Crew Stadium is home to the Columbus Crew, one of the 19 teams in America’s professional soccer league, Major League Soccer. On September 10th,, however, it traded the Crew’s colors, black and yellow, for red, white and blue when the United States Men’s National Team played Mexico with a chance to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Crew Stadium has been a stronghold for the US Men’s National Team, especially when playing their rivals, Mexico; and now the stakes were higher than ever. The US was coming off of a road loss to Costa Rica, but were hoping to bounce back. Mexico however, didn’t have much to bounce back to. They were playing their first match under new interim-head-coach Luis Fernando Tena and coming into the game, Mexico’s record for World Cup Qualifiers was 1-1-5, a total of only 8 points. Even though they weren’t playing well, US vs. Mexico is always a big game and with several key US players unable to play due to yellow card accumulation, Mexico was hoping that they could come into Columbus and take the full 3 points awarded to a team for a victory.
Although Mexico dominated possession in the first half, they were still unable to score. Early in the second half, US forward, Eddie Johnson, scored a header off of a Landon Donovan corner kick. Donovan then scored in the 78th minute and the US went on to beat Mexico 2-0, or Dos a Cero. Dos a Cero has been the magic scoreline for US-Mexico games played in Columbus. In 2001, 2005, 2009 and now 2013, the US has beaten Mexico 2-0 there. It has become a winning tradition.
After the game, fans waited in the stands to find out the score of another World Cup qualifier game between Panama and Honduras, which ended in a 2-2 tie. This meant that the United States Men’s National Team had booked their ticket to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It will be their 7th World Cup in a row. Players celebrated on the field while the supporters chanted “We are going to Brazil, We are going to Brazil…”
Soccer is steadily gaining popularity in the United States. There were 24,584 fans who attended the Qualifier in Columbus, and the US has also played games in Chicago and Seattle, both of which were heavily attended. Major League Soccer is also drawing many new fans as well. Our hometown team, the Philadelphia Union, draws an average of 17,752 fans per game. The team with the highest attendance is the Seattle Sounders, who draw an average of 43,180 people per game. Soccer’s popularity continues to grow in America and that is also bolstered by this fact: We are going to Brazil!
Want to learn more about the game? Click on the link below to watch a video.