As American Outlaw events go, tonight’s 2-0 World Cup clinching win over North American rival El Tri was a great deal happier than Thursday’s 1-3 pantsing of the USA by Costa Rica. Which is not to say that it was anywhere near as feisty.
If you came to the Charleston chapter’s first watch party on Thursday — and a lot of you did — you witnessed a dismal pattern-breaker of a match by the Yanks, and a great deal of teeth-gnashing, F-Bombing, cursing the heavens. blaming-throwing, and drink-ordering by our fledgling chapter.
If you came out tonight, you witnessed the power of Dos-a-Cero in Columbus — a power so great it literally bent Clint Dempsey’s rub-it-in stoppage time penalty kick over the crossbar. And you also saw about 40 members of American Outlaws and fans of the USA Men’s National Team going through their paces.
Tonight’s American Outlaws turnout in Columbus was reported as the largest supporters’ section in USA history. At least three AO Charleston members — Brent Droze, Andy Potter and Bradley Mohan — were a part of it at Crew Stadium, and friend-of-the-chapter Walt Sission, of Fairfax, Va., was also there (Walt and his son Justin joined us for the Gold Cup final in July).
But back here on the home front, tonight’s group was almost a bit subdued and relaxed compared to Thursday night. And it’s not as if the match looked like it was going to a stroll by the riverside. Four starters out to injuries and suspensions. Changes up and down the card. New coach for Mexico. And then Fabian Johnson and the USMNT started the match like they were still looking for their car keys.
It didn’t stay that way, Thank God, and afterwards, Charleston analysts were happy break down the difference between Thursday’s loss and Tuesday’s win:
REASON NO. 1: AOCHS President Mikey Buytas ditched his 8-Bit Gold Cup Champions T-shirt, choosing instead a classic American Outlaws T-shirt from his collection of soccer-themed apparel ; and
REASON NO. 2: Janet Edens Conover wore her 2012 AO scarf.
With Panama and Honduras playing to a 2-2 draw, the US win punched the Yanks’ ticket to Brazil next summer. But there are still two USMNT games remaining in this qualification hex: Jamaica at USA in Kansas City on Oct. 11, and the USA at Panama in Panama City on Oct. 15.
You’ll know where to find us.