U.S. Men's National Team

Dos a cero: The 10-year anniversary

"I think it was a big turning point in our history; the moment when you decide you are not going to be second best anymore. You go punch for punch and refuse to lose. I think that day we no longer feared Mexico."

— Former U.S. defender Tony Sanneh

Ten years ago today in frigid conditions in Columbus, Ohio, the United States and Mexico met in a FIFA World Cup qualifier:


What are your memories of the match? Were you there? How do you think that match impacted U.S. Soccer history?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Shmenge

    I was in a bar in Austin, Texas.

    3 of us watching the U.S. game, about 100 Hondurans watching the PPV Honduras at Costa Rica at the same time on the projection screen.

    The 3 of us screamed so loud at Wolff’s goal, half the Hondurans came rushing over to the bar TV to see the replay and went crazy with us.

    I remember JMM making a crucial, in-the-box tackle in the 2nd half where he was either going to get ball or it was a certain penalty and he toed it out for a corner. By an inch.


  • BCC

    Jack Edwards is absolutely horrible. Was watching the Bruins/Canucks the other night — he is total rubbish as an announcer.


  • jrig5

    Actually, behind midfield or not, he wasn’t offside. I slowed the video down to a pause as the ball is leaving Mathis’s foot, and both Wolff and either the Mexican right back or right center back are about equally behind the midfield line. About as close as you can be in that regard. I mean, you’re right about the midfield thing, but even beyond it, he wouldn’t have been offside. Now, the linesman may have seen it differently in that case, though, since it was so perfectly timed it looked, full speed, like he was off.


  • solles

    …not sure Wolff was ever our “best scoring threat”. He’s an important player to this day but let’s not re-invent history here.


  • solles

    Joe Max is underrated to this day. Terrific player, another guy who lost some prime time to injuries.


  • b16

    I saw the first few minutes up until McBride got his shiner. At the time, I figured there was no way the Nats would hold it the way they did. Still in shock to this day-this is one of the greatest games in US Soccer history-I still get chills watching it 10 years later.


  • LA

    Yeah they seem to not adapt to lifestyles in other countries. Almost as they get homesick easily. But us Americans like going everywhere.


  • offcolorcommentary

    Was Lando on the bench for this game? i remember him playing in some of the qualifiers..


  • b

    Before you snap at someone perhaps you should work on your reading comprehension.

    He said “Our best scoring threat goes out injured” as in Brian McBride, not Wolff.

    And Wolff is NOT “an important player to this day”… yours is the least true statement in this subthread.


  • b

    Actually plenty of days in February are dos a cero anniversary day: three of the six were in Feb.


  • b

    From the ussoccer article:

    “Selected to the 24-man training camp roster were two 18-year-olds by the name of DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan. Beasley withdrew after picking up an injury, replaced by Bobby Convey.”


  • Whitehartlane

    We’d have won 5-0 had Michael Bradley been played. You want proof, Mike is the only midfield player with 50 or more caps in the entire history of international football to not have one, single assist. He still has zero assists, hope he likes the bench out on loan at Villa, pos.


  • Ron

    Rafa Marquez wasn’t the only dirty player for Mexico during the game. Luis Hernandez rammed his forearm into Tony Sanneh’s jaw before halftime and wasn’t whistled.

    Gosh, can we ever produce a decent left back? David Regis looked like Bornstein out there that night!

    Overall, this was a major step in the USMNT development. Without this win, we wouldn’t have had the confidence in ourselves to beat Portugal, Mexico and push Germany to the brink in WC2002.

    Thanks for the memorable replay!


  • Sean

    I was young but this was huge. I remember it well. Looking at that line-up, it was sort-of the last hurrah for the pre-donovan stars — a great launching point for our stars of today and a wonderful start to a decade of dominance over the mexicans 🙂 (that hopefully will continue!)


  • Eric K

    I was in college at the time and while I was jumping around watching this game, one of my roommates (starting guard on a D1 basketball team) was cooking some ham steaks and started two fires in the process. I told him that (as we waved towels to try to disperse the steam and smoke), no matter how much bigger he was, I would kick the crap out of him if we had to evacuate the building 10 floors below and miss this game. I agree with other posters who say this was when we stopped being so scared of the Mexican team.


  • fred savage

    i was at the game, flew out from DC. got so drunk after the game in columbus i puked on an early-morning flight the next day, right there on the plane. also saw luis hernandez looking glum at the airport that morning waiting for his plane — he has this expression on his face like “where the f***k am i?” most exciting qualifier i’ve ever attended. although the honduras/usa match at RFK later that year was pretty exciting too, in the wrong direction. 35,000 hondurans at RFK after u.s. soccer tried to keep them out = not fun. (a week later two planes crashed into NYC, we tend to forget.)



    That was a great night. I remember being shocked before the game that Mexico would not leave there locker room to warm up and how many hard tackles and fouls Mexico committed in first 12 minutes leading up to McBride injury. our seats were where right behind Sam’s Army though we never sat down. Great night of soccer. Being 3 hours from Columbus we never miss a USA National team game there mens or womens. Plus try to make a Crew game every season. One of my best Soccer memories.



    The 4-0 US Cup win was in DC my first national team game. It was reyna’s coming out party he had 2 assists and a goal. I still remember the Thomas Dooley chants


  • Matt Fields

    Gotta love the WCQ in February in Columbus . . . sad it is really the only pro-US soccer venue for this matchup. Maybe in the next generation Sam’s Army will fill a larger venue and make it our “Azteca” . . .


  • Gr8ftblr

    PRoblem is there r not enough players even now that r capable of the passes and shots Mathis could pull.


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