Forget for a moment the fact that the US’s weak performance against Belgium in Cleveland yesterday does not bode well for their meeting with Germany on Sunday—not to mention their trio of pivotal World Cup qualifiers in early June (against Jamaica, Panama, and Honduras).
Let’s just ignore that for a few minutes, along with the increasing evidence that Jurgen Klinsmann is not a very good soccer coach.
Instead, let’s pause to celebrate DaMarcus Beasley, the 31-year-old Puebla midfielder who made his 100th appearance for the US last night.
Here is the wiry speedster, looking back:
Beasley, who won the Silver Ball at the 1999 U-17 World Cup, finishing right behind Golden Ball winner Landon Donovan in the voting, may have more to give to the USMNT. He told the MLS website yesterday that he’s still fighting for a spot in meaningful games: “I’m going to push the young guys to make them push me out of the lineup again.”
Some 20 friends and family members were on hand to cheer the Fort Wayne, Ind., native as he hit the century mark, becoming just the 13th player in US soccer history to reach the milestone.
For the first time in 25 games spread over 75 years, the United States national team got a win on Mexican soil, downing El Tri 1-0 at Estadio Azteca last night.
The winning play involved two of the most questioned choices on coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s roster, embattled winger Brek Shea and out-of-favor defender Michael Orozco Fiscal. That duo was subbed on in the latter stages, and combined with halftime substitute Terrence Boyd for the goal, with Shea beating a defender on the left and crossing for Boyd, who backheeled the ball on to Fiscal to sweep into the net at the far post.
Tim Howard made two big saves down the stretch to preserve the historic win.
To the highlights:
The U.S. had a record of 0-23-1 in Mexico City heading into the match—a fact displayed on a sign inside the fabled stadium.
As Howard said on his way out of the tunnel after the game, “Time to change the sign. Time to change the sign.”
On April 6, 1996, the San Jose Clash hosted D.C. United at Spartan Stadium in the very first game in MLS history. More than 31,000 were on hand for the occasion, and they nearly went home disappointed as the game was scoreless for the first 88 minutes.
Cue Mr. Eric Wynalda:
With that, the league was on its way—and the final that year was even more dramatic: Eddie Pope won MLS Cup ’96 for D.C. United with an overtime header in the rain in Foxborough, Mass.
Fifteen years later, and Real Salt Lake is set to play in the CONCACAF Champions League final later this month. We’ve come a long way.