A fantastic morning for soccer fans in north Texas turned into an historic evening as the US Men's National Team defeated arch-rivals Mexico 2-0 in Columbus, Ohio. The win, coupled with Honduras' 2-2 draw with Panama, means the United States has qualified for a seventh-straight FIFA World Cup with two games to spare.
HIGHLIGHTS: USA 2, MEX 0
FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman spoke about the historic night in Columbus after Wednesday's training.
"Congratulations first of all to Jurgen Klinsmann and his staff for putting out a very competitive team in qualifying and congratulations to all the players that were part of that," said Hyndman who shares a strong relationship with national team coach. "We’re all very proud of them and we now have to book our tickets for Brazil. A great accomplishment by a lot of players and it’s one thing to wait until the end to turn it on, but I thought that they continually got better and the addition of Landon [Donovan] was tremendous."
Indeed, Donovan made a huge impact on the match scoring the second goal in the fourth-straight "dos a cero" result in a World Cup Qualifier between the border rivals at Crew Stadium in Columbus. Perhaps just as important as the result was the commitment made by ESPN to the event, broadcasting over two hours of pre-game coverage and full post-game content on Sportscenter. It certainly paid off with a 1.9 overnight rating, the highest ever viewership for a US Men's National Team match outside of the World Cup or Confederations Cup.
"We have always talked about that were growing tremendously as a participating country, but we haven’t grown as spectators and I think you’re starting to see that now," said Hyndman. "It’s now cool to be a soccer fan and now it’s cool to wear your club’s shirts and to make it a priority to find places to go to see games. I think it’s really a great step in the right direction for us."