Mar 22, 2013, 11:39 PM EDT
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – So what will we call this one? “La Guerra Blanca,” perhaps? That is, The White War … a la the famously frigid win over Mexico in 2001 known as “La Guerra Fria?”
Whatever we all call it, Friday’s World Cup qualifier outside Denver will be remembered for two things: a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in a night of weather madness, where the United States got its World Cup qualifying effort back on track, even if the result was down to an early goal and survival from there.
Mostly, of course, a memorable night was made by the harsh elements. The game resembled soccer in a snow globe.
The fluffy stuff began about three hours before kickoff at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. It had started to stick as goalkeepers came out for warm-ups. Two snow plows worked hard to get some of the field cleared by kickoff – How about about that, Red Bull Arena … snow plows? – but it was more or less fruitless by halftime.
There was even some questions about whether this one might get postponed. One international match, Northern Ireland vs. Russia, had already been postponed Friday.
As for the decision making authority …
An official FIFA match commissioner on site presides over all decisions and disputes, everything from uniform color to the more important matters such as weather conditions. So the call belonged to Victor Daniel, from Grenada, right up to kickoff. From there the decision belonged to referee Joel Aguilar of El Salvador.
By the 30th minute, the Costa Rica bench begin chatting up the fourth officials, gesturing to the lines and such, presumably complaining about the match going on.
The players were clearly struggling with footing and with … well, with everything.
So, should the match have even been played? The upcoming schedule applied some pressure on the choice. It could have been postponed a day, but the weather forecasts call for lots more snow on Saturday, so that made little sense.
U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe said the choice of moving the game back two days was problematic due to the match upcoming against Mexico on Tuesday. To play on Sunday, fly on Monday and then play again at powerful Mexico on Tuesday would be soccer suicide.
With conditions getting no better, and the Costa Ricans still complaining, Aguilar stopped the match briefly at about 55 minutes. It was only, as it turned out, to clear the lines and then resume play.
It looked to everyone as if Aguilar might be stopping the game. “That’s why I went on the field a little, with my bad Spanish, [to say] ‘there was no way we are stopping this game. ‘ ”
Buethe announced to the press that previous information had been incorrect. In fact, a match abandoned due to weather would be resumed at the exact point at which it was called off. At the 76th minute, U.S. Soccer passed the word that FIFA’s match commissioner had declared that the contest would be completed.
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said there was no discussion prior to the match about not going ahead with it.
So, should the match have been played. Said Gulati: “It’s up to the referee and match commissioner. We got it in. No injuries. I’d say the answer is “yes.’ “
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Bournemouth took a big hit on transfer deadine day, but it had nothing to do with sales or purchases.
Sep 2, 2015, 8:47 AM EDT
Let’s dig into the figures, at least in terms of the 20 Premier League clubs, including the controversial amount of players on loan from Chelsea.
Sep 2, 2015, 8:16 AM EDT
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Sep 1, 2015, 10:08 PM EDT
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Sep 1, 2015, 9:37 PM EDT
Based on the Citizens’ form to start the season, it looks like money well spent.
Sep 1, 2015, 9:08 PM EDT
After spending just $20 million this summer on a goalkeeper and a teenager, Arsenal fans want to know what’s going on in the boardroom.
Sep 1, 2015, 8:19 PM EDT
Considering Premier League teams spent more than $1.3 billion on transfers this summer, it’s quite the list.
Sep 1, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT
We all thought they would happen, but with the transfer window now closed, we’re left scratching our heads.
Sep 1, 2015, 5:34 PM EDT
Clear your schedule at 7 p.m. ET for two hours of coverage detailing a wild and crazy Deadline Day in the Premier League. Watch live on NBCSN or online, right here.
Sep 1, 2015, 4:24 PM EDT
Take a look at every transfer made in the Premier League on a wild and crazy Deadline Day.
Sep 1, 2015, 3:32 PM EDT
The former Tottenham man spent the end of last season on loan at Goodison Park, and now the move has been made permanent.
Sep 1, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT
The winger was flown into Leicester on the owner’s helicopter as a last minute signing for the Foxes.
Sep 1, 2015, 2:55 PM EDT
Let’s hope these guys match up in the UEFA Champions League, where time can be kept on the field.
Sep 1, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT
PST’s Lead Writer and Editor gives each team a grade after a busy summer in the transfer market.
Sep 1, 2015, 2:09 PM EDT
West Bromwich Albion chairman Jeremy Peace is speaking out on the Saido Berahino saga at the Hawthorns.
Sep 1, 2015, 1:37 PM EDT
Frustrated at Fulham, American teen Emerson Hyndman looks set to stay at Craven Cottage through the final year of his contract.
Sep 1, 2015, 1:10 PM EDT
Hector earned his first six caps for the Reggae Boyz and participated in all three of Jamaica’s matches at the Copa America in Chile.
Sep 1, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT
The captain of Algeria, a veteran of Colombia and a Belgian U-21 player are heading to the Premier League side at Vicarage Road.
Sep 1, 2015, 12:35 PM EDT
Young striker is not happy at all as Baggies continue to block Spurs’ advances.
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