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United States 2, Honduras 1 - June 6, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The US Mens' National Team played Honduras today at Soldier Field, so I hopped on my bike and pedaled over to watch the World Cup qualifying match. (I do love living in downtown Chicago!)

I was hesitant to go watch the game as tickets were fairly expensive and the USMNT had played horrifically on Wednesday in Costa Rica, but I've never been inside of Soldier Field, plus how often does Chicago get a World Cup qualifying match? (Answer: Tonight was Chicago's first WC qualifier, and the attendance was over 55,000, so I hope we'll get a few more.)

As mentioned above, I rode my bike over because I didn't want to walk from the Roosevelt Red Line stop (my guess is it's 3/4 mile), and Soldier Field is just off the lakefront path (about 2 miles from my Condo). The bike ended up being a terrific idea, even though it was rather chilly and I was cold on the ride over and back.

On the way there, I got to listen to the tunes coming from the Gospel Music festival going on in Millennium Park. I rode right up to the box office, locked by bike up to the rack (free parking! and 100 feet from the door!) and bought a ticket from a guy who had too many (for about 52% of a ridiculously high $115 face (considering the view, I can't imagine ever paying $115 for those tickets unless they were actual World Cup Tickets). This ended up being a fun choice because he sold the other tickets to a Chinese family who rooted for the USA with me, so we were all friends by the end of the night.

As for the game, it started the way all soccer games have started for me recently. My team - down early. In this instance, Honduras scored in the 5th minute when Carlos Costly exploited a gap in the defense and drilled the ball into the back of the net, past a diving Tim Howard.

However, unlike the game against Costa Rica, the US stayed focused and played solid defense the rest of the match, only giving Honduras one really great scoring opportunity very late in the second half, but Tim Howard proved his mettle with a tremendous save.

Carlos Bocanegra
Carlos Bocanegra pushes the ball upfield against Honduras. He is pursued by Carlos Costly. Both Bocanegra and Costly scored in the World Cup qualifier.
Image courtesy of The Cubdom Photo Gallery

For the U.S. the first goal came after a Honduran handball in the penalty box, sending Landon Donovan to the line. He struck the ball cleanly, and even though Noel Valladares, the Honduran Keeper, guessed correctly, he was unable to make the stop.

Noel Valladares dives but cannot save the goal
Honduran keeper Noel Valladares dives but can't stop Landon Donovan's penalty kick. US 1 - Honduras 1 in the 37th minute.
Image courtesy of The Cubdom Photo Gallery

In the second half, the USMNT scored on a corner kick. With the ball loose within the six, Carlos Bocanegra dove to get his dome on the ball and the US fans at Soldier Field went crazy.

This post has been sponsored by 1st4footballtickets.com.

Posted by Byron at June 6, 2009 11:59 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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