US National Team gets critical win in the snow

It’s been a week of drama for the US National Team, with all sorts of reports of infighting and the team having serious issues with the coach. But hopefully this game in the snow changed the karma.

Time to take your hand off the panic button, America.

After a week in which we wondered who would win this game, collective spirit or Anonymous Source, the former won the day, albeit amidst farcical scenes. The U.S. beat a feisty Costa Rican side 1-0 in a blizzard that occasionally made the game appear like the Winter Olympics come early. Now the Americans head to Mexico with their first points of The Hex.

Here’s four immediate responses to the evening’s ice follies:

1. Football is a funny game
After the accusations contained in the Sporting News investigative report, the USMNT have trained all week under a hail of doomsday predictions. They came to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to prove their worth, only to face conditions for which they could never have planned. The snow prevented football of any style from being played. Ultimately, the conditions might have been a blessing, as it took some of the pressure off the U.S. team. There were no more concerns about unnamed sources, which players were not here, or the captaincy debate. This was all about 11 men and a yellow ball. And the man of the match was the groundsman with the shovel who kept the game playable.

Read the rest of Roger Bennett’s column. Let’s see if the rest of World Cup qualifying goes this well.