The USA team in USA 94, hosts of a World Cup to remember

The USA team in USA 94, hosts of a World Cup to remember
Selection 1994 that was a before and after in soccer in the United States. PHOTO: Brand

It was all thanks to the USA team in USA 94. From going through one of its worst stages to hosting the largest global competition in the ball. The World 1994 It was a radical change in football, known there as scoccer, US. When nostalgic football fans remember that time, the subconscious calls Alexi Lalas, Tab Ramos, Erick wynalda, Coby Jones O Tony Meola. The selection of the host country of this peculiar World Cup, remained in the memory of many, both for the game and for the turn this sport took on the other side of the pond.

US selection in USA 94
The peculiar selection of the USA in USA 94. PHOTO: Brand

The most controversial host

The United States National Team was one of the 24 participants in the USA Soccer World Cup 1994 which took place in your own country. And how it came to be a host has its history.

After the resignation of Colombia to organize the Soccer World Cup in 1986, Brazil, Canafrom the, Mexico and the United States presented their candidacies to organize the event. But nevertheless, the American option did not have international support, so the government of the country decided to resign and support its southern neighbor, Mexico, who was unanimously elected. In return, The Americans demanded the support of FIFA to host the event of 1994, which had the possibility of being in America again.

The United States represented a very important place for FIFA, due to its economic power. But nevertheless, soccer was not a popular sport and there was not even a professional soccer league. Some obvious factors that were reflected in the absence of the US team in World Cup appearances since 1954 until 1986.

While FIFA supported the candidacy of the United States as a way to extend the practice of sport in the country, and as promised, Much of the international community was against bringing the most important football event to a country that was not practiced en masse. Morocco and Brazil submitted candidatures, but that of the African country represented the clearest possibility of holding the tournament for the first time in a continent where football was developing rapidly. Finally, and despite the rejection and nonconformity of some traditionalist groups, The United States was chosen by 10 votes in favor, seven for Moroccans, two for Brazil and Chile, he declined his candidacy on 4 of July of 1988.

Once chosen as the venue, the United States government began preparations for the event and to fulfill its promise to FIFA to promote soccer in the nation.

The eighth illusion

The US team was in Group A with Colombia, Romania and Switzerland. And from there the first rival played, Switzerland. A match against those of Ciriaco Sforza Y Alan Sutter that the United States started losing. But nevertheless, the Americans still did not lose hope and four minutes after the Swiss goal, Eric Wynalda scored from free throw. The luminous was 1-1. A good debut, but he was the most difficult of the group.

The initial thought, based on game analysis, it was to beat switzerland, draw with Romania and well, pray before Colombia. But sometimes fate is capricious.

With the Pasadena Rose Bowl (California) full, something happened. Minute 35. John Harkes saw Ernie Stewart running down the other lane. Y, with all his strength, threw a cross that Andrés Escobar intercepted. It was own goal, the 1-0. The next one was not long in coming. Kicking off the second half, after a long pass, Stewart knew how to define very well and raise the scoreboard 2-0. And despite the attempts of the Colombians and the goal that Adolfo "El Tren" Valencia scored right at 90, the 2-1 sentenced Colombia and took the United States to another level of ecstasy in the round of 16.

They had knocked down one of the big favorites. But after the defeat against Romania, Americans had Goliath left. They had managed to move on to the next phase after finishing as third in the group, but his next rival turned out to be Brazil, another of the competition's favorites.

4 of July, independence Day. Unparalleled atmosphere in San Francisco. A beautiful sunny day like never seen before, with fans taking to the field like they never have. The fans began to arrive and the stands were filled with people with their faces painted red, White and blue, singing. Choirs that hardly even the Brazilians, as raucous as they are in their quintessential competition, could camouflage.

USA team at the USA World Cup 94
The match between Brazil and the US of USA 94 was marked by Leonardo's elbow to Tab Ramos. PHOTO: Brand

But the joy was short-lived when, after the final three whistles, the referee sentenced the elimination of the premises in the world cup. Brazil had won 1-0 And the hopes of the Americans had been shattered.

But nevertheless, despite elimination, and as Balboa reflected, “What was important to all of us was that he introduced soccer to the entire United States., especially when the league planned to start a year and a half from the World Cup. Opened the door for everyone: sponsors, fanatics. If it weren't for what we did in 1994, I'm not sure we'd be here with MLS today. Many became football fans for that World Cup. When we are divided into several teams, people knew us, people were not going to go to the stadium to see strangers ". Definitely, a selection to remember.

 

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