The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

September 10, 2013

US looks to clinch World Cup berth against Mexico

(Continued)

"It's a raucous crowd. There's very few places in America that we can get a full house, a pro-U.S. crowd, a city that's really hungry for national team games. This is probably one of three or four venues that we have the ability to do that."

The 2001 win, on goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart, came on a 28-degree February night and became known as "La Guerra Fria" (The Cold War).

Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley scored in the more temperate 2005 match, played in early September, and Bradley got both goals four years ago — a game preceded by a tornado watch, lightning and gusts of up to 61 mph.

The U.S. is 6-0-3 at Columbus Crew Stadium and 4-0-2 in home qualifiers against Mexico since a 1972 defeat at Los Angeles.

"The fans have been amazing when we come to Columbus," Beasley said.

In addition to Bradley, three Americans will miss the match because of yellow card accumulation: forward Jozy Altidore, midfielder Geoff Cameron and defender Matt Besler.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was critical of the yellow card on Besler, assessed by Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez after the Ticos' Joel Campbell fell down, acting as if the defender had hit him.

Replays appeared to show that Campbell was untouched, but Rodriguez was nonetheless advised to give the caution by one of his linesmen.

"It kind of just confirmed my fears before the game with the yellow card issue," said Klinsmann, who complained that Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez could impact the U.S. roster against El Tri.

Because of Bradley's injuries and the cards, Klinsmann called in four additional players. Clarence Goodson could start in place of Besler in central defense along with Omar Gonzalez. Midfielders Joe Corona and Jose Torres brought to five the American players from Mexican clubs.

The U.S. knows it has to play far better on defense than it did in Costa Rica, where the hosts scored twice in the first nine minutes.

"We want to punch our ticket, man," Howard said. "We want to get this thing finished."

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