The echoes of "Dos a Cero" rang for hours before and hours after the U.S. Men's World Cup qualifier verus Mexico on Tuesday, September 10th, and I was fortunate enough to be in the crowd for one of the most memorable games in recent U.S. Men's National Team history.
Joined by many of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s corporate partners, donors, and other friends of the Foundation, as well as approximately 23,000 new best friends, we all packed Columbus Crew Stadium early.
Looking back at that amazing day, there was some obvious foreshadowing in the evening sky prior to kickoff. Following that picturesque scene, the entire stadium participated in what I can only describe as a chilling moment, as every scarf in the stadium was lifted throughout the U.S. national anthem.
Now, I had been in Columbus all afternoon, witnessing every bar and restaurant packed with U.S. supporters. By my count, the number of U.S. fans in Columbus greatly outnumbered the number of seats in Columbus Crew Stadium. Therefore, I shouldn’t have been surprised that when the match began and throughout the match, no one sat down. Not for one minute.
The atmosphere in the stadium was so incredibly charged, I found myself at times overwhelmed. Between keeping my focus on the match, learning the great U.S. chants and songs, and simply taking in the scene around me, it was a lot to handle. Just as I thought I had a grasp on the evening, this happened:
And pandemonium rightfully ensued. Chants begot new chants, and the crowd’s energy swelled. Landon Donovan’s goal, making the score an immortal 2-0, gave the fans what they wanted all game:
The game ended, we all kept cheering, and celebrations followed all over the city. From the now-famous scene on the field, to the several bars filled with U.S. supporters, the town of Columbus belonged to American soccer, at least for one night.
And, of course, one for the scrapbook at home!