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Brian Ching

Men's National Team Has Sunny History in Florida


Florida has been one of the most popular hosts for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the past few decades, with more than 15 games in the 1990s and more than 10 in the 2000s; their all-time record in Florida is 15-3-9. U.S. Soccer takes a look back at some of the team’s most memorable matches in the Sunshine State as the men prepare for Saturday’s game against Honduras in Miami. This will be the first time the U.S. has returned to Miami since 1994.

Oct. 25, 1980 vs. Canada
Venue: Lockhart Stadium, Ft. Lauderdale
Attendance: 7,864
Result: 0-0

This World Cup qualifier marked the first time the U.S. National Team played a match in Florida. The U.S. dominated the Canadians throughout the match but didn’t take advantage of scoring opportunities. The game ended a scoreless draw. The U.S. faced Canada again a week later in Vancouver, this time losing 2-1.

May 8, 1993 vs. Colombia
Venue: Orange Bowl, Miami
Attendance: 17,652
Result: 1-2 L

In the fourth in a series of 12 “World Series of Soccer” matches, the U.S. fell to Colombia despite an early lead. Alexi Lalas scored his first international goal and the first goal of the game in the 14th minute with a header from a corner kick. Colombia equalized in the 38th minute after Adolfo Valencia fired a shot from just inside the 18-yard box. The South American side clinched the win in the 69th minute with a close-range goal from Alexis Garcia. This loss set the stage for the 1994 World Cup, when the U.S. faced Colombia in the group stage and won 2-1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in one of the U.S.’s most historic wins ever, advancing the U.S. to the Round of 16.

July 23, 2003 vs. Brazil
Venue: Orange Bowl, Miami
Attendance: 35, 211
Result: 1-2 L (OT) 

Coming off of a 5-0 win against Cuba in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the U.S. faced a young Brazil squad in a thrilling sudden-death loss in the semifinals of the tournament. The U.S. opened the scoring in the 62nd minute off a header from Carlos Bocanegra, and they kept the lead until nearly the end of regular time. Kaká scored the equalizer for Brazil in the 89th minute, causing the match to go into golden goal overtime. Brazil won out on a penalty kick at 98 minutes after a U.S. handball and red card. Cory Gibbs blocked a goal-bound shot from Diego with his hand, and Diego converted the penalty to clinch Brazil’s victory. The U.S. made a comeback, though, and won against Costa Rica to land third place in the Gold Cup.

March 25, 2007 vs. Ecuador
Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay
Attendance: 31, 547
Result: 3-1 Win

Video Highlights

The U.S. beat Ecuador with a hat trick from captain Landon Donovan in front of a record crowd for a Florida friendly. Donovan scored the first goal of the match after only 35 seconds with a rocket of a shot, smashed into the net from 22 yards out. Ecuador equalized 10 minutes later, and the game would remain tied until well into the second half, despite numerous attempts from both sides. The U.S. took back the lead in the 66th minute, and Donovan netted the third less than a minute later. This was Donovan’s second hat trick and Bob Bradley’s third win, making him the first U.S. Soccer head coach to win his first three games.

Feb. 24, 2010 vs. El Salvador
Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay
Attendance: 21, 737
Result: 2-1 W

Video Highlights

For the third consecutive time, the U.S. came from behind to claim a victory against El Salvador. The Central American side was on top after 59 minutes when Rudi Corrales took advantage of a U.S. mistake and scored against the run of play. Second-half substitute Brian Ching evened the score in the 75th minute with a header from a perfectly placed Heath Pearce cross. Ching contributed again in stoppage time with an assist, returning a pass to Sacha Kljestan, who sealed the win from eight yards out.

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