Wednesday, October 14, 2009

US rallies for draw

Despite having to finish up its World Cup Qualifying against Costa Rica at RFK Stadium on Wednesday night, to the United States men's national team, the sport itself took a back seat to very serious matters.

Early Wednesday morning, teammate and striker Charlie Davies was seriously injured in a car accident that occured outside Washington DC. The accident claimed the life of 22-year old Ashley J. Roberta. Davies was seriously injured in the crash and in expected to be at Washington Hospital Center Medstar for at least a week. The injuries Davies sustained in the crash could keep him out of next year's World Cup in South Africa.

For the US, taking the field against Costa Rica in the wake of the tragic news must have been very tough, yet they were there at RFK Stadium, trying to solidify first place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal standings, which it did, as the US rallied from a two-goal deficit to preserve a 2-2 tie against Costa Rica.

The draw combined with Trinidad and Tobago alsoo playing to a 2-2 draw against Mexico clinches the top spot in the Hexagonal for the US. Costa Rica meanwhile is now forced into a home-and-home playoff with COMNEBOL's fifth place team, Uruguay, after Honduras defeated El Salvador 1-0 to book its first trip to the World Cup since 1982. Costa Rica and Uruguay will face off against each other starting on November 14.

Early on, it appeared Costa Rica might be the ones booking a vacation next summer in South Africa. Bryan Ruiz scored goals in the 20th and 23rd minute to stake the Ticos to a 2-0 lead.

Michael Bradley broke the scoring ice for the US in the 71st minute, but the US had to wait until stoppage time to finally catch the Ticos, as Jonathan Bornstein scored the equalizer on a corner kick.

The draw though came with a price, as defender Oguchi Onyewu tore a tendon in his left knee and is out three to four months.

Davies was honored by the fans and his teammates during the match. The fanes held up cards reading the number nine, Davies jersey number, in the ninth minute and forward Jozy Altidore had Davies' number under his shirt.

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