Yesterday: USA vs. Mexico: The Day It Changed

A shiner worth subbing: You knew it was a nasty injury if McBride was forced out early on the day with a facial injury.

Yesterday, the day it changed for US Soccer. February 28, 2001.

The US beckoning then lone regional bigwig Mexico to the arctic lair…of Columbus for a critical 2002 qualifier.

We all know the result: 2-0 United States. The win? The first in qualifying against Mexico since 1980 at the time.

A nostalgic game:

Handbags galore, McBride’s shiner paving the way for Josh Wolff’s stardom–big goal on the day, turn-and-burn to create the 2nd shot and deposit from Ernie Stewart, Rafa Marquez kicking off his career of villianhood against the States, Chris Armas quietly showing why he is the best US player never to play in a World Cup, Brad Friedel being as big as…well…Brad Friedel.

Okay, you continue….

13 responses to this post.

  1. Looks like it was Wolfe that beat two El Tri defenders to drop back to Stewart for the 2nd goal. Not the other way around.


  2. Posted by Tux on 2011/03/01 at 5:40 PM

    I came to the party about 7 years too late for this game…but just watching highlights of it gives me chills.

    Though I can’t really say the same thing for the Cypress Hill video.


    • Posted by Marmaduke on 2011/03/01 at 8:17 PM

      I saw almost nothing of US soccer between 94 and 02. I seem to have missed this Joe Max Moore guy. I mean, I know the name, and I know he’s respected but I don’t remember actually seeing him play.

      Also, I don’t normally give a lot of love to the thuggish side of being a defensive midfielder, but I have to give it up for Armas’ payback hit on Marquez.


  3. Posted by scweeb on 2011/03/01 at 8:41 PM

    I miss Eddie Pope


  4. Posted by rMc on 2011/03/01 at 9:12 PM

    Remember this game vividly. Still can’t believe Mexico was playing such a high line with Wolff on the field. Brilliant move earlier in the game by Joe Max-Moore to create space for the cross to Wolff.

    We didn’t dominate this game in any way, but we won, which was so so important.


  5. Posted by Alex on 2011/03/01 at 10:03 PM

    That pass from mathis was brilliant.


  6. Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/03/02 at 7:10 AM

    On Marquez- can you think of a player that has more of Jekyll/Hyde personality for his national vs club team? Almost elegant in defense for club with some bite of course vs a hachet man who lost his head in countless big spots for Mex vs US. Amazing how many just plain ugly fouls he committed during his captaincy of Mex.

    On Joe Max Mooorrrrre-was there any better player call by a Mexican announcer?

    This squad was so strong at so many spots incl defense. What happened to the system that produced the Pope, Agoos (yes, even Agoos), etc? Sanneh was an import if I remember correctly.

    Thanks for the memories. It was a great time to enjoy the beginning of entertaining and intense USMex soccer rivalry.


  7. Posted by Russell on 2011/03/02 at 4:58 PM

    I can’t believe this was ten years ago. I remember taping it on VHS and re-watching the first goal many times to see just how that ball ended up going forward after Campos met Wolf. I remember thinking he was going to be the guy in 02′.. Too bad he couldnt get to europe sooner in his career the way the kids do today. i bet he’d have become a better player.

    Somehow I basically expected the US to win. Naive I guess.

    Interesting how Reyna was subbed so early. Then in 02′ played FB rather than Mid. I remember reading an article pointing out that he was mostly absent in the biggest USA games considering how good he was.

    You can see Friedel’s quality here that probably few of us realized at the time.


  8. Posted by Tim on 2011/03/02 at 11:20 PM

    I can’t re-watch that game without getting fired up. That ball by Mathis defines what he brought to the field for the US. Just the instinct, vision and fearlessness to try it. He and John O’brien are by far my two favorite US players of all time.

    I remember being disappointed when Friedel played. I was always, and still am, a Keller fan. He sure put aside any doubts I had though.


  9. The biggest thing about this game may have been US Soccer deciding to play games where they could expect a homefield advantage rather than just a large amount of spectators in the crowd. Well done Columbus fans your support that night paved the way for more “cold weather” qualifiers.


  10. […] however, the tide began to slowly shift. The changing of the guard culminated in 2001, when the USA defeated Mexico in a World Cup qualifying match for the first time in over 20 years. Landon Donovan feeling the love at Stadium Azteca, Mexico. Make no mistake: the USA-Mexico rivalry […]


  11. Posted by BeatMexico on 2013/08/16 at 3:04 PM

    glad this Cypress Hill video is still around – I still come here to watch it whenever I need a little extra firin’ up!!


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