All Access Soccer


The Horseshoe is among the nation’s most intimidating stadiums for visiting teams.

The best home-field advantage in America, however, lies 1.6 miles east of the fabled Ohio State venue, and has served as an impenetrable fortress for U.S. Soccer during its greatest hours of need.

With its World Cup hopes in jeopardy, the national team returned here to record a resounding 4-0 victory over Guatemala on Tuesday night in a regional qualifier. Veterans Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Kyle Beckerman played key roles in helping the U.S. regain its equilibrium as the CONCACAF tournament takes leave until September.

The raucous crowd of 20,642 also had its familiar part as the U.S. improved to 8-0-3 all time in Mapfre Stadium, which the Men in Blazers’ dubbed “America’s Wembley.” The home side has outscored the opposition by a combined 19-1 in those 11 matches.

“This stadium and these people have bailed us out on a lot of occasions,” said Bradley, the team captain who earned man-of-the-match honors.

“There are certain things that are hard to put a finger on . . . It’s a small stadium and the people are right on top of you . . . (It’s) a city that in some ways doesn’t have a million other things going on and so they love their soccer and they love when the national team comes into town and we feed on that. People maybe underestimate at times what it means to walk onto a field and from the get-go feel the fans’ energy and passion. It pushes us through on nights like this.”


Courtesy of

photo, Assiciated Press




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *