to the states to play for the Seattle Sounders, new players being introduced in manager Jürgen Klinsmann’s system, all without scoring leader Landon Donovan. Donovan, who has been the face of the team for over a decade, recently returned from a sabbatical in which he took from the team. When he announced he wanted to return back to the US National team, Klinsmann had originally omitted Donovan from the team. A few months later, and now with a secured spot in the 2014 World Cup, it seems all is well for the team that is only getting better.
The real test for Klinsmann comes next year, when the World Cup actually starts. Following a mediocre 2010 World Cup campaign, which lead to, then, manager Bob Bradley’s exit, many agreed the team needed a new voice of leadership. With Klinsmann, came high expectation, which he seems to be living up to as of late. With a growing culture for the love of “the beautiful game” in the most recent years, it has been something the team itself has noticed. When asked about the qualifier crowd, Klinsmann said, “The players know when they play in Columbus, they have 100% support behind them”. Klinsmann does not have to worry about support moving forward, as long as the team keeps producing, as it has been. Mexico, on the other hand, is having a hard time with team support. With the loss to the US last Tuesday, they fired their manager, forcing the team to hire their third coach for the Mexican national in seven days. Seems winning really can cure everything