USA qualifies for 2014 World Cup


Photo Credit: (Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch/MCT)

United States soccer fans cheer before the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Earlier this month in Columbus, Ohio, fans gathered to watch and cheer the U.S. Men’s soccer team as they played against their rival, Mexico, in the World Cup qualifier. Wearing red, white, and blue from head to toe, fans chanted “dos a cero,” referring to the consistent score from three previous matches played in Ohio where the U.S. defeated Mexico. On September 10, the men’s team continued that tradition, beating Mexico 2-0 for the fourth time in Columbus.

Although the first half of the game flew by scoreless, it took no time for U.S. player Eddie Johnson to literally “get his head in the game” and lead the Americans into victory with a header off a corner kick during the first few minutes of the second half. Mexico quickly tried to gain a point of their own, but were unsuccessful. In the 80th minute, Landon Donovan scored for the U.S. team, deeming the game another “dos a cero” match with two goals. Fate seemed to have its mind made up when U.S.’s captain Clint Dempsey was fouled within the Mexican goal box, giving a penalty kick to Dempsey where he missed, denying America a 3-0 win. Even after the miss and the possibility of another point, the crowd still enthusiastically cheered. The U.S. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann describes the scene as “Amazing, amazing crowds”. With the support of the “American Outlaws” (the dedicated fans who travel with the team) and the rest of the American population, the United States will definitely have a large fanbase to cheer for them during this summer’s games.

With this victory against Mexico, America has qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This will be the seventh World Cup America has attended, including 1994 when they hosted the games. “Obviously this is a huge, huge evening for all of us,” Klinsmann explained. “It’s a huge milestone whenever you make it to a World Cup.”

The FIFA (Federation International Football Association) World Cup started in 1930, and has occurred since every 4 years. The tournament consists of 32 national teams competing for a month in an elimination process until a single winner is left. This year the official tournament in Brazil begins on June 12 and lasts until July 13. The U.S. men’s team has recently improved its world ranking, going from the 28th to the 13th best team in the world, according to FIFA. Even with such a large improvement, the American team will have to play 110% to keep up with the top dogs, Spain, Germany, Argentina, and Italy in the Cup. The previous World Cup winners were Spain (in South Africa 2010), Italy (in Germany 2006), and this year’s host nation Brazil (in Korea/Japan 2002). Within the upcoming months, the men’s team will be participating in friendly games, but primarily training for the World Cup.

Brazil here we come!