U.S. 2 Costa Rica 2
Carlos Bocanegra, left, and Jonathan Bornstein celebrate his dramatic last-gasp equalizer against a stunned Costa Rica that enabled the U.S. to win its World Cup qualifying group. (AP Photo)
One of the more magnificent tie games you’ll ever see had the U.S.’ young guns blaze back in the dying seconds against Costa Rica from two goals behind despite being down to 10 men after the injury to Gooch tonight in Washington D.C. And on a night where the manner of Charlie Davies’ absence provided an unprecedented note of (for want of a better word) emptiness the Americans seemed to want to fill.
Jozy Altidore, Davies’ roommate:
“I was very emotional the past few days. I am not going to lie, I just couldn’t get my mind off of it, you know what I mean. It is unbelievable to think how your life can change in one night, in one minute, in one second. It was tough to swallow for me. I played like he was out there with me tonight.”
Chivas USA’s Jonathan Bornstein of Los Alamitos struck for the winner from a corner kick by Robbie Rogers of Rolling Hills Estates, who had an inspired performance and led the comeback with key crosses.
Rob Rogers, Robbie’s dad, e-mailed me:
“I thought it was strangely ironic that Robbie initiated the attacks that caused both goals and he was wearing number 9-Charlie Davies number.”
“I think the whole team wanted to go out and put a good effort out there today, for Charlie, for his family and for everyone that was involved in the situation. To get the tie to go onto the World Cup as first in our group, I think it shows a lot about our team and what we’re all about. Hopefully, going forward from here we can keep getting better and prepare for the World Cup.”
Here’s goalkeeper Tim Howard on Bornstein’s goal:
“Guys like that work their tail off all qualifying and defend and do the dirty stuff so it’s good that he gets the glory.”
The CONCACAF skinny.
Here’s Coach Bob Bradley on Oguchi Onyewu’s injury:
“[Oguchi Onyewu has a torn left patellar tendon. Obviously, we’ve had two days of tough news and Gooch has been such an important part of our team. That’s normally three to four months, he’s young, he’s healthy, our doctors are good. He’s someone that we’re sure is going to get back and ready to go. But, nonetheless, it’s another setback for us.”
Notable: This was a U.S. triumph for a new generation: Robbie Rogers, Jonathan Bornstein, Jose Torres, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore – all players that have come of age under Coach Bob Bradley.
They’ve effectively augmented the established likes of Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Carlos Bocanegra.
A thoroughly compelling game.
U.S. lineup: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 7-Stuart Holden (9-Robbie Rogers, 69), 16-Benny Feilhaber (14-Jos Francisco Torres, 63) , 4-Michael Bradley, 10-Landon Donovan; 17-Jozy Altidore, 8-Conor Casey (Kenny Cooper, 79)
Bonus: Honduras, recent gracious hosts, are in; Carlos Pavon, perhaps our paths will cross again.
And a tip of the hat to SI’s Grant Wahl for the tweet regarding this video (stay to the end):