The big names found a way to get to Brazil. With Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat trick, Portugal booked its ticket to the 2014 World Cup with a win over Sweden. Meanwhile France was able to defeat Ukraine after being two goals down in their first match.
Mexico also advanced, though this was a foregone conclusion after they dismantled New Zealand in their first match. This ended an amazing journey for Mexico which needed a late goal from arch-rival Team USA to even get them in this position.
Here’s an interview with Landon Donovan from August 2012 where he discusses Team USA, Jurgen Klinsmann and the 2014 World Cup. It’s interesting hearing his take on the aggressive he expected from Klinsmann and how this preceded the winning streak that led the United States to the 2014 World Cup.
Donovan is a class act, but more importantly he’s the kind of player that can help Team USA do some damage on the world stage.
Mexico was staring World Cup qualifying elimination in the face as Panama scored in the 80th minute to tie their match 1-1, but then Raul Jimenez unleashed a spectacular bicycle kick that will be remembered forever by Mexican soccer fans.
Soccer is booming in towns like Seattle, and Seattle was rockin’ the other night when Team USA defeated Panama to basically ensure a trip to the 2014 World Cup. This article captures the frenzy that existed in Seattle for the game.
It may have been just a friendly, but this was a nice win.
Yes, it was only a friendly, and yes, this was Germany’s B or C team, and yes, the U.S. nearly bungled a 4-1 lead, but you can’t deny that beating Germany anytime, anywhere is something you have every right to feel good about. On a day when U.S. Soccer was celebrating its 100th anniversary, Jurgen Klinsmann’s team had one of the more impressive performances of his tenure, not just beating Germany but displaying some of the entertaining, dangerous playing style that Klinsmann promised when he took over in 2011. Clint Dempsey (two gorgeous goals) and Jozy Altidore (a terrific opening strike) played with the verve they have shown over the last two seasons in European club soccer, and a U.S. team that was bulldozed 4-2 by Belgium on Wednesday will now carry some much-needed confidence into three upcoming World Cup qualifiers. If the Americans can attack this way and play better defense on Friday in Jamaica, they’ll take three points and avenge Klinsmann’s worst loss, a 2-1 qualifying defeat last September.